Tag Archives: Tobruk

Eltham Roll of Honour: Sgt. Cuthbert Douglas Dunlop, 22 Nov 1942, Gona, New Guinea

DUNLOP, Cuthbert Douglas, Sgt., VX15252
(KIA 22 Nov 1942, Gona, New Guinea)
Vic. Paybook photograph, taken on enlistment, of VX15252 Sergeant Cuthbert Douglas Dunlop (NAA)

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
1914-1918
  • Sgt. George Williams
  • Sgt. Reginald E. Sims
  • L/Cpl. George Moore
  • L/Cpl. Henry G. Philips
  • L/Cpl. John C. Bell
  • Pte. Geoffrey Grant
  • Pte. George Sommerville
  • Pte. George Brown
  • Pte. John Brown
  • Pte. William Bond
  • Pte. Thomas Cameron
  • Pte. Alfred Cassells
  • Pte. Robert Meadows
  • Pte. Walter Mosley
  • Pte. James Pryor
  • Pte. William Prior
  • Pte. Edward Barrett
  • Pte. William Crellin
  • Pte. Henry Norman
  • Pte. Edward Bird
  • Pte. Arthur Brown
  • Pte. Roslyn Stevens
  • Pte. Herbert Creed
  • Pte. Charles Bromfield
  • Pte. Kenneth Sharp
  • Pte. Henry McAlary
1939-1945
  • Capt. S.M. Gahan
  • Plt. Off. D. Rutter
  • Flt. Off. D.H. Rutter
  • Flt. Sgt. S.M. Mclean
  • Flt. Sgt. L. Ingram
  • Sgt. C.D. Dunlop
  • Cpl. T. Feldbauer
  • Cpl. A.C. Clerke
  • Spr. G.E. Castledine
  • Pte. J. Butherway
  • Pte. K.F. Field

Soldiers of the Shire of Eltham remembered on the Eltham Roll of Honour for their supreme sacrifice; located in the Eltham War Memorial Hall

References
#VictoriaRemembers   #VPDay75
The Eltham Roll of Honour: Second World War

Read the stories of all the men from the Shire of Eltham who sacrificed their lives in the Second World War and to whom the Eltham War Memorial is dedicated.

Eltham Roll of Honour: Capt. Studley Manston Gahan, 17 May 1941, Tobruk, Libya

GAHAN, Studley Manston, Capt., VX48379
(KIA 17 May 1941, Tobruk, Libya)
Vic. Paybook photograph, taken on enlistment, of VX48379 Captain Studley Manston Gahan (NAA)

Studley Manston Gahan was born in Ivanhoe, 8 December 1913, the son of Walter Ernest and Alice Miriam Gahan. By 1924, the family had moved to “Derril,” Eltham, on the western side of Main Road near the present-day site of Shillinglaw Cottage where they remained till about 1960 when Walter died. The house was demolished in 1968 during the widening of Main Road.

Gahan home, ‘Derril,’ (left) c. 1905 and (right) March 1968 immediately prior to demolition

Educated at Eltham High School and Melbourne Grammar, in April 1937 Studley was engaged to Kathleen Elsie (Kitty), daughter of Lieut. Colonel and Mrs C.A. Mitchell of Cowra Avenue, Mildura. Studley was employed by the Bank of New South Wales, stationed previously at Preston, Mildura and Melbourne offices. He was living at Caulfield when he enlisted 16 December 1936 and allocated to the 57/60 Battalion. He received a commission as Lieutenant on 15 September 1937. On 21 April 1938 he and Kitty married at Melbourne Grammar School Chapel. He was promoted to Captain, 28 March 1940.

On 1 August 1940 Studley was posted to the 2/23 Battalion, A.I.F., embarking 16 November 1940 per Strathmore for the Middle East. The Battalion arrived in Egypt mid-December where it was reassigned from the 7th Division to the 9th Division in early 1941. Shortly after they were sent to Cyrenaica in Libya. A German-Italian offensive led by the ‘Desert Fox’, Field Marshall Erwin Rommel of the German Wehrmacht drove the forces to the port of Tobruk where the 2/23 formed part of the garrison during the Siege of Tobruk, which lasted 241 days from April 10. These men were nicknamed by Rommel as the ‘Desert Rats of Tobruk’, something that was to become a source of pride amongst the Australians in their defiance of the German military might. A policy of ‘making the besiegers the besieged’ involved undertaking numerous and aggressive raids into German lines by small groups of men. On May 17, Studley led 12 men on such a raid on a German defensive outpost (Scates 2013). War Diary records note Gahan was last seen at 07.30 hours. Six of his men were wounded but he continued to push on to the next position. He was never seen again. On May 28, 1941, Studley was reported ‘Missing’ as of May 17th. On 9 June, his status was revised to ‘Missing Believed Prisoner’ and on May 3rd, to ‘Killed in Action’. His body was never recovered.

Studley’s younger brother Neil followed him into banking and the Army. Lt. Gahan departed Australia with 2/29 Australian Infantry Battalion for the Malayan campaign. Having initially been reported missing, he rejoined his unit just two days before Singapore fell.  He became a prisoner of war of the Japanese, alongside many other members of the 2/29 and was interned at Changi and sent to work on the Burma-Thai Railway as part of “F Force”. Neil survived the war and retuned to Australia, his final rank, Captain, like brother Studley.

Scates (2013) writes of Kitty Gahan’s efforts to be heard as a war widow. She was one of a select few to be invited to travel after persistent requests on behalf of the War Widows Guild to be part of the official Australian party to attend the dedication of the War Graves Commission cemetery at El Alamein, Egypt, in 1954. He also observes that while standing beside a grave to secure that finality of loss had no equal, from the 1940s, memorial funds were generally put towards useful and enduring purposes and less towards sponsoring pilgrimages, a more common demand after the Great War.

The State Library of Victoria holds the Papers of Kathleen Gahan, 1929-1982, which includes a scrapbook of correspondence, photographs, postcards, press cuttings and other ephemera relating to Kitty Gahan’s visit. Scates describes Kitty’s pilgrimage and this scrapbook of poignant material, not just as a souvenir, but as Kitty’s own personal memorial to her husband. The final image in the scrapbook being Studley’s name, etched in cool white stone in the desert, on a panel to the missing.

The following notices were published in The Age newspaper in memory of Studley: –

The Age, Saturday, 9 May 1942, p2

  • GAHAN. – Captain Studley Manston Gahan, killed in action May 17, 1941, dearly loved husband of Kitty.
  • GAHAN. – Captain Studley Manston Gahan, VX48379, killed in action May 17, 1941, beloved eldest son of Mr. and Mrs. Walter Gahan, of Derril, Eltham, and brother of Neil (2nd A.I.F.), Lorrainer, Peter, and Kevin, aged 27 years.

The Argus, Wednesday, 17 May 1944, p2

  • GAHAN. – In proud and loving remembrance of Captain Studley Manston Gahan, 2/23rd Batt., who made the supreme sacrifice at Tobruk on May 17, 1941.

The Argus, Wednesday, 17 May 1946, p2

  • GAHAN. – In fond and loving memory of Captain Studley Manston Gahan, 2/23rd Batt., who gave his life at Tobruk on May 17, 1941. – At the going down of the sun and in the morning we will remember.

The Argus, Wednesday, 17 May 1950, p11

  • GAHAN. – In loving memory of Captain Studley Manston Gahan, and comrades of B Coy., 2/23rd Battalion., who made the supreme sacrifice, May 17, 1941, Tobruk.

Studley is commemorated on Column 91, Alamein Memorial, Egypt.

GAHAN, Capt. STUDLEY MANSTON, VX.48379. A.I.F.
2/23 Bn, Australian Infantry.
17th May 1941. Age 27.
Son of Walter Ernest and Alice Miriam Gahan; husband of Kathleen Elsie Gahan, of St. Kilda, Victoria, Australia.

◊         ◊        ◊

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
1914-1918
  • Sgt. George Williams
  • Sgt. Reginald E. Sims
  • L/Cpl. George Moore
  • L/Cpl. Henry G. Philips
  • L/Cpl. John C. Bell
  • Pte. Geoffrey Grant
  • Pte. George Sommerville
  • Pte. George Brown
  • Pte. John Brown
  • Pte. William Bond
  • Pte. Thomas Cameron
  • Pte. Alfred Cassells
  • Pte. Robert Meadows
  • Pte. Walter Mosley
  • Pte. James Pryor
  • Pte. William Prior
  • Pte. Edward Barrett
  • Pte. William Crellin
  • Pte. Henry Norman
  • Pte. Edward Bird
  • Pte. Arthur Brown
  • Pte. Roslyn Stevens
  • Pte. Herbert Creed
  • Pte. Charles Bromfield
  • Pte. Kenneth Sharp
  • Pte. Henry McAlary
1939-1945
  • Capt. S.M. Gahan
  • Plt. Off. D. Rutter
  • Flt. Off. D.H. Rutter
  • Flt. Sgt. S.M. Mclean
  • Flt. Sgt. L. Ingram
  • Sgt. C.D. Dunlop
  • Cpl. T. Feldbauer
  • Cpl. A.C. Clerke
  • Spr. G.E. Castledine
  • Pte. J. Butherway
  • Pte. K.F. Field

Soldiers of the Shire of Eltham remembered on the Eltham Roll of Honour for their supreme sacrifice; located in the Eltham War Memorial Hall

References
#VictoriaRemembers   #VPDay75
The Eltham Roll of Honour: Second World War

Read the stories of all the men from the Shire of Eltham who sacrificed their lives in the Second World War and to whom the Eltham War Memorial is dedicated.