2/11th Australian Field Ambulance

From Our Contribution

2-11 AFA.jpg
22 Jul 1942 Egypt Tented wards - AWM photo 024662
2-11th AFA 2.jpg
11 May 1945 Tarakan Is. Main Dressing Station - AWM photo 089599

Brief History

Formed at Lopcombe Corner, Wiltshire in England in June 1940 from the split up of 2/3rd Australian Field Ambulance. They moved to Tidworth Park, and then in October 1940 to Colchester in Essex in October. With the formation of the 9th Division, 2/11th Australian Field Ambulance sailed for the Middle East in support of the 25th Australian Infantry Brigade, arriving at Hill 69 Camp in Palestine where they were brought up to full strength. Rather than follow their Brigade to the 7th Division, 2-11th Australian Field Ambulance remained with the 9th Division and moved to Tobruk where they were a part of the besieged force that held the Germans at bay from April until October 1941.

When relieved they returned to Palestine and set up at Julis in October 1941. The return of most of the Australian troops home to face the Japanese meant that the unit moved in January 1942 with the 9th Division to Syria. However, in July they were rushed back to Egypt to participate in the battles that stopped the German forces under Rommel, and then defeated them at El Alamein. Returned to Beit Jirja in Palestine in December 1942, they left for Australia in January 1943.

Reassembling at Kairi in North Queensland during April 1943, they then moved to Milne Bay during August to prepare for the landings at Lae. Advanced sub units participated in the battle for Lae, while HQ remained at Milne Bay. When the Brigade moved to Finschhafen in October, Advanced Dressing Stations supported troops moving to Kumawa and Zab, while the Mobile Dressing Station was established at Heldsbach Plantation. In March 1944 the 2-11th Australian Field Ambulance was withdrawn to Ravenshoe in Queensland. In early 1945 they were part of 1st Australian Corps that was given the task of liberating Borneo. In March 1945 they moved to Morotai which was acting as the staging point and landed on Tarakan Island in May where they remained until the war concluded.

Eight men posted to this unit died while serving in it, two in New Guinea, one in Australia, and five in North Africa.


North Africa

New Guinea

Tarakan Island, North Borneo

Individual Honours

  • 1 x Distinguished Service order
  • 4 x Military Medal
  • 12 x Mentioned in Despatches


Content has come from The Unit Guide - Volume 4 - The Australian Army 1939-1945 - page 4.088 Graham R McKenzie-Smith - Big Sky Publishing - 2018

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