Bortolomeo (Bortolo) Flematti
From Our Contribution
|Date of Birth||10 Nov 1903|
|Place of Birth||Montagne, Italy|
|Death||18 Aug 1994, aged 90|
|Place of Death||41 Sixth road, Armadale, Western Australia|
|Age at Enlistment||38 years, 7 months|
|Description||5'2" (1.58m) tall ; ; dark complexion ; brown eyes ; black hair|
|Address||Sixth road, Armadale, Western Australia|
|Next of Kin||Wife , Mrs. Janet Matilda Flematti|
|Date of Enlistment||8 Jun 1942|
|Unit/Formation||12th Australian Employment Company|
|Post War Details|
|Fate||Remained in Australia|
War Medal 1939-45 |
Australian Service Medal 1939-45
20 years old Bortolomeo migrated to Australia on the SS Orcades from Naples with his 28 year old sister Emilia Flematti, arriving in Fremantle on 28 Jun 1923. On 28 Jul 1927 Bortoloneo had married Janet Matilda McKenna (1904 - 16 Apr 1999) in Perth. The City of Perth Rate Books for 1929 record him as living at 57 Hubert street, Victoria Park.
Bortolomeo took casual work as a fettler with the WA Government Railways in February 1934, and during April to June in 1936. Children were Elsie, Illa, Roma, Violet, Albert, Ronald,Margaret, and John.
Electoral Roll entries: 1936 at Seventh road, Armadale, labourer; 1943 at Fifth road, Armadale, labourer.
Known to the Army as Bert, he was mobilised on 8 Jun 1942 and on 6 Oct 1942 commenced full time. On 10 Oct 1942 Bert was allocated to the 12th Australian Employment Company. From 20 Jan to 1 Jul 1943 Bert was detached to the Marrinup Prisoner of War Camp (Camp No 16). On his return to Perth he was detached to the 8th Australian Supply Depot Company in West Perth, returning to the Employment Company at Davilak (Hamilton Hill) on 9 Nov 1943. While with the supply depot he had received proficiency pay from 1 Jul 1943. Detached again, this time on 17 Nov 1943 to the 12th A.E.C., and on 3 December he was admitted to the 75th Australian Camp Hospital for four days treatment for a boil on his right wrist. Returning to the 12th AEC, he remained with them until he returned to the Employment Company on 24 Feb 1944. They immediately detached him to Karrakatta until 3 Mar 1944 when he entrained for Redbank in Queensland.
From 31 Jan to 23 May 1945 Bert was detached to 2nd Australian RSO in Queensland But on 12 Jun 1945 he was admitted to the 75th Australian Camp Hospital at Claremont for treatment for Otitis Media (middle ear infection). On 23 Jun 1945 he was transferred to 110th Australian Base Hospital before being released on leave on 7 Jul 1945. On 4 Aug 1945 he rejoined his unit before being transferred to Western Command Recruit Reception & General Details Depot on 5 Sep 1945 where he was discharged on 27 Sep 1945.
Electoral Roll entries: 1949 - 1980 at 41 Sixth road Armadale, brick worker.
During the period 1939 - 1945 some unit names changed more than once. In the case of Australian Employment Companies they were also known as Works Companies, Labour Companies, Labour Units, Labour Corps. For sake of consistency I have adopted the term Employment Company. The role they played did not change with title. They were established to ensure that the Australian Defence Force had a large force of soldiers dedicated to essential labouring tasks, providing the physical labour needed to maintain the war effort and support the fighting forces.
Of the total of 39 Companies, 11 were part or fully manned by non British citizens known then as 'aliens'. These alien companies were not issued with arms. The 12th Company was one of them, raised in WA but later moving to Queensland.