2/118th Australian Brigade Workshop

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Brief History

This unit's origin was the 2/1st Australian Amy Field Workshop which arrived in the Middle AEast from the UK and established itself at Helwan in Egypt, setting up the 1st Recovery Section. They moved to Deir Suneid in Palestine in January 1941 and then to Tobruk in Libya where they based themselves while recovering Italian vehicles for use by British forces. Later they were caught up in the seige of Tobruk until they were withdrawn in July, returning to Palestine . In February 1942 the unit was at Tripoli in Syria until the German advance towards Egypt caused them to be thrown back into the Western Desert battles. In December they withdrew to Palestine after the El ALamein break out, and then to Australia in January 1943.

Following leave the unit reassembled at Harristoen in Queensland where they were re-organised into four units, one of which was the 2/118th Australian Brigade Workshop. In July they moved to Kairi to join the 20th Infantry Brigade Group which was leaving for New Guinea. In AUgust 1943 they were at Milne Bay with a detachment at Buna. In September they landed at the beachead near Lae,, before then moving to Finschhaffen in October, and Pino Hill in Januay 1944 when they were relieved and sent back to Australia where they waited with the 20th Brigade at Ravenshoe for their next role.

In early 1945 thsi was revelaed to them, to undertake amphibious landings on the Island of Borneo, with the 20th Brigade Group to land on the mainland at Brunei, and then to move southwards into Sarawak. In July they moved to Kuaka Belait from where they worked until the end of the war.

Unit Personnel


Content has come from The Unit Guide - Volume 5 - The Australian Army 1939-1945, pages 5.569 & 5.570 - Graham R McKenzie-Smith - Big Sky Publishing - 2018

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