DUNLOP, Cuthbert Douglas, Sgt., VX15252
(KIA 22 Nov 1942, Gona, New Guinea)
Cuthbert Douglas Dunlop was born 14 September 1920 at Heatherton, the son of Reuben Cuthbert and Janet Dunlop. A farmer by occupation, he initially enlisted in the Militia Forces on 23 February 1939 and assigned Army No. 323730 with 46 Battalion. On 16 May 1940 he was discharged to the AIF and re-enlisted at Seymour. He declared his occupation as a labourer, his year of birth as 1918 and his father, Mr R.C. Dunlop of Yuilles Road, Mornington as next of kin. Cuth’s service file was updated on 6 January 1942, his father advising his address to Henry Street, Eltham.
Cuth was posted to the 2/14 Battalion at Puckapunyal, 21st Brigade, 7th Division. On 19 October 1940, the battalion embarked per Aquilania from Sydney, disembarking 25 November in Egypt where they were then transported to Palestine for further training, whereupon they located at Dimra, near Gaza, in January 1941. On 19 January 1941 Cuth was evacuated to No. 1 Australian General Hospital with an incised wound to his right hand, returning to his unit ten days later. In April, the battalion was sent to Mersa Matruh in Egypt to defend against a possible German attack during the Siege of Tobruk. At the end of May, the 21st Brigade was sent back to Palestine to prepare for operations in Syria and Lebanon against the Vichy French, commencing the night of 7 June. The fighting was ongoing for the rest of the month and Cuth was ultimately evacuated to 7 Australian General Hospital suffering from malaise from whence he was evacuated July 8, to 1 Australian Convalescent Depot. On 11 August he was discharged to 21 Infantry Training Battalion and then returned to the 2/14 four days later at Beirut, where the battalion was being used as garrison troops overseeing the repatriation of captured Vichy French to France. In early January, the 7th Division returned to Palestine, the 2/14 situated at a camp near Jerusalem.
On 29 January, the 2/14 embarked from Egypt to return to Australia, arriving Adelaide on 24 March 1942. Following a period of leave the battalion was sent to Yandina, Queensland for defensive duties and training. On 6 July 1942 Cuth was promoted to Lance Corporal.
A month later the 2/14 embarked from Brisbane bound for Port Moresby, arriving August 12, and soon found themselves fighting the Japanese on the Kokoda Track. Cuth was promoted to Acting Corporal on August 30, at which time they were fighting a rear-guard action with a series of delaying actions and fighting withdrawals. By the time they reached Imita Ridge their casualties were so great, the 2/14 and 2/16 were amalgamated to form a composite battalion of approximately 300 men. As the 21st Brigade readied to make a final stand, battalions from the 25th Brigade arrived to relieve them, and the composite battalion was withdrawn September 16th for Uberi. The 2/14 started the Kokoda campaign with 546 men. By the time they were placed in reserve, only 88 men remained, of which only three were officers.
By November, the 2/14 had been reformed at Koitaki near Port Moresby with 341 men. The 21st Brigade was sent in to help capture the Japanese beachhead around Gona on the northeast coast of New Guinea. Cuth was promoted again, to Acting Sergeant, 13 November 1942 but was killed in action just nine days later.
Gona was eventually captured December 9, and the battalion remained there until early January at which time only 21 fit men remained before being sent back to Australia. Cuth’s service file notes he was buried in the Gona area, Grave A13. On August 23, 1943 he was reburied in the temporary Gona War Cemetery, Plot D, Row A, Grave 9.
The following notices were published in the newspaper in memory of Cuth.
The Age, Monday, 22 November 1943, p5
- DUNLOP. Sgt., VX15252 – In loving memory of our dear son and brother, Cuth, 2/14 Batt., K.I.A. New Guinea, November 22, 1942. Loved in life, treasured in death, a beautiful memory is all we have left. – Inserted by his mother, father, and brother, Harry and Mat.
- DUNLOP. VX15252 – In loving memory of our dear brother, Sgt. Cuth, 2/14 Batt., K.I.A. New Guinea, November 22, 1942. Too dearly love to forget. – Inserted by his loving brothers, Jack and Len (5th Batt., V.S.R.).
- DUNLOP. VX15252 – In loving memory of our beloved brother, Sgt. Cuth, 2/14 Batt., K.I.A. New Guinea, November 22, 1942. Sunshine passes, shadows fall, but loving memories outlast all. – Inserted by his loving sister and brother, Jean and Sid.
- DUNLOP. – In loving memory of our dear brother, Sgt. Cuth, VX15252, 2/14 Batt., killed in action, New Guinea, November 22, 1942. To have you here in the same old way is our dearest wish to-day. – Jim and Con, and nephews Ron and Douglas.
- DUNLOP. – In fond remembrance of VX15252, Sgt. Cuth Dunlop (A.I.F. returned), killed in action, New Guinea, on November 22, 1942. Remembered always. – Inserted by Ruby and Clarrie Smith (A.I.F. New Guinea).
The Age, Monday, 22 November 1943, p4
- DUNLOP. – In loving memory of Sgt. C. D. Dunlop, VX15252, 2/14 Btn., killed in action in New Guinea, Nov. 22nd, 1942. Sadly missed by Maureen Massoud, Tewantin.
- DUNLOP. – In proud & loving memory of our dear Friend, Sgt. Cuth Dunlop, VX15252, 2/14th Btn., who proudly gave his life for his country in New Guinea, Nov. 22, 1942. Always remembered by Pearl & George Massoud, Tewantin.
The Argus, Tuesday, 23 November 1943, p2
- DUNLOP. – In loving memory of Sgt. C. D. Dunlop, VX15252, 2/14 Btn., killed in action in New Guinea, November 22, 1942. – I have a beautiful memory to treasure my whole life through. (Sadly missed by Maureen Massoud, Tewantin, Qld.)
- DUNLOP. – In proud & loving memory of our dear friend, Sgt. Cuth Dunlop, VX15252, 2/14 Btn., who proudly gave his life in New Guinea, November 22, 1942. (Always remembered by Pearl & George Massoud, Tewantin, Queensland.)
Cuth was further remembered on the anniversary of his death with eight notices published in The Age, Wednesday, 22 November 1944, p6 by: –
- “Gone is the lace we loved so dear.” – Mother, father, sister and brother
- “In loving memory of Cuth, who lives forever in our thoughts.” – Bess and Len
- “Memories of happier days.” – Jim (A.I.F.), Con and nephews
- “To have you here in the same old way would be our dearest wish to-day.” – Loving brother and sister, Jack and Norma
- “Sunshine passes, shadows fall, but loving memories outlast all.” – Jean and Sid Robertson, brother and brother-in-law
- “To-day I am thinking of someone; darling Cuth., that someone is you.” – Sadly missed by Maureen Massoud, Tewantin, Qld. (Also, in the Courier Mail, p8)
- “To know him was to love him.” – Always remembered by Pearl and George Massoud, Tewantin
- “Loved pal of Clarrie and George, 2/14th Batt. Life moves on, but memories stay.” Ruby Smith, Panton Hill
Nine notices were placed in The Age, Thursday, 22 November 1945, p8; six notices in The Age, Friday, 22 November 1946, p8; five in 1947; three in 1948; four in 1949; three in 1950; two in 1951; his parents and brothers in 1953 and two in 1954 at which year, digital records are no longer accessible publicly through the National Library of Australia Trove website. Clearly Cuth was well loved and remembered by his family and friends.
Cuth is now buried in the Port Moresby (Bomana) War cemetery, Papua New Guinea, Grave C6. B. 23.
DUNLOP, Sgt. CUTHBERT DOUGLAS, VX.15252. A.I.F.
2/14 Bn. Australian Infantry
22nd November 1942. Age 22.
Son of Reuben Cuthbert and Janet Dunlop of Regent, Victoria, Australia.
Hearts That Loved You “Cuth” Will Never Forget
◊ ◊ ◊
LEST WE FORGET
“They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old;
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.”
ROLL OF HONOUR
Soldiers of the Shire of Eltham remembered on the Eltham Roll of Honour for their supreme sacrifice; located in the Eltham War Memorial Hall
- Australian War Memorial https://www.awm.gov.au/
- Commonwealth War Graves Commission https://www.cwgc.org/
- Electoral Roll Records via Ancestry.com
- Family history search , Births Deaths Marriages Victoria https://my.rio.bdm.vic.gov.au/efamily-history/-
- Service Records, National Archives of Australia https://www.naa.gov.au/
- World War Two Nominal Roll, Department of Veteran Affairs, Australian Government https://nominal-rolls.dva.gov.au/ww2
- Wikipedia contributors. (2020, May 12). 2/14th Battalion (Australia). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 00:30, August 7, 2020, from https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=2/14th_Battalion_(Australia)&oldid=956341440
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