56969 Trooper Albert Joseph Crowe
1st Australian Machine Gun Squadron
1st Light Horse Brigade
1st Australian Imperial Force 1914-1919

N279604 Lance Corporal Albert Joseph Crowe
22nd Garrison Battalion (Prisoner-of-War Camp)
Cowra: No 12 [Japanese] POW Camp
2nd Australian Imperial Force 1939-45

This file last updated 30 November, 2018 12:06

Introduction


Albert Joseph Crowe's grave in Murringo Cemetery

The following two sets of enlistment information and chronological tables of Trooper Albert Joseph Crowe's service in World Wars 1 and 2 are derived from the National Archives, the Australian War Memorial and the RSL Virtual War Memorials.

His World War 1 service was limited as he did not join his unit until late in 1918, and his World War 2 service was as a guard at the Japanese Prisoner of War Camp in Cowra, NSW, however he had been discharged for ill health before the breakout occured on 5 Aug 1944.

With 8 charges for Absence without Leave, it can safely be said that his WW2 service was somewhat problematic, and he was eventually discharged as medically unfit after serving a total of 798 days in Australia.

Some of the service record pages may be duplicated. This generally occurs when the unit and Army records are amalgamated on discharge or death in Service.

Service numbers were allocated by the original unit, and are not unique to the individual. Where an individual is transferred into another unit, duplicating an existing number, the transferee is given an alphabetic suffix, eg 1234A. Officers did not have Army numbers, and if commissioned from the ranks, relinquished their number on commissioning.

References on the enlistment form to previous military service included service as school cadets under the Universal Service Scheme, 1911-1929.

In WW2, The AIF was raised as a separate Army and introduced its own numbering system, allocated according to the Military District. These Service Numbers were prefixed with a State indicator, Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia, Western Australia, Tasmania, D Northern Territory, the list in order of the Military Districts, 1 to 7. An X was added behind the State Prefix for those deployed overseas.

Papua, NG New Guinea and Female were added later. The F prefix was added to the others, eg NFX.

I have included Trooper Albert Crowe's record on this site as I spent my teenage years in Murringo and knew him personally. His World War 1 service had left him with severe post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and he was, sadly, a poorly functioning alcoholic. Never having married, he died on 18 Feb 1970.

Clive Mitchell-Taylor - 26 November 2018.

See Albert Joseph Crowe's Service Record or his Embarkation Record.


WW1 Enlistment Details

Service Number

56969

Name

Albert Joseph Crowe

Born at

Murringo, near Young, NSW

Date of Birth

19 Feb 1896

Trade or Calling

Labourer

British Subject

Natural born

Marital Status

Unmarried

Next of Kin

Mother - Mary Crowe, Murringo

Previous Military Service

None

Discharged with Ignominy

No

Attested at

Parkes, NSW

Date of Enlistment

23 Apr 1917

Height

5 Foot 9 inches [175.25cm]

Weight

169 pounds [12 stone 1 pounds or 76.8 Kg]

Chest

36¾ - 39 inches [93.25 - 99 cm]

Complexion

Dark

Eyes

Brown

Hair

Brown

Religious Denomination

Roman Catholic

Distinctive Marks

Scar left knee, Mole back of neck, scar inner side of L forearm

Units

1st Machine Gun Squadron (3rd Reinfrcements)
1st Light Horse Brigade


WW1 Chronological Events

Rank

Description

Date

Remarks

Recruit

Enlisted at Parkes, NSW

23 Apr 1917

Trooper

Underwent training with the Light Horse Training Squadron

28 Apr 1917 -
28 May 1917

 

Trooper

Assigned to 12th Squadron

28 May 1917 -
7 Jun 1918

There is no indication of the reason for the delay in embarkation

Trooper

Embarked at Sydney for Middle East aboard HMAT "WILTSHIRE" (A18)

10 Jun 1918

Trooper

Disembarked at Suez

17 Jul 1918

Trooper

Marched in to Central Training Depot, Moascar

20 Jul 1918

Trooper

Marched out to Machine Gun Training Squadron

10 Sep 1918

Trooper

Allotted to 1st Machine Gun Squadron

13 Oct 1918

Trooper

Taken on strength of 1st Machine Gun Squadron

19 Oct 1918

Trooper

Embarked aboard His Majestys New Zealand Transport (HMNZT) "ORARI" for return to Australia from Egypt

15 May 1919

Trooper

Disembarked at Sydney

4 Jul 1919

Trooper

Discharged on the completion of his service

19 Jul 1919


WW2 Enlistment Details

Service Number

N279604

Name

Albert Joseph Crowe

Born at

Murringo, near Young, NSW

Date of Birth

19 Feb 1897 [Putting his age down by one year, as he was actually born in 1896]

Trade or Calling

Labourer

Present Occupation

Unemployed

British Subject

Natural born

Marital Status

Unmarried

Next of Kin

Mother - Mary Crowe, Murringo

Previous Military Service

56969 [Previous Service Number] 2 years and 87 days A.M.G.S.[Australian Machine Gun Squadron]

Reason for discharge

End of War

Attested at

Recruiting Depot Eastern Command [Paddington NSW],

Date of Enlistment

26 Aug 1941

Religious Denomination

Roman Catholic

Which, if any, of the following Educational Qualifications do you possess?

1. Certificate for entry to Secondary School
2. Intermediate
3. Leaving
4. Leaving Honours
5. Technical
6. University Degree
7. Other Diploma

Have you ever been convicted by a Civil Court?

No

Medical Examination

1. Fit for Class I
2. Temporarily unfit for Class I
3. Fit for Class II
4. Temporarily unfit for Class II
5. Unfit for Military Service

Units

22nd Garrison Battalion - POW [Prisoner of War] Group Cowra


WW2 Chronological Events

Rank

Description

Date

Remarks

Private

Enlisted at Paddington, NSW

26 Aug 1941

General Duties Details Depot

Private

Marched out to POW [Prisoner of War] Group

29 Aug 1941

 

Private

Taken on Strength, POW Cowra

26 Aug 1941

A 'paper' transaction as the dates are awry.

Private

Offence: Absent Without Leave from 0715 Hrs 15 Sep 1941 to 0700 hrs 17 Sep 1941
Award: Fined £2.

15 Sep 1941

 

Private

To Hospital, sick

6 Sep 1941

 

Private

Admitted to Hospital. Parotitus? Appendicitis

8 Sep 1941

 

Private

Discharged from Hospital

22 Oct 1941

 

Private

Rejoined unit from Hospital

22 Oct 1941

 

Private

Offence: Absent without Leave from 1400 hrs 2 Nov 1941 to 1830 hrs 2 Nov 1941
Award: Fined £1.

2 Nov 1941

 

Private

Offence: Absent without Leave from 0900 hrs 27 Dec 1941 to 0700 hrs 30 Dec 1941
Award: Fined £3

27 Dec 1941

 

Private

Offence: Absent Without Leave from 0700 hrs 11 Jan 1942 to 2000 hrs 12 Jan 1942
Award: Fined £3.

13 Jan 1942

 

Private

Offence: Absent without Leave from 2359 hrs 27 Jan 1942 to 0700 hrs 29 Jan 1942
Award: Fined £3.

29 Jan 1942

 

Private

Offence of Absence without Leave struck out under AMR&O [Australian Military Regulations and Orders] R3-1-1023.

14 Feb 1942

 

Private

Offence: Absent without Leave from 0700 hrs 14 Feb 1942 to 0700 hrs 19 Feb 1942.
Award: Fined £5, 25 Days Detention

19 Feb 1942

 

Private

Posted to 'X' List

8 Mar 1942

'X' List is detached from the parent unit in this case because he would have been undergoing detention.

Private

Rejoined unit from detention, struck off 'X' List

15 Mar 1942

 

Private

 

Private

To Hospital (11 Camp Hospital),sick.

19 Aug 1942

 

Private

Admitted to 11 Camp Hospital with Sinusitis, transferred to 'X' List

19 Aug 1942

 

Private

Rejoined unit from Hospital, struck off 'X' List

6 Sep 1942

 

Private

To Hospital, sick, placed on 'X' List

13 Sep 1942

 

Private

Rejoined unit from Hospital, struck off 'X' List

19 Sep 1942

 

Private

Offence: Absent without Leave from 0830 hrs 21 Dec 1942 to 28 Dec 1942
Award: Admonished

21 Dec 1942

 

lance Corporal

Appointed Lance Corporal

27 Mar 1943

 

Lance Corporal

Offence: Absent without Leave from 0700 hrs 11 Jul 1942 to 2200 hrs 13 Jul 1943.
Award: Reprimand

14 Jul 1943

 

Lance Corporal

To 113 Australian General Hospital, sick

28 Sep 1943

 

Lance Corporal

Admitted with Neuralgia, transferred to 'X' List

29 Sep 1943

 

Lance Corporal

Medical Board
Classified Medically Unfit, Class D with Tregeminal [sic] Neuralgia L.(Maxillary)

14 Oct 1943

 

Lance Corporal

Transferred to General Duties Depot, Tri21 Oct 1943giminal Neuralgia

21 Oct 1943

 

Lance Corporal

Discharged from the Service as medically unfit.

1 Nov 1943

A copy of his medical file was sent to 'Repatriation' and should have resulted in a pension should his disability have been occasioned by his service.

Medals and Dress Embellishments

For service in World War 1, Albert Joseph Crowe was awarded the British War Medal 1914-1920 and Victory Medal, he was not entitled to 1914-15 Star.

For service in World War 2, he was awarded the War Medal 1939-1945 and the Australian Service Medal 1939-1945.

No Wound Stripes.

Not entitled to wear ANZAC 'A'.

One Long Service Stripe and two Overseas Service Chevrons.

Use the hyperlinks or scroll down to see further information on the badges.


1st Machine Gun Squadron, 1st Light Horse Brigade

1st Light Horse Machine Gun Squadron Shoulder Patch

Originally established as Machine gun sections in each Regiment of Light Horse, the sections were later amalgamated under Brigade control in much the same way as occurred with Machine Gun Companies amalgamating to form Battalions in the AIF. So each Light Horse Brigade had a Machine Gun Squadron established under Command to best provide fire support, equipped with Vickers medium machine guns.

The soldiers in the Squadron were drawn from the three Regiments of the Brigade; the 1st 2nd and 3rd Light Horse Regiments.

The Squadron supported its parent Brigade and its subordinate units throughout the Egypt and Palestine campaigns 1916-18 and elements of this Squadron provided fire support at the famous charge at the Battle of Beersheba on 1 October 1917.


22nd Garrison Battalion (Prisoner-of-War Camp)
Cowra: No 12 [Japanese] POW Camp

Garrison Battalions were part of the Australian Army Reserve with the role of manning fixed defences and vulnerable points. The personnel were Class B men, those between 48 and 55 who had seen war service before September 1939, therefore mostly WW1 veterans. Prisoner-of-War and Internment Camp units were part of the Garrison Battalion organisation but were on a special establishment where the need for prior war service was waived and females were sometimes included.

The first seven Garrison battalions were raised in October 1939, rising to 33 battalions plus around four individual companies by the end of the war. From 1940, in commands where more than one Garrison Battalion had been raised, a small Garrison Brigade administrative HQ was also created, of which there were five by the end of the war.

From early on some battalions had adopted a secondary title indicating their specific role, such as (Internal Security). In 1942 this was formalised and most battalions were given an appropriate secondary title.

Initially, all Garrison Battalions wore the same shoulder patch, a black square on a green square. Numerous requests were made by battalions to individualise their patches and in late 1942 the system was adopted of geometric shapes, green on black in a reversal of the original design, approval for which was dated 11 December 1942. Source (www.iwm.org.uk)

Cowra was the scene of a dramatic break-out of the Japanese POWs on 5 Aug 1944. Some 359 POWs escaped, while many others attempted or committed suicide. Some of those who did escape also committed suicide to avoid recapture. All the survivors were recaptured within 10 days of their breakout.

During the escape and subsequent roundup, four Australian soldiers and 231 Japanese soldiers were killed and 108 prisoners were wounded. The leaders of the breakout ordered the escapees not to attack Australian civilians, and none were killed or injured.


1914-15 Star

[Extract from Ribbons and Medals: Naval, Military, Air Force and Civil, Captain H. Taprell Dorling, DSO RN,
George Philip & Son, 33 Fleet Street, London EC4, 1940]
1914-15 Star

The decoration consists of a four-pointed star in bright bronze as shown, with the date 1914-15 on the central scroll. The reverse is plain, and is stamped with the name and unit of the recipient. The ribbon is red, white and blue, shaded and watered, worn with the red nearest the centre of the breast. It is atached to the medal through a ring.

It is similar in shape and description to the 1914 Star, to which few, if any, Australians were entitled.

The decoration, sanctioned in 1918, was issued "to all officers, warrant officers, non-commissioned officers and men of the British, Dominion, Colonial and Indian Forces, including civilian medical practitioners, nursing sisters, nurses and others eployed with military hospitals, who actually served on the establishment of a unit in a theatre of war as defined in Appendix 'A'. Individuals in possession of the 1914 Star will not be eligible for the award of this decoration."

Appendix 'A' included the Western, Eastern, Egyptian, African, Asiatic and Australasian Theatres of war, with commencement dates individual to countries and campaigns.


British War Medal 1940-20

[Extract from Ribbons and Medals: Naval, Military, Air Force and Civil, Captain H. Taprell Dorling, DSO RN,
George Philip & Son, 33 Fleet Street, London EC4, 1940]
British War Medal

This medal was approved by King George V in 19 19 to record the bringing of the war to a successful conclusion and the arduous services rendered by His Majesty's Forces.

The medal, which is supended from its ribbon by means of a straight clasp, without swivel, bears on the obverse the effigy of His Majesty - exactly similar to that on a half-crown - with the legend 'Georgivus V : Omn : Rex et Ind : Imp'.

The reverse bears a design which represents St George on horseback, trampling underfoot the eagle shield of the central powers and a skull and crossbones, the emblems of death. Overhead is the risen sun of victory. The male figure, rather than a symbolical female one, was chosen because man had borne the brunt of the fighting. The figure was mounted on horseback as symbolical of man's mind controlling force (represented by the horse) of far greater strength than his own. The design is thus also symbolical of the mechanical and scientific appliances which helped so largely to win the war.

The ribbon has a orange watered centre with stripes of white and black at each side and with borders of royal blue. It is stated that the colours have no particular signification.


Victory Medal

[Extract from Ribbons and Medals: Naval, Military, Air Force and Civil, Captain H. Taprell Dorling, DSO RN,
George Philip & Son, 33 Fleet Street, London EC4, 1940]

This medal, of bronze, bears on the obverse a winged figure of Victory, full length in the middle of the medal and full face; the borders and the backgound plain, without either incription or date. On the reverse is an inscription. "The Great War for Civilization." and either the names of the different Allied and Associated Powers, or their coats of arms.

The rim is plain, and the medal hangs from a ring. The ribbon is red in the centre, with green and violet on either side shaded to form the colours of two rainbows.

It has also been approved that any officer or man who has been "mentioned in despatches" shall wear a small bronze oak leaf on the ribbon of this medal. Only one oak leaf is so worn, no matter how many "mentions" the wearer may have received.

The medal is designed to obviate the exchange of Allied Commemorative war medals, and is issued only to those who actually served on the establishment of a unit or ship in a theatre of war. [This is an important distinction, as those Australians who served only in Australia, or only in Australia and England, were not entitled to the award.]


War Medal 1939-1945

[Extract from Defence Honours and Awards website -Imperial Awards

The medal is cupro-nickel with the crowned effigy of King George VI on the obverse.

The reverse has a lion standing on a double-headed dragon. The top of the reverse shows the dates 1939 and 1945.

The rim is plain, and the medal hangs from a suspender. The ribbon colours of red, white and blue represent the colours of the Union Flag.

The War Medal 1939-45 was awarded for 28 days full-time service in the Armed Forces between 3 September 1939 and 2 September 1945. Operational and non-operational service may be counted, providing that it was of 28 days or more duration.

In the Merchant Navy there is a requirement that the 28 days should have been served at sea.

A member qualifies for the award where service was brought to an end by death, wounds or other disabilities due to service or by cessation of hostilities on 2 September 1945.

The War Medal 1939-45 is awarded to Australian Civilian Personnel who served afloat with the United States Army Small Ships Section between 8 December 1941 and 2 September 1945. Eligibility is the same as that for Merchant Navy personnel.


Australia Service Medal 1939-1945

[Extract from Defence Honours and Awards website -Imperial Awards

The medal is nickel silver with the crowned effigy of King George VI on the obverse.

The reverse has the Australian coat of arms, placed centrally, surrounded by the words ‘THE AUSTRALIA SERVICE MEDAL 1939-1945’.

The rim is plain, and the medal hangs from a suspender.

The ribbon has a wide khaki central stripe, flanked by two narrow red stripes, which are in turn flanked by two outer stripes, one of dark blue and the other of light blue. The khaki represents the Australian Army, and the red, dark blue and light blue represent the Merchant Navy, Royal Australian Navy and the Royal Australian Air Force respectively.

The Australia Service Medal 1939-1945 was instituted in 1949 to recognise the service of members of the Australian Armed Forces and the Australian Mercantile Marine during World War II.

The medal was originally awarded to those who served at home or overseas for at least 18 month full-time service, or three years part-time service, between 3 September 1939 and 2 September 1945. Members of the Australian Mercantile Marine must have served the qualifying time at sea.

In 1996 the qualifying time was reduced to 30 days full-time or 90 days part-time service. To be eligible for the medal a serviceman or woman must have been honourably discharged from the Australian Armed Forces.


The Rising Sun Badge

This version of the Rising Sun Badge was worn by soldiers of the 1st and 2nd Australian Imperial Forces, and the badge has become an integral part of the Digger tradition.

Worn on the the upturned brim of the slouch hat, it is readily identified with thespirit of ANZAC.

There are a number of versions of the genesis of the badge, the most widely acceptedbeing that it derived from a Trophy of Arms - various swords and bayonets mounted ona semi-circular display in Victoria Barracks, Melbourne.

The original version worn in South Africa was modified in 1904 and worn by Australian soldiers through two World Wars.

Later changes were made to the style of the crown and the wording on the scroll. The "King's Crown" is the one shown to the left, while arches of the "Queen's Crown" rise at the same angle as the base of the crown, curve at their highest point to a level mid-way on the orb below the cross and then down to below the orb.

In 1949 the scroll was changed to read "Australian Military Forces".

In 1969 the badge was modified to incorporate the 7-pointed Federation Star with a central Queen's crown over the Torse wreath (a twisted roll of fabric) from the original 1902 version, and the scroll wording changed to "Australia".

In the 75th anniversary year of the the ANZAC landings at Gallipoli, there was a drive to return to traditional accoutrements worn by Australian soldiers during the World Wars, which clearly identify the Australian Army. The Queen's crown returned to its central position and the scroll now reads "The Australian Army'.


The ANZAC 'A'

ANZAC 'A'

The brass letter 'A' to represent service related to Gallipoli (ANZAC) was authorised to be worn 'over unit colour patches on both sleeves of the service dress jacket and greatcoat" by Military Order 354 of 18 Aug 17 and AIF Order 937 of 6 Nov 17, as amended in terms of qualification by Military Order 20 of 19 Jan 18 and by AIF Order 1084 of 25 Jan 18.

The size of the letter 'A', introduced as one inch in height (AIF Order 994 of 30 Nov 17), was reduced to three-quarters of an inch by AIF Order 1012 of 11 Dec 17.

Provision for wearing the brass letter 'A' was also included in General Routine Order 0.815 of 17 Dec 43 and GRO 310 of 7 Dec 45.


Wound Stripe

Army Order No.204 Headquarters, 1st A.N.Z.A.C., 9th August, 1916. (slightly amended for layout)
DISTINCTIONS FOR OFFICERS AND SOLDIERS WHO HAVE BEEN WOUNDED

Wound Stripes

The following distinction in dress will be worn on the service dress jacket by all officers and soldiers who have been wounded in any of the campaigns since 4th August 1914 :

  • Stripes of gold Russia braid No.1, two inches [2.5cm] in length sewn perpendicularly on the left forearm sleeve of the jacket to mark each occasion on which wounded.

  • In the case of officers, the lower end of the first strip of gold braid will be immediately above the upper point of the flap on the cuff.

  • Warrant officers, non-commissioned officers and men will wear the gold braid on the left forearm sleeve, the lower edge of the braid to be three inches from the bottom of the sleeve.

  • Subsequent occasions on which wounded, will be placed on either side of the original one at half inch interval.

  • Gold braid and sews will be obtained free on indent from the Army Ordnance Department; the sewing on will be carried out regimentally without expense to the public.


Long Service Badges

[Image from http://www.diggerhistory.info]
Long Service Badges
A.I.F. ORDER No.470, 24 January 1917 (slightly amended for layout)

The question of the issue of a badge to members of the AIF who have completed a certain period of service has received consideration, and approval has been given for the issue of a badge for long service combined with good conduct, subject to the following conditions.

  • The badge will consist of an inverted single chevron of service braid to be worn on the left forearm - the point of the chevron to be 3 inches [7.6cm] above the edge of the cuff.

  • Warrant and non-commissioned officers and men, will be eligible for the badge, which will not carry an increased pay or allowance.

  • One chevron will be worn for each complete year's service in the Australian Imperial Force from the date of embarkation in Australia.

  • No badge will be issued to any man who, during the 12 months, has incurred a regimental entry (i.e. an entry involving forfeiture of pay) in his sheet.

  • Time absent from the unit in hospital or elsewhere on account of wounds or sickness, not the result of misconduct, will count as service towards earning the badge.

  • A man in possession of a badge will forfeit same on being convicted of any offence involving a forfeiture of pay , but will be eligible to regain the badge after 6 months good conduct, from the date of forfeiture.

  • The illegal wearing of this badge will be a crime under A.A. Section 40.


Overseas Service Chevrons

[http://au.geocities.com/fortysecondbattalion/level2/reference/01nos-standards.htm]
[Image from http://www.diggerhistory.info]

Overseas Service Chevrons

Australian Imperial Force Order No.1053, January 1918 (Slightly amended for layout)

His Majesty the King has been graciously pleased to approve of the award of chevrons to denote service overseas since the 4th August 1914.

  • Chevrons of two colours have been approved.

    • The first chevron if earned on or before 31st December 1914, will be red.

    • If earned on or after 1st January 1915, it will be blue.

    • All additional chevrons after the first will be blue.

  • The chevrons will be worsted embroidery, 1/4 inch [0.63cm] in width, the arms 4 inches [10.2cm] long. They will be worn inverted on the right forearm:

  • In the case of officers, the apex of the lowest chevron will be 1 inch [2.5cm] above the upper point of the flap on the cuff.

  • In the case of warrant-officers, non-commissioned officers and men, the apex of the lowest chevron will be midway between the seams and four inches [10.2cm] above the bottom edge of the sleeve.

  • The red chevron will be worn below the blue one. They will not be worn on greatcoats.

  • In the case of Australians, the first chevron was earned the date the individual left Australia. Additional chevrons were awarded for each successive aggregate period of 12 months service outside Australia.


Some Government Issued Badges

Nearest Female
Relative Badge

War Widows
Guild Brooch

Silver War Badge
 

Discharged Returned
Soldier Badge

Government issued badge in enamel
and sterling silver issued to the wife,
mother or nearest female relative of
a serving soldier. Additional bars
were suspended below for further
individuals.

Membership badge of a Kookaburra
in sterling silver, issued by the
Government to the widows of men
who lost their lives due to their
service. Numbered on the reverse.

Awarded to service personnel who
sustained a wound, or contracted
sickness of disability in the course
of the war as a result of which
they were invalided out, or to
soldiers who had retired during
the course of the war.

First issued in 1916. Slight variations are indicative of a number of makers. 267,300 were issued. Numbered on the reverse but the numbers have no link with length of service or Service Number.

[Badge information collated from Australian War Memorial, "Australians Awarded" by Clive Johnson and en.wikipedia.com]