Arthur Mitchell

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Arthur Mitchell
Mitchell Arthur 1.jpg
Personal Information
Date of Birth 26 Sep 1906
Place of Birth Birmingham, England
Death 16 Aug 1999
Place of Death Olbury, Western Australia
Age at Enlistment 33 years, 1 month
Description 5'4½" (1.64m) tall ; ; fresh complexion ; blue eyes ; brown hair
Occupation Farm hand
Religion Church of England
Address Byford, Western Australia
Next of Kin Mother , Mrs Rose Allwood
Military Information
Reg Number WX1098
Date of Enlistment 9 Nov 1939
Rank Staff Sergeant
Unit/Formation 2/11th Australian Infantry Battalion
Military Movement
1st Departure from Australia
Journey Dates 20 Apr 1940 ‒ 7 Jun 1940
Transport Details HMT Y3 Nevasa Fremantle to Port Tewfik, Egypt via COlombo
Journey Dates 10 Apr 1941 ‒ 12 Apr 1941
Transport Details SS Pennland Alexandria, Egypt to Pireaus, Greece
Return to Australia
Journey Dates 13 Mar 1942 ‒ 5 Apr 1942
Transport Details SS City of Hankow Middle East to Adelaide
Post War Details
Fate Injured in Greece
Returned to Australia
Monument(s) ANZAC Memorial Park (Byford)
Medals 1939-45 Star
Africa Star
Defence Medal
War Medal 1939-45
Australian Service Medal 1939-45
Greek Commemorative War Medal 1940-41

Pre War

War Service

Arthur entered Claremont camp on 11 Dec 1939 and on 18 Dec 1939 he was taken on strength by the 2/11th Australian Infantry Battalion. On 10 Jan 1940 he moved to the Northam camp where between 13 and 17 Jan 1940 he was treated for trauma to his thigh muscles. On 14 Feb 1940 he entered the Ingleburn camp in NSW having left Northam camp on 10 Feb 1940. The battalion, including Arthur returned to WA prior to their departure for Kantana in Egypt where they disembarked from HMT Y3 Nevasa on 19 May 1940.

After arriving in the Middle East, the 2/11th trained in Palestine and Egypt. A decision to reorganise Australian infantry brigades along British lines, with three battalions instead of four, meant the 2/11th was now part of the 19th Brigade, but it remained part of the 6th Division. The battalion went into action for the first time at Bardia on 5 Jan 1941 and, as part of the Allied advance into Italian-occupied Libya, subsequently fought at Tobruk on 21-22 Jan 1941, and to secure Derna airfield on 25 Jan 1941. It was advancing to the south of Benghazi when the Italians surrendered on 7 Feb 1941.

On 10 Apr 1941 they embarked on SS Pennland in Alexandria harbour for Greece. The Allied forces, however, were unable to hold back the attacking Germans. The 2/11th withdrew from its initial positions at Kalabaka and remained on the move until it occupied rearguard positions at Brallos Pass a week later. It fought and slowed the Germans there on 24 April and then continued its withdrawal to Megara, where it was evacuated by sea aboard SS Thurland Castle on the night of 25 Apr 1941. Arthur missed his battalion's traumas on Crete, after being injured accidentally in Greece, incurring lacerations to his right upper arm on 23 Apr 1941.

Evacuated to Egypt he was admitted to the 63rd British General Hospital. On 10 May 1941 he was transferred to the 2/2nd Australian General Hospital as he was now receiving treatment for a compound fracture to his Humus and Ulva, as well as the lacerations. On 1 Aug 1941 he was released by the 2/2nd Australian General Hospital, and sent to the 19th Australian Infantry Training Battalion. Arthur was involved in the rebuild of the 2/11th Battalion in Palestine during 1941/42 and on 6 Feb 1942 was graded as a Technical Storeman Grade III.

Arthur embarked on the SS City of Hankow on 13 Mar 1942, and with the rest of the newly rebuilt battalion he disembarked in Adelaide on 5 Apr 1942. Now allocated to stores work, on 6 May 1942 he was promoted Acting Corporal, and on 23 Aug 1942 to Acting Staff Sergeant. This rank was confirmed on 12 Nov 1942. On 16 Jul 1943 he entrained for Queensland with his colleagues, six weeks after his marriage on 20 May 1944 to Roberta Frances.

On 19 Jul 1944 Arthur was evacuated to the 104th Australian Casualty Clearing Station with arthritis of the elbow. The next day he was admitted to the 2/2nd Australian General Hospital until 25 Jul 1944 when he rejoined his unit. A Medical Board examined him on 2 Sep 1944 following which he was, on 8 Oct 1944 transferred out to Western Command. Here he faced another Medical Board which recommended discharge as he was 'Not able to carry any weight in the right hand, and movements were generally restricted'.

Service totaled 1820 days with Active Service of 715 days overseas and 971 days in Australia. Arthur was discharged 10 Dec 1944.

Post War

Electoral Roll entries: 1954 - 1972 Oldbury, Mundijong settler; 1980 Lot 246 Gossage road, Mundijong


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