12th (Jarrah) VDC Battalion

From Our Contribution

VDC patch.jpg
Shoulder patch

Brief History

Volunteer Defence Corps (VDC) Battalions were initially raised outside the military framework by the RSL who were keen to be involved in any defence of Australia. Formed in July 1940 they had no formal role, until they were taken over by the Army and incorporated in the CMF on 15 May 1941. Other civilian units included the Vulnerable Points Guard and the Post Office Volunteer Corps. Once taken over they were tasked with being prepared to strengthen/reinforce Garrison Battalions who were formed to contribute to the defence of Australia; provide staff for internment camps; and guard vulnerable points. Original recruitment was men with previous Imperial Military Service, those under 60 being available for full time duties. In February 1940 4,464 men were enlisted in Western Australian VDC units. Australia wide there were 110 VDC Battalions in October 1942. Australia wide there were 49 fatalities amongst VDC personnel, with one in Western Australia.

The 12th (Jarrah) VDC Battalion was formed from the over strength 4th (Bunbury) VDC Battalion, taking in forestry and sawmill towns in the Jarrah forest belt from Karragullen to Collie and agricultural areas around Boddington and Darkan. 'A' Company was formed around Jarrahdale, Carinyah (Smailes MIll) and Bedfordale; 'B' Company around Dwellingup, Whittakers Mill, Banksiadale, Holyoake, Chadoora, Hakea, Tullis and Wuraming; 'C' Company around Mornington Mill, Hoffman Mill, Harvey, and Boddington; and 'D' Coy around Colie, Darkan, Lyalls mill, Worsley Mill, Wellington Mill, Buckingham Mill, Duranillin, Wandering and Banksiadale. On July 1942 unit strength was 690. Battalion HQ was at Harvey, but moved to Pinjarra in February 1943. With the reduction in concern about a Japanese invasion, and the presence of full time military units north of Perth, 12th (Jarrah) VDC Battalion was placed in reserve in July 1944. Some members continued to parade, although no longer a part of the Army, and VDC battalions were not formally disbanded until mid-1946.

Members of the VDC were awarded the Australian Service Medal 1939-45 for three years part time service. Some who served full time qualified for the War Medal 1939-45.

Battalion Personnel


Content has come from The Unit Guide - Volume 6 - The Australian Army 1939-1945 - pages 6.084 & 6.085 - Graham R McKenzie-Smith - Big Sky Publishing - 2018

External Links