2/1st Australian Casualty Clearing Station
From Our Contribution
This unit was raised in Melbourne in December 1939, and it moved to Puckapunyal in February 1940. As part of the 6th Infantry Division they embarked for the Middle East in April and on arrival moved to Gaza Ridge in Palestine before moving to Qastina in June. In September they moved again, this time to Kilo 89, and then in November to Amiriya as the 6th Division prepared to take over the desert campaign. In December they moved to Mersa Matruh to process casualties from the western desert offensive, and their Light Section advanced to Benghazi while the Heavy Section prepared to travel to Greece. However, German advances in both Greece and Cyrenaica meant that the unit remained at Mersa Matruh.
In May 1941 the Casualty Clearing Station moved to Nazareth in Palestine and then in August to Beirut, but with the withdrawal to Australia of the 1st Australia Corps they sailed for home in February 1942. In March they assembled at Tusmore in Adelaide before moving to Ipswich in Queensland in May. With the advance of Japanese forces down the Kokoda track, many units were rushed to New Guinea, and in September the 2/1st Australian Casualty Clearing Station moved to Milne Bay in Papua, arriving during the Japanese assault, to assist the 10th Australian Casualty Clearing Station with casualties until the attack was beaten off. As Milne Bay declined in importance following the capture of Lae, the unit was withdrawn to Australia in December 1943.
Following leave they assembled at Wongabel before moving to Ravenshoe in May 1944 where they remained for some time treating the large number of Australian troops preparing for a role in the islands north of New Guinea. In May 1945 they absorbed the 22nd Australian Hospital Laundry Unit and moved to the staging point at Morotai in the Netherlands East Indies. The Heavy Section landed at Labuan with the 24th Australian Infantry Brigade Group, and the Light Section at Brunei with the 20th Australian Infantry Brigade Group. Later, the Light Section rejoined the rest of the unit at Labuan where they remained for the remainder of the war.
During the units war service, one man was Killed in Action in Cyrenaica.
- Alfred George Playle 1 Jun - ? 1940
Mersa Matruh, Egypt
- Edward Charles (Ted) Fancote 13 - 19 Dec 1940
- George Charles Owens 15 - 18 Nov 1941
Milne Bay, Papua
- George Charles Owens 20 Nov - 18 Dec 1942
Morotai, Netherlands East Indies
- Ronald Gwynne 4-5 May 1945
Labuan Island, British North Borneo
- Arthur John Saw 13 Dec 1945 - 16 Jan 1946
- 1 x military medal
- 7 x mentioned in Despatches
Content has come from The Unit Guide - Volume 4 - The Australian Army 1939-1945, pages 4.099 and 4.100 - Graham R McKenzie-Smith - Big Sky Publishing - 2018