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  • Arnold Lisle Francis


    Rob Crossing
    • Regimental Number: QX9690

    Arnold enlisted on 21 Jun 1940 and was posted to 2/11th Field Company, Royal Australian Engineers (RAE) on 19 Aug 1940. He was ill and did not embark with his unit but embarked aboard "KOOLAMA" with the First Reinforcements for the 2/2nd Independent Company on 17 Jan 1941. He joined the unit on Timor as a Sapper from the 2/11 Field Company, RAE, after the fall of Koepang, in about March 1942. After the campaign on Timor, he embarked with the unit for Australia aboard the Royal Dutch destroyer “Tjerk Hiddes” on 11 Dec 1942. 

    He returned to 2/11th Field Company on 13 Aug 1943 and was appointed Lance Corporal on 15 Sept 1943. He embarked for New Guinea with them aboard "DUNTROON" on 17 Oct 1943 and was promoted to Acting Corporal on 1 Nov  1943, he was confirmed as Corporal on 21 Dec 1943. He returned to Australia aboard "KATOOMBA" on 19 Feb 1944 and embarked with his unit for MOROTAI aboard "SEA BARB" on 16 Mar 1945. He embarked for TARAKAN on 22 Apr 1945, then embarked for MOROTAI on 12 May 1945 and then embarked for BALIKPAPAN on 21 Jun 1945.

    He returned to Australia aboard "KINGS POINT VICTORY" on 31 Dec 1945 and was discharged on 18 Jan 1946.

    He was entitled to the 1939-45 Star, Pacific Star, Defence Medal, 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".

     

    Def Medal.JPG

    ASM 45-75.JPG

    Edited by Peter Epps



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    Thank you for the creation of this database and the addition of my uncle Arn's record to it. Just 5 days ago I was visiting Wilson's Promontory and discovered the Commando Memorial at Tidal River so to find this record is timely and something of a coincidence.

    I recently applied to NAA to have his service record digitised and that file is now publicly available.

    Arn wrote a short account of his Timor experience which he called Sparrows in Timor which we have been able to cross reference to other books to flesh out his story a little more. He was WIA (about August I think) when he encountered a Jap officer. Most poignantly he records the death of "my best mate" Les Moule just before they were due to be evacuated.

    After the war he worked on the hydro project in Tasmania, the Snowy River scheme tunnels and with Mt Isa Mines putting his explosives knowledge to good use. A sporting facility in Mt Isa has been named in his honour - would be lawn bowls or cricket I think.

    He had engaging personality and was a favourite uncle to many of my cousins.

     

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