Geoffrey (The Bull) was an original member of the unit, embarking aboard “S.S. ZEALANDIA” on 8 Dec 1941 for Timor as a Captain, Officer Commanding “B” Platoon.
Geoffrey planed and commanded the Raid on Dili on the night of 15/16 May 1942.
He took over command of the unit on 11 Nov 1942 as a Temporary Major.
Awarded a Distinguished Service Order as a Temporary Major, London Gazette, 25 May 1943 and in the Commonwealth of Australia Gazette, No 119-3 Jun 1943. These are the two Gazettes for the Timor Campaign.
After the campaign on Timor, he embarked with the unit, for Australia aboard the Royal Dutch destroyer “Tjerk Hiddes” on 16 Dec 1942.,
After leave and reorganization, he embarked with the unit for New Guinea aboard S.S. “DUNTROON” on 17 Jun 1943 as a Major, Commanding Officer of the unit and returned to Australia with them aboard “TAROONA” on 3 Sept 1944.
After further leave and reorganization, he embarked for New Britain aboard “TAROONA” on 9 Apr 1945 with the unit as a Major, Commanding Officer of the unit.
Geoffrey was discharged from the A.I.F. on 9 Jan 1946 but also served with Service No 270915 and was discharged on 28 Feb 1950.
He was known to every one as “THE BULL”
Laidlaw, Geoffrey Gosford Captain (Temp Major) NX70537
Distinguish Service Order
“Major Laidlaw, recently promoted Major and Commanding Officer of Number 2 Australian Independent Company, led a raiding party of 30 men on the night of 15/16 May 1942 into “DILI”, a strongly held Japanese base in Portuguese Timor. This raid resulted in heavy casualties being inflicted on the Japanese base. His raid created consternation within the Japanese lines and was largely responsible for forcing the enemy to exist for some time behind fixed defences, manned day and night. He commanded his platoon in a series of successful actions in the hills surrounding “REMEKID” and “LILETEI”, during the Japanese drives of 10-18 August 1942, he was opposed to a much superior force of approximately 500 Japanese. In the battle of “LILETEI” on the 14th August 1942, “B” platoon under his capable leadership held up this drive from 0001 hrs to 0900 hrs, this action was responsible for halting and breaking up one of the four Japanese drives against “SPARROW FORCE” in the interior of Portuguese Timor, between the 10 and 18 Aug 1942, drives which threatened to disorganise and disband “SPARROW FORCE” as a complete fighting force. In action against superior Japanese forces at “BAZAR TETE” on 3rd March 1942, Major Laidlaw’s platoon inflicted heavy casualties, he successfully led his platoon to safety with sick and wounded in his charge through Japanese lines” .
He was entitled to the 1939-45 Star, Pacific Star, War Medal and Australian Service Medal 1939-45, pictured below. He is now also entitled to the Australian Service Medal 1945-75 with a clasp "S.W.Pacific".
Edited by Peter Epps
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