Photos

Portraits

A_COLLIE_9.jpg
At sea on the Queen Mary en route to Egypt March 1941. Left to right VX19003 Private John Donald, Corporal Harrison. Photo courtesy of A. Collie (daughter of VX19003 DONALD, JOHN). id no. A_COLLIE_9

AWM_021632.jpg
Syria. 1941-11. These three soldiers celebrated their birthdays the day they sailed for abroad with the 2/2nd Australian Pioneer Battalion. They became inseparable mates when the coincidence was discovered. From the left:- Corporal W. B. Sullivan, Private W. T. Mee and Private W. E. Bourne. AWM id no. 021632

AWM_021630.jpg
Syria. 1941-11. Captain Winning, of the 2/2nd Australian Pioneer Battalion, and a former Victorian champion swimmer, is seen sitting on an uncompleted roman bath. AWM id no. 021630

AWM_021631.jpg
Syria. 1941-11. Captain Winning, of the 2/2nd Australian Pioneer Battalion, and a former Victorian champion swimmer, is seen sitting on an uncompleted roman bath. AWM id no. 021631

AWM_021530.jpg
Syria. 1941-11. Major Aitken of the 2/2nd Australian Pioneer Battalion. AWM id no. 021530

AWM_P00192.002.jpg
Portrait of Lieutenant Colonel J. M. Williams, a prisoner of war (POW) of the Japanese while a member of the 2/2nd Pioneer Battalion. (Donor L. Hock). AWM id no. P00192.002

M_YOUNG_1.jpg
Middle East. 14/11/1941. Left to right VX17622 Corporal F. R. Meddings and VX38234 Private E. S. Veal. id no. M_YOUNG_1

M_FISHER_1.jpg
Circa 1941. Syria. VX27810 Leslie (Keith) Fisher. Photo courtesy of M. Fisher (daughter of VX27810 L. K. Fisher) id no. M_FISHER_1

M_FISHER_2.jpg
Circa 1941. Syria. VX27810 Leslie (Keith) Fisher. Photo courtesy of M. Fisher (daughter of VX27810 L. K. Fisher) id no. M_FISHER_2

M_FISHER_4.jpg
Circa 1941. Syria. VX27810 Leslie (Keith) Fisher. Photo courtesy of M. Fisher (daughter of VX27810 L. K. Fisher) id no. M_FISHER_4

J_BAKER_3.jpg
Circa 1941. Studio portrait of VX18278 Private Robert Lennard. id no. J_BAKER_3

E_BARNES_1.jpg
1941. Portrait of VX18254 Private Clint Barnes taken at a photo studio when he had leave in Beirut. Photo courtesy of E. Barnes (daughter of VX18254 BARNES, JOHN CLINTON). id no. E_BARNES_1

E_BARNES_2.jpg
Circa 1940-1941. Portrait of VX18254 Private Clint Barnes. Photo courtesy of E. Barnes (daughter of VX18254 BARNES, JOHN CLINTON). id no. E_BARNES_2

W_HAMMERTON_6.jpg
June 1941. Palestine. Portrait of VX15400 Lieutenant Jack Walters. Photo courtesy of W. Hammerton (daughter of VX15400 WALTERS, JACK HUGHES). id no. W_HAMMERTON_6

W_HAMMERTON_3.jpg
Circa 1941. Middle East? Identified personnel : left to right VX15400 Lieutenant Jack Walters, unidentified, unidentified, unidentified. Photo courtesy of W. Hammerton (daughter of VX15400 WALTERS, JACK HUGHES). id no. W_HAMMERTON_3

W_HAMMERTON_4.jpg
Circa 1941. Middle East? Identified personnel : left to right unidentified, VX15400 Lieutenant Jack Walters, unidentified getting their boots polished by vendors. Photo courtesy of W. Hammerton (daughter of VX15400 WALTERS, JACK HUGHES). id no. W_HAMMERTON_4

N_MACPHERSON_3.jpg
1941. Middle East? Portrait of WX15369 Private Tom Cream. Photo courtesy of N. MacPherson OAM (2/2 Pioneer). id no. N_MACPHERSON_3

D_SHELTON_1.jpg
Circa 1941. Middle East? Portrait of VX18800 George (Ted) Shelton. Photo courtesy of D. Shelton (grandson of VX18800 G. E. H. Shelton) id no. D_SHELTON_1

L_BOROMEO_11.jpg
Circa 1941. Middle East? Identified personnel : left to right VX15713 Reg Goodman, VX22587 Basil Pugh. Photo courtesy of L. Boromeo (daughter of VX22587 H. B. A. Pugh) id no. L_BOROMEO_11

L_ROBINSON_5.jpg
Circa 1940. Middle East. Company photo. Photo courtesy of L. Robinson (relative of VX18278 J. C. Robinson) id no. L_ROBINSON_5

L_ROBINSON_6.jpg
Circa 1940. Middle East. Names on reverse : Cram (NX56276 Private Bruce Cramsie), Mac (VX17580 Corporal Raymond John McKay), Self (VX21460 Private James Claude Robinson), Tony & Clive. Photo courtesy of L. Robinson (relative of VX18278 J. C. Robinson) id no. L_ROBINSON_6

L_ROBINSON_25.jpg
Circa 1940. Middle East? VX21460 Private James Claude Robinson. Photo courtesy of L. Robinson (relative of VX18278 J. C. Robinson) id no. L_ROBINSON_25

L_NANNUP_1.jpg
Circa 1941. Jerusalem, Middle East. WX14716 Private Edward Nannup. Front of photo below. Photo courtesy of L. Nannup. id no. L_NANNUP_1

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Circa 1941. Jerusalem, Middle East. Rear of photo above. Photo courtesy of L. Nannup. id no. L_NANNUP_2


Camps

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Syria, 1941-07. Privates T. O'Neill and R. Girdlestone, 2/2nd Australian Pioneer Battalion carry their company's kitchen gear on a stretcher to reach the camp at Damour. AWM id no. 008605

AWM_021633.jpg
Syria. 1941-11. This former quarry was used as a kitchen by the 2/2nd Australian Pioneer Battalion. The cooks are shown carrying out the evening meal which included custard tart. AWM id no. 021633

AWM_040409.jpg
Palestine. 1942-03-10. Aerial view of another section of Hill 95 Camp in the A.I.F. area of Palestine looking north west. In lower right, a squad can be seen marching along the road. AWM id no. 040409

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Circa 1941. Middle East. Battalion Headquarters. Identified personnel : back row third from left VX22587 Private Basil Pugh. No notation on reverse. Photo courtesy of L. Boromeo (daughter of VX22587 H. B. A. Pugh) id no. L_BOROMEO_7

L_BOROMEO_8.jpg
Circa 1941. Middle East. Identified personnel : left to right VX46611 Stan Carter, VX22587 Basil Pugh, VX17735 Harry Ashford, VX14855 Arthur Connan. Photo courtesy of L. Boromeo (daughter of VX22587 H. B. A. Pugh) id no. L_BOROMEO_8

L_BOROMEO_9.jpg
Circa 1941. Middle East. Reverse of above photo. Photo courtesy of L. Boromeo (daughter of VX22587 H. B. A. Pugh) id no. L_BOROMEO_9


Engineering

AWM_008193.jpg
1941-06-08 Men of the 2/2 Pioneer Battalion ("B" Company) at work near the Jewish village of Dan just across the Palestine- Syrian border. One arm of the Australian forces entered Syria through this village and the Pioneers had the task of making a track across the fields and over numerous small streams in this area. AWM id no. 008193

AWM_008207.jpg
Syria 1941-06-12. Men of the 2/2nd Pioneer Battalion prepare to build a bridge over the Litani River to replace the structure blown up by the Vichy French. The crossing of this river completes the road linking the parallel columns of the British advance into Syria . This position is south of Kleyat and on the road to Nabati. (Photographer Damien Parer). AWM id no. 008207

AWM_021132.jpg
Syria. 1941-10. Australian troops constructed three defence lines extending from Aleppo in the north to Tripoli in the south. Roads were the main items in the construction program. Members of the 2/2nd Pioneer Battalion are seen here working on a metal road about five miles from Bearma. AWM id no. 021132

AWM_021133.jpg
Syria. 1941-10. Australian troops constructed three defence lines extending from Aleppo in the north to Tripoli in the south. Roads were main items in the construction program. Members of the 2/2nd Pioneer Battalion are seen here working on a metal road about five miles from Bearma. AWM id no. 021133

AWM_021352.jpg
Syria. 1941-11. Men of D Company, 2/2nd Pioneer Battalion, who fought as infantrymen in Syria, are seen in this picture working on a defence roadway in their area. AWM id no. 021352

AWM_021353.jpg
Syria. 1941-11. Men of D Company, 2/2nd Pioneer Battalion, who fought as infantrymen in Syria, are seen in this picture working on a defence roadway in their area. AWM id no. 021353

AWM_021354.jpg
Syria. 1941-11. Men of D Company, 2/2nd Pioneer Battalion, who fought as infantrymen in Syria, are seen in this picture working on a defence roadway in their area. AWM id no. 021354


Fort Khiam

AWM_008194.jpg
Fort Khiam, Syria. 1941-06-09. Australian troops of 7th Division 2nd AIF moving across the courtyard of Fort Khiam during its capture from the Vichy French, ready to mop up enemy troops remaining in shelters. The soldiers in the foreground are from the 2/2nd Pioneer Battalion, the soldier with the bren gun is identified as VX21111 Private Donald Herbert Dickson later taken Prisoner of War (POW) and worked on the Burma/Thailand Railway, the soldier in the centre is VX13098 Private Garry Hooper and on the right is Private Whittaker. AWM id no. 008194


Fort Merdjayoun

AWM_128437.jpg
Lebanon. 11 June 1941. Fort Merdjayoun in the town of Merdjayoun, which was occupied by French forces before being captured on 17 June 1941 by elements of the 7th Australian Division AIF. The town was then occupied by 2/33rd Battalion, a cavalry unit and a battery of artillery in a defensive role. AWM id no. 128437

FortMerdjayounAndFlag.jpg
Photo taken of framed Australian flag flying over Fort Merdjayoun after the battle. It was presented to the 2/2nd Pioneer Battalion by the Essendon Council, Melbourne, Victoria before the Battalion left for the Syrian Campaign and remained hidden by the P.O.W.s during their time in captivity. The flag was displayed in ANZAC Day marches until it became too fragile to handle. It is now displayed in the Moonee Valley Council offices (old Essendon Council).

C_SANDELL_135.jpg
Fort Merdjayoun, Lebanon. June 1941. Observation post below Fort Merdjayoun. Personnel unidentified. Inscription on back of photo shown below. Photo courtesy of C. Sandell (grandson of VX73689 C. A. R. Douglas). id no. C_SANDELL_135

C_SANDELL_136.jpg
Fort Merdjayoun, Lebanon. June 1941. Inscription on back of photo (see above) reads : 'Observation Post - 3 nights & two days - O.P. [Observation Post] below Fort Merdjayoun. Thorn bushes for a bed. 2 hours on watch, and four hours off from 5pm Sunday to 11am Wednesday. Under observation and fire from Fort - (mostly mortars) all the time. Went back two miles to our Cpy [Company] lines - and then up to "the Quarry". Led a patrol Wednesday night - stayed out in front of fort all the next day & got back to our lines 1.30am Friday. Led patrol into Fort on Wednesday.' Note the censor mark. Photo courtesy of C. Sandell (grandson of VX73689 C. A. R. Douglas). id no. C_SANDELL_136


Miscellaneous

AWM_006936.jpg
1941-04. A.I.F. in Palestine, Middle East. Route march. AWM id no. 006936

AWM_010552.jpg
Lebanon 1941-09-06. Unidentified men of the 2/2nd Pioneer Battalion sightseeing in a grove of cedars. (Photographer Captain Frank Hurley?). AWM id no. 010552

AWM_010553.jpg
Lebanon 1941-09-06. Unidentified men of the 2/2nd Pioneer Battalion sightseeing in a grove of cedars. (Photographer Captain Frank Hurley). AWM id no. 010553

L_BOROMEO_12.jpg
Circa 1941. Lebanon mountains?. Identified personnel : left to right VX35769 Corporal Garvin, Private Smith (probably VX22823 Patrick Hans Smith), VX22587 Lance Corporal Basil Pugh, unidentified. (Photographer Captain Frank Hurley). Photo courtesy of L. Boromeo (daughter of VX22587 H. B. A. Pugh) id no. L_BOROMEO_12

L_BOROMEO_13.jpg
1941-09. Lebanon mountains. Identified personnel : left to right VX43001 Private Jack Parker, VX22587 Basil Pugh. (Photographer Captain Frank Hurley). Photo courtesy of L. Boromeo (daughter of VX22587 H. B. A. Pugh) id no. L_BOROMEO_13

L_BOROMEO_14.jpg
1941-09. Lebanon mountains. Identified personnel : left to right VX22587 Basil Pugh, VX43001 Private Jack Parker. (Photographer Captain Frank Hurley). Photo courtesy of L. Boromeo (daughter of VX22587 H. B. A. Pugh) id no. L_BOROMEO_14

L_BOROMEO_15.jpg
1941-09. Lebanon mountains. Identified personnel : left to right unidentified, VX22587 Basil Pugh, Captain Frank Hurley. (Photographer Captain Frank Hurley). Photo courtesy of L. Boromeo (daughter of VX22587 H. B. A. Pugh) id no. L_BOROMEO_15

B_CRAVEN_2.jpg
1941 Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year card. Identified personnel : left to right VX56620 Private Jim Rielly, VX56701 Private Daniel Francis Craven. Photo courtesy of B. Craven (son of VX56701 D. F. Craven) id no. B_CRAVEN_2

B_CRAVEN_3.jpg
On leave in Egypt at the Cafe Corso circa 1941. This is on the front of a postcard (rear of postcard with names is shown below). Identified personnel : left to right VX56623 Private Leo Brown, VX56470 Private Dave Taylor, VX56620 Private Jim Rielly, VX56701 Private Daniel Francis Craven, VX56621 Private Bill Rielly, VX56568 Private Harry McIntosh. Photo courtesy of B. Craven (son of VX56701 D. F. Craven) id no. B_CRAVEN_3

B_CRAVEN_4.jpg
On leave in Egypt at the Cafe Corso circa 1941. These are the names written on the rear of the postcard shown above. Identified personnel : VX56623 Private Leo Brown, VX56470 Private Dave Taylor, VX56620 Private Jim Rielly, VX56701 Private Daniel Francis Craven, VX56621 Private Bill Rielly, VX56568 Private Harry McIntosh. Photo courtesy of B. Craven (son of VX56701 D. F. Craven) id no. B_CRAVEN_4

A_COLLIE_46.jpg
On leave in Tel Aviv circa May / June 1941. Identified personnel : back row left to right VX19003 Private John Donald, VX30955 Private Robert Charles Biesse, VX22751 Private Arthur Vernon Gottschutzke. Front row left to right 31081 Corporal Terence Michael Croft, VX20877 Private Nicholas Charles Loftus Tottenham, VX15400 Sergeant Jack Hughes Walters. Photo courtesy of A. Collie (daughter of VX19003 DONALD, JOHN). id no. A_COLLIE_46

V_TUSKIN_1.jpg
On leave in Beirut Christmas December 1941 (outside the Hotel Metropole). Identified personnel : left to right 2/2 Pioneer (name unknown), 2/2 Pioneer (name unknown), VX53075 Vernon Tuskin (2/8 Engineers). Photo courtesy of V. Tuskin. id no. V_TUSKIN_1

W_HAMMERTON_5.jpg
Circa 1941. On leave in Beyrouth (Beirut) with Savoy Hotel in background. Identified personnel : left to right VX15476 Lionel "Digger" Walters (Jack's brother) 2/14 Battalion, VX15400 Lieutenant Jack Walters, VX34456 Lance Corporal Leo Cornelius, VX39152 Sergeant Frank Foster. Photo courtesy of W. Hammerton (daughter of VX15400 WALTERS, JACK HUGHES). id no. W_HAMMERTON_5

L_BOROMEO_10.jpg
Circa 1941. Baalbek, Syria. Identified personnel : left to right VX22587 Basil Pugh, VX15222 Clem White. Photo courtesy of L. Boromeo (daughter of VX22587 H. B. A. Pugh) id no. L_BOROMEO_10

W_TAME_2.jpg
Circa September 1941. On leave? in Baalbek?, Syria. VX19343 Private Aubrey Leonard Waugh. Photo courtesy of W. Tame (great niece of VX19343 A. L. Waugh) id no. W_TAME_2

G_CONNELLY_1.jpg
Beirut 29/11/1941. This is on the front of a postcard (rear of postcard with names is shown below). Identified personnel : third from left Norman Allan Connelly. Photo courtesy of G. Connelly (son of VX56696 N. M. Connelly) id no. G_CONNELLY_1

G_CONNELLY_8.jpg
Beirut 29/11/1941. These are the names written on the rear of the postcard shown above. Text : A group taken whilst on leave in Beirut, Syria 29-11-'41 Squiz, Harry, Norm, Bobby, Ted, Ike. Presumably names are soldiers from left to right. Photo courtesy of G. Connelly (son of VX56696 N. M. Connelly) id no. G_CONNELLY_8

G_CONNELLY_5.jpg
Syria 1941. Norman Allan Connelly. Photo courtesy of G. Connelly (son of VX56696 N. M. Connelly). id no. G_CONNELLY_5

G_CONNELLY_6.jpg
Syria 10/01/1941. This is on the front of a postcard (rear of postcard with names is shown below). Identified personnel : first from left Norman Allan Connelly. Photo courtesy of G. Connelly (son of VX56696 N. M. Connelly). id no. G_CONNELLY_6

G_CONNELLY_9.jpg
Syria 10/01/1941. These are the names written on the rear of the postcard shown above. Text : Taken on 10-1-41 Norm, Mac, Jack, Lofty. Presumably names are soldiers from left to right. Photo courtesy of G. Connelly (son of VX56696 N. M. Connelly) id no. G_CONNELLY_9

G_CONNELLY_13.jpg
Syria 1941. A typical Christmas postcard sent home. Identified soldier : Norman Allan Connelly. Photo courtesy of G. Connelly (son of VX56696 N. M. Connelly). id no. G_CONNELLY_13

J_DAVIDSON_13.jpg
Believed Beirut 1941. Identified personnel : left to right Andy Fitches, Tommy (Tiny) O’Brien, Harry Pugsley, George Jackson, Jack Guy. Photo courtesy of J. Davidson (daughter of Ern Veal). id no. J_DAVIDSON_13

K_ROBINSON_1.jpg
Circa December 1941. Beirut. Identified personnel : left to right VX56329 K. M. Williamson, 2/2 Pioneer? (name unknown), 2/2 Pioneer? (name unknown), VX55746 F. R. Robinson. Photo courtesy of K. Robinson (brother of VX55746 F. R. Robinson). id no. K_ROBINSON_1

A_COLLIE_47.jpg
Syria 1941. VX19003 Private John Donald. Photo courtesy of A. Collie (daughter of VX19003 DONALD, JOHN). id no. A_COLLIE_47

A_COLLIE_48.jpg
Syria 1941. A group of Pioneers. Identified personnel : standing on left VX19003 Private John Donald, crouching in middle 31081 Corporal Terence Michael Croft. Photo courtesy of A. Collie (daughter of VX19003 DONALD, JOHN). id no. A_COLLIE_48

T_GORE_1.jpg
Circa Syria 1941. A group of unidentified Pioneers. Photo courtesy of VX46755 Private T. Gore. id no. T_GORE_1

A_COLLIE_49.jpg
Syria 1941. Hospitalised VX19003 Private John Donald with nurse after P.O.W. release by Vichy French. Photo courtesy of A. Collie (daughter of VX19003 DONALD, JOHN). id no. A_COLLIE_49

L_JUREY_1.jpg
Egyptian hospital circa 1941. Identified personnel : back row middle VX21913 Private Leonard John Boyd. Photo courtesy of L. Jurey (daughter of VX21913 BOYD, LEONARD JOHN). id no. L_JUREY_1

J_BAKER_5.jpg
Circa 1941. VX18278 Private Robert Lennard on leave in Cairo, Egypt. id no. J_BAKER_5

J_BAKER_7.jpg
Circa 1941. VX18278 Private Robert Lennard on leave in Tel Aviv. id no. J_BAKER_7

T_HANSEN_66.jpg
Circa 1941. David's Tower, Middle East. Front of photo below. Photo courtesy of VX58178 E. J. Hansen. id no. T_HANSEN_66

T_HANSEN_75.jpg
Circa 1941. David's Tower, Middle East. Rear of photo above. Photo courtesy of VX58178 E. J. Hansen. id no. T_HANSEN_75

T_HANSEN_67.jpg
Circa 1941. Map photo, Middle East. Front of photo below. Photo courtesy of VX58178 E. J. Hansen. id no. T_HANSEN_67

T_HANSEN_76.jpg
Circa 1941. Map photo, Middle East. Rear of photo above. Photo courtesy of VX58178 E. J. Hansen. id no. T_HANSEN_76

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Circa 1941. Gaza Cemetery, Middle East. Front of photo below. Photo courtesy of VX58178 E. J. Hansen. id no. T_HANSEN_68

T_HANSEN_77.jpg
Circa 1941. Gaza Cemetery, Middle East. Rear of photo above referring to VX22460 Roy Mitchell Tartakover. Photo courtesy of VX58178 E. J. Hansen. id no. T_HANSEN_77

T_HANSEN_69.jpg
Circa 1941. Coffee drinkers in cafe, Middle East. Front of photo below. Photo courtesy of VX58178 E. J. Hansen. id no. T_HANSEN_69

T_HANSEN_72.jpg
Circa 1941. Coffee drinkers in cafe, Middle East. Rear of photo above. Photo courtesy of VX58178 E. J. Hansen. id no. T_HANSEN_72

T_HANSEN_11.jpg
25/07/1941. Beirut, Middle East. This is on the front of a postcard. Order of personnel unknown (rear of postcard text is : Charlie, Percy and Joe Beyrouth 25/7/41). Photo courtesy of VX58178 E. J. Hansen. id no. T_HANSEN_11

T_HANSEN_12.jpg
Circa 1941. On leave? in the Middle East. Personnel unidentified. Photo courtesy of VX58178 E. J. Hansen. id no. T_HANSEN_12

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Circa 1941. On leave? in the Middle East. Personnel unidentified. Photo courtesy of VX58178 E. J. Hansen. id no. T_HANSEN_13

T_HANSEN_73.jpg
08/05/1941. Mosque of Omar, Jerusalem, Middle East. Personnel unidentified. Front of photo below. Photo courtesy of VX58178 E. J. Hansen. id no. T_HANSEN_73

T_HANSEN_74.jpg
08/05/1941. Mosque of Omar, Jerusalem, Middle East. Rear of photo above. Photo courtesy of VX58178 E. J. Hansen. id no. T_HANSEN_74

K_NEWTON_3.jpg
1941-04-06. Men of C? Company outside the Mosque of Omar, Palestine. Identified personnel : 2nd back row, 5th on left VX14981 Warrant Officer II George W. Newton. Photo courtesy of K. Newton (son of VX14981 George W. Newton) id no. K_NEWTON_3

T_GORE_5.jpg
Circa 1941. Middle East. Identified personnel : unidentified, VX46755 Private Tom Gore. Photo courtesy of Mrs T. Gore (wife of VX46755 Private T. Gore) id no. T_GORE_5

D_MILLIKEN_1.jpg
1941 post Syrian Campaign. Damascus, Syria. Identified personnel : left to right VX36188 Private David "Jock" Milliken, VX17485 Private Allan R. Klicke. Photo courtesy of R. Milliken (son of VX36188 Private D. Milliken) id no. D_MILLIKEN_1

L_WUST_1.jpg
Between November 1941 and January 1942. Damascus or Qantana, Middle East. VX56196 Private Vernon Wust. Photo courtesy of L. Wust (relative of VX56196 Private V. Wust) id no. L_WUST_1

L_ROBINSON_31.jpg
Circa 1941. Allenly Road, Tel Aviv. Photo courtesy of L. Robinson (relative of VX18278 J. C. Robinson) id no. L_ROBINSON_31

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Circa 1941. Tel Aviv. Photo courtesy of L. Robinson (relative of VX18278 J. C. Robinson) id no. L_ROBINSON_32

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Circa 1941. Tel Aviv?. Marked 'Municipality' on back of photo. Photo courtesy of L. Robinson (relative of VX18278 J. C. Robinson) id no. L_ROBINSON_33

L_ROBINSON_38.jpg
Circa 1941. Middle East. Marked 'White House' on back of photo. Photo courtesy of L. Robinson (relative of VX18278 J. C. Robinson) id no. L_ROBINSON_38

L_ROBINSON_39.jpg
Circa 1941. Middle East. Marked 'Hegzl Street' on back of photo. Photo courtesy of L. Robinson (relative of VX18278 J. C. Robinson) id no. L_ROBINSON_39

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Circa 1941. Mugrali Theatre, Tel Aviv, Middle East. Photo courtesy of L. Robinson (relative of VX18278 J. C. Robinson) id no. L_ROBINSON_40

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Circa 1941. Colmies Square, Tel Aviv, Middle East. Photo courtesy of L. Robinson (relative of VX18278 J. C. Robinson) id no. L_ROBINSON_41

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Circa 1941. Dizengoff Square, Tel Aviv, Middle East. Photo courtesy of L. Robinson (relative of VX18278 J. C. Robinson) id no. L_ROBINSON_42

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Circa 1941. Tel Aviv, Middle East. VX17580 Corporal Raymond John McKay. Photo courtesy of G. Falconer (daughter of VX17580 R. J. McKay) id no. G_FALCONER_1

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Circa 1941. Middle East. Photo courtesy of L. Robinson (relative of VX18278 J. C. Robinson) id no. L_ROBINSON_43

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Circa 1941. Middle East. Photo courtesy of L. Robinson (relative of VX18278 J. C. Robinson) id no. L_ROBINSON_44

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Circa 1941. Middle East. Photo courtesy of L. Robinson (relative of VX18278 J. C. Robinson) id no. L_ROBINSON_45

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Circa 1941. Middle East. Photo courtesy of L. Robinson (relative of VX18278 J. C. Robinson) id no. L_ROBINSON_46

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Circa 1941. Middle East. Mule driven windlass? (water pump). Photo courtesy of L. Robinson (relative of VX18278 J. C. Robinson) id no. L_ROBINSON_47

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Circa 1941. Middle East. Mule driven windlass? (water pump). Photo courtesy of L. Robinson (relative of VX18278 J. C. Robinson) id no. L_ROBINSON_50

L_ROBINSON_48.jpg
Circa 1941. Middle East. Note the camel. Photo courtesy of L. Robinson (relative of VX18278 J. C. Robinson) id no. L_ROBINSON_48

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Circa 1941. Middle East. Marching troops. Photo courtesy of L. Robinson (relative of VX18278 J. C. Robinson) id no. L_ROBINSON_51

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Circa 1941. Middle East? Personnel unidentified. Photo courtesy of L. Robinson (relative of VX18278 J. C. Robinson) id no. L_ROBINSON_52

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Circa 1941. Middle East. Photo courtesy of L. Robinson (relative of VX18278 J. C. Robinson) id no. L_ROBINSON_53

L_ROBINSON_54.jpg
Circa 1941. Middle East. Photo courtesy of L. Robinson (relative of VX18278 J. C. Robinson) id no. L_ROBINSON_54

AWM_010394.jpg
1941-11-02. Sydney embarkation. The Minister for the Army (Mr. Forde) with 2/2 Pioneer Battalion reinforcements on the wharf. AWM id no. 010394

AWM_030027SLASH02.jpg
Damascus, Syria. 9 November 1941. Members of the 2/2 Australian Pioneer Battalion (on left) and of the 2/25 Australian Infantry Battalion (right) standing to attention during the two minutes' silence at the War Cemetery on Remembrance Sunday 1941. The headstones in the foreground are on the graves of members of the 1st Australian Imperial Force (AIF) who fell in the fighting against the Turks in this area. AWM id no. 030027/02

AWM_030027SLASH03.jpg
Damascus, Syria. 9 November 1941. Members of the 2/2 Australian Pioneer Battalion (on left) and of the 2/25 Australian Infantry Battalion (right) standing to attention during the two minutes' silence at the War Cemetery on Remembrance Sunday 1941. The headstones in the foreground are on the graves of members of the 1st Australian Imperial Force (AIF) who fell in the fighting against the Turks in this area. AWM id no. 030027/03

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Damascus, Syria. 9 November 1941. A member of 2/2 Australian Pioneer Battalion places a wreath on the memorial in the War Cemetery on Remembrance Sunday. AWM id no. 030024/01

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Egyptian Toy Camel : Private G M Wheeler, 2/2 Pioneer Battalion. Maker: Unknown. Object type: Heraldry. Place made: North Africa: Egypt (Country of origin). Date made: c 1940-1941. Physical description: Cotton; Felt; Leatherette; Toy camel made from red/brown leatherette stuffed with black felt. All seams have been hand sewn with buttonhole-stitch. The camel has bridle made from cream leatherette and eyes embroidered in the shape of an arrow. The tail is made from a tube of leatherette enclosing a length of string which has been teased out at the end. A total of eight panels have been used to make this toy. Summary: Sent from Egypt by VX45857 Private Geoffrey Maxwell 'Max' Wheeler, 2/2 Pioneer Battalion to his daughter, Maxine, for her third birthday on 14 May 1941. By the time it reached Australia Wheeler was dead, killed in action at Merdjayoun in Syria, on 17 June 1941, while serving with 2/2 Pioneer Battalion. As a result his daughter was not allowed to play with the toy but it was kept as a 'treasure'. Born 21 May 1912 at Coleraine, Victoria, Wheeler enlisted on 24 July 1940 at Caulfield, VIc. A member of 7 Division, he embarked for overseas service in April 1941and disembarked in the Middle East a month later. He was part of the invasion force which entered Syria from Palestine to fight the Vichy French on 8 June 1941. Since 1940 France had been ruled by a pro-German government based at Vichy, which also controlled the French territories of Syria and Lebanon. The invasion was essentially an attempt to end the rise of German influence in the region. Within four weeks of posting this camel home to his daughter in Ballarat, Max Wheeler's Battalion was crossing the frontier into Syria and fighting their way towards Fort Merdjayoun. Fort Merdjayoun had already been captured by the Australians but was recaptured in a counter attack by the Vichy French. It sat at a highly strategic point commanding local roads and the surrounding landscape and was being reinforced by the French with tanks and protected by artillery. The 2/2 Pioneers were given the job of recapturing the fort. Another member of Max's battalion, Corporal William Spriggs, wrote in his diary for 17 June 'What a day it has been. It will live in my memory for life. We are ordered to take a Fort, Fort Merdjayoun. All we have to fight with is rifles and bayonets against machine guns and trench mortars and tanks. They cut us to pieces. We didn't get a chance. All we can do is keep our heads down and trust to luck. Eight of us get out towards dark and make for the gully. There are only 30 of us left out of 160. There are a lot of prisoners and we don't know how many of our mates have gone.' ('from The Man Who Went to War', 1997, pp12-13). Private Max Wheeler was one of those killed in the assault on the Fort. AWM id no. REL24330

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Pennant : Private J A Robinson, 2/2 Pioneers. Maker: Unknown. Object type: Flag. Place made: Unknown. Date made: c 1940-1942. Physical description: Silk; Triangular silk pennant, representing the colour patch of 2/2 Pioneer Battalion, showing a purple triangle with a smaller white triangle set in the centre. The reverse is backed with white silk which forms the inner white triangle on the front of the pennant. Summary: Associated with the service of VX18316 Private John Allan Robinson. Robinson was born in 1918 in Junee, NSW. He enlisted for service in 2/2 Australian Pioneer Battalion, on 28 May 1940. After training at Puckapunyal military camp, Robinson and his unit embarked for the Middle East in the 'Queen Mary'. The unit was concentrated in Palestine and participated in the Syrian campaign before being recalled to Australia. Most of the unit was diverted to Java where they were captured by the Japanese. The remainder reformed and moved to New Guinea and established headquarters in Port Moresby. In late 1942 Robinson returned to Australia for the second time to await official discharge from the army. In January 1943 he enlisted for service in RAAF with the service number 434705. He completed training at Somers and Benalla in Victoria and graduated as a Leading Aircraftman and was sent to Canada for further training. In November 1943 he was diagnosed with Tuberculosis and spent the next year in hospital in Calgary, Canada. He died from the disease at No 3 RAAF Hospital in Albury, NSW, on 24 June 1945. AWM id no. REL31001