Major General Kenneth William Eather

Service number NX3
Ranks Held Brigadier, Lieutenant Colonel, Major General, Temporary Brigadier
Birth Date 06 July 1901
Birth Place Australia: New South Wales, Sydney
Death Date 09 May 1993
Death Place Australia: New South Wales, Sydney
Final Rank Major General
Service Australian Army
Units
  • 25th Australian Infantry Brigade
  • 2/1st Australian Infantry Battalion
Place Sydney
Conflict/Operation Second World War, 1939-1945
Gazettes Published in Commonwealth Gazette in 1947-03-06
Published in London Gazette in 1941-04-01
Published in London Gazette in 1944-04-27
Published in London Gazette in 1943-12-23
Published in London Gazette in 1947-03-06
Published in London Gazette in 1941-05-09
Published in Commonwealth Gazette in 1943-12-23
Published in Commonwealth Gazette in 1944-04-27
Published in Commonwealth Gazette in 1944-11-23

Rolls

Timeline

Date of birth 06 July 1901 Sydney, NSW.
Other 30 June 1919 Became second lieutenant in the cadets.
Date and unit at appointment (Officers) 31 May 1923 Comissioned as a lieutenant in the 53rd Battalion.
Other units 01 July 1925 56th Battalion.
Date promoted 23 February 1926 Promoted to captain.
Date promoted 21 November 1928 Appointed major.
Date promoted 01 July 1933 Appointed lieutenant colonel and commanding officer 56th Battalion.
Other units 01 August 1937 Appointed commanding officer 3rd Battalion.
Other 01 August 1938 Transferred to Unattached List.
Date and unit at appointment (Officers) 1939-10-13 - 1941-03-17 Commanding officer of 2/1st Battalion, 6th Division, 16th Brigade, AIF. Appointed with the rank of lieutenant colonel.
Other 13 February 1940 Arrived in the Middle East.
Other 1940-11-19 - 1940-12-25 Attended senior officers course at Middle East Tactical School.
Date of honour or award 07 March 1941 Awarded Distinguished Service Order 'For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty during the attack on BARDIA during the period from 2 Jan 41 to 5 Jan 41. He gallantly and successfully led his Bn. in a night attack on 2/3 Jan 41 captured all objectives and several thousands of prisoners. On 4 Jan 41 he continued to lead his Bn. with great daring and exploited the success of the first day and again captured several thousands of prisoners. On morning of 5 Jan 41 he again led his Bn. and completed the capture of the sector allotted to his Bn. in the NORTHERN sector of the BARDIA perimeter. During the whole period of the attack, Lt-Col Eather set a fine example of initiative which was an inspiration to his Bn., and his general bearing throughout brought forth the admiration of his men. His careful planning of the initial attack was a masterpiece that can well be followed by others, and contributed largely to the success of the whole battle. During the initial attack the Officer in charge of Bangalor torpedoes was wounded and it looked as if things might go wrong. Lt-Col EATHER was on the spot and his coolness, and advice restored confidence in the Sgt. in charge of the party. At mid-day 4 Jan 41 when the advance, in part of his sector appeared to have been held up, he moved forward to ascertain the reason. After a quick appreciation he picked up a rifle and with a L.M.G. detachment, moved forward to a suitable position, which he held thus restoring the confidence of his men, and brought the Coy. forward.'
Date of honour or award 09 May 1941 Mention in Despatches.
Other units 1941-06-18 - 1941-08-30 Administrative command of 16th Brigade.
Date and unit at appointment (Officers) 1941-08-31 - 1941-12-27 Commanding officer of 2/1st Battalion, 6th Division, 16th Brigade, AIF.
Date promoted 27 December 1941 Promoted to field command of the 25th Brigade with the substantive rank of colonel and the temporary rank of brigadier.
Date returned to Australia 10 March 1942
Other 09 September 1942 Arrived in Morseby.
Date of honour or award 11 January 1943 Awarded United States Distinguished Service Cross 'For extraordinary heroism in action in New Guinea, during the Papuan campaign, July 23, 1942, to January 8, 1943. As Commander 25th Infantry Brigade, Australian Army, Brigadier Eather displayed extraordinary courage, marked efficiency and precise execution of operations during the Papuan campaign.'
Date returned to Australia 20 March 1943
Other 20 July 1943 Arrived in Morseby.
Other 31 July 1943 Eather was recommended by the governor-general 'for the award of "Commander of the Order of the British Empire" for gallant leadership, outstanding devotion to duty, sustained untiring effort and conspicuous skill and ability in the OWEN STNALEY RANGE, NEW GUINEA, CAMPAIGN during the period from 12 Sep 42 to to 29 Oct 42. Brigadier EATHER led his Brigade in the successful attack on IORABAIWA Ridge and the subsequent advance to ALOLA. During this advance his Bde was successful in several attacks on the enemy's strongly defended positions in the TEMPLETONS CROSSING area. Throughout this arduous campaign Brig EATHER set an example of tenacity and endurance which was an inspiration to all who came within his influence and he efficiently demonstrated that he was at all times in complete control of the situation which confronted him, proving himself a commander who at all times was able to display sound judgement, coolness and mental clarity which were conducive to excellent planning and quick decisions.'
Date of honour or award 23 December 1943 Commander of the Order of the British Empire.
Date returned to Australia 31 January 1944
Date of honour or award 31 May 1944 Mention in Despatches.
Other 1944-06-23 - 1944-07-05 Attached Headquarters 7th Division.
Other 06 June 1945 Arrived Morotai, Dutch East Indies.
Date promoted 26 July 1945 Appointed major general, back dated to 26 July, and general officer commanding 11th Division.
Other 01 August 1945 Arrived in Lae, Papua New Guinea.
Other 03 August 1945 Arrived New Britain, Papua New Guinea.
Other 28 March 1946 Commanding officer of the Australian Victory March Contingent in London.
Date returned to Australia 16 August 1946
Date of discharge 18 September 1946 Transferred to the Reserve of Officers.
Date of honour or award 11 April 1947 Companion of the Order of the Bath. 'BRIGADIER KW EATHER commanded 25th Aust Inf Bde at the assault on BALIKPAPAN. Landing on 2 July he became responsible for the sector including the BALIKPAPAN-SMARINDA Road, to become the main axis of enemy strength. The enemy quickly recovered from his confusion caused by the preliminary bombardment and assault and formed strong rearguards supporte by artillery and determined to fight to the death to resist our further advance in this area. Brig. EATHER with his brigade trained and fit to a very high degree relentlessly forced the enemy back, inflicting heavy casualties, and permitting little time for the enemy to readjust his forces. Brig EATHER by his capacity to command, by his drive and by the skill with which he manoeuvred his brigades contributed in no small measure to the final defeat of the enemy at BALIKPAPAN.'
Date of death 09 May 1993 Sydney, NSW.

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