Edward Charles (Ted) Fancote

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Edward Charles (Ted) Fancote
Fancote Edward Charles 1.jpg
Fancote Edward Charles.jpg
Personal Information
Date of Birth 1 December 1908
Place of Birth Kelmscott, Western Australia
Death 3 June 1987, aged 78
Place of Death Kelmscott, Western Australia
Age at Enlistment 31 years
Description 5'10" (1.78m) tall ; ; fair complexion ; grey eyes ; fair hair ; scar on left cheek
Occupation Labourer
Religion Church of England
Address Byford, Western Australia
Next of Kin Mother , Mrs. Ursulla Fancote
Military Information
Reg Number WX1140
Date of Enlistment 4 December 1939
Rank Signaller
Unit/Formation 2/11th Australian Infantry Battalion
Military Movement
1st Departure from Australia
Journey Dates 20 Apr 1940 ‒ 19 May 1940
Transport Details HMT Y3 Nevasa Fremantle to El Kantana, Egypt
Journey Dates 10 Apr 1941 ‒ 12 Apr 1941
Transport Details SS Pennland Gaza, Palestine to Piraeus, Greece
Journey Dates 25 Apr 1941 ‒ 26 Apr 1941
Transport Details SS Thurland Castle Greece to Suda Bay, Crete
Return to Australia
Journey Dates 19 Jun 1945 ‒ 17 Jul 1945
Transport Details J12 UK to Fremantle
Post War Details
Fate Prisoner of War (Crete)
Returned to Australia
External Monument(s) The Australian Ex-Prisoners of War Memorial Ballaratt, Victoria
Medals 1939-45 Star
Africa Star
Defence Medal
War Medal 1939-45
Australian Service Medal 1939-45
Greek Commemorative War Medal 1940-41

FANCOTE Edward Charles Lila Jean.JPG
Headstone Information
Date of Birth 01 December 1908
Age at Death 78 years
Additional Names Charles Fancote (St Mary-in-the-Valley)
Caroline Fancote
Sarah Alice Fancote
Thomas Fancote
Lila Jean Fancote
Transcription Edward Charles Fancote. Grandson of Charles and Caroline. Loved husband of Jean and father of Leslie, Rodney, and Beverley. Died 3rd June 1987. Aged 78 years. "Our Loved one at rest". Also Lila Jean Fancote (Sproston). Loved wife of Ted. Died 10th February 1999 aged 81 years. "Together in Gods garden."
Grave Details
Burial Date 03 June 1987
Row C
Grave 5
Location North

Pre War

Prior to WWII assisted in the family orchard in Kelmscott in addition to delivering bread in Kelmscott and Roleystone.

War Service

Enlisted 4 Dec 1939 and was sent to the Northam camp as part of the 2/11th Battalion reinforcements. Following some basic training they were shipped to Ingleburn in New South Wales where they joined the rest of the 6th Division for more intensive training. They returned to WA for pre-embarkation leave, and on 20 Apr 1940 boarded the HMT Y3 Nevasa in Fremantle, disembarking at Kantara on the Suez Canal in Egypt on 19 May 1940.

After arriving in the Middle East, the 2/11th trained in Palestine and Egypt. The Australian infantry Brigades were re-organised along British lines, with three battalions instead of four, and this meant the 2/11th was now part of the 19th Brigade. However, it remained a part of the 6th Division. Ted spent from 13 - 19 Dec 1940 in the 2/1st Australian Casualty Clearing Station being treated for Coryza with hiccups The battalion saw action for the first time at Bardia on 5 Jan 1941 and, as part of the Allied advance into Italian-occupied Libya, and subsequently fought at Tobruk on 21-22 Jan 1941, and then went on 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 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 on the night of 25 Apr 1941 aboard the SS Thurland Castle. The battalion landed on Crete the next day. It was subsequently deployed with the 2/1st Battalion to defend Retimo airfield, which was held tenaciously for ten days following the landing of German paratroops on 20 May. On 1 May 1941 Ted had been appointed as a Trade Group II Signaller.

German successes elsewhere on Crete, however, made surrender inevitable. Many 2/11th soldiers attempted to escape from Crete but only a relatively small number ultimately succeeded; most were taken prisoner, as was "Ted". (Note: 13 Officers and 35 other ranks from 2/11 Battalion were able to escape from Crete.) On 30 Oct 1941 official advice was received that he was a POW being held in Stalag XIIIC, with his POW number being 09986.

On 16 May 1945 Ted deplaned in the UK as a recovered POW, and was sent to the 1st AIF Transit Camp UK. On 19 Jun 1945 he embarked aboard J12 for Fremantle, arriving here on 17 Jul 1945 and entering the 110th Australian Base Hospital the same day.
LIBERATED P.O.W. A.I.F. MEMBERS. Small Party Returns. Thirty-six AIF former prisoners of war returned to Perth yesterday. Captured in Greece, Crete and North Africa, they had spent several years in the prison camps in Germany, Poland and Czechoslovakia until liberated by the Allied armies. On their arrival the men were welcomed by the General Officer Commanding the Western Command (Major-General A. J. Boase). They were issued with pay and double rations for their period of three weeks' leave. Later they met their relatives at the Karrakatta Camp and were then taken home by the transport service of the Red Cross Society. Among those who returned was Capt M. Mayrhofer, a Perth doctor and a member of the 2/7th Field Ambulance, who was captured in Crete early in 1941. During his cap tivity he served in many hospitals in enemy-occupied territory until he was liberated by the approaching victorious Allied forces. Capt Mayr hofer said yesterday that Lt-Col L. Le Souef, the original commanding officer of the 2/7th Field Ambulance, was expected to return to Perth in about two months. The members of the party were reticent regarding their captivity and subsequent movements. Their only thought was to get away on leave and to meet their relatives and friends. One of the men, a former member of the police force in this state, left Aus-tralia in 1940 in the early reinforcements to the 2/11th Battal ion. He served in the Libyan cam paign and was then transferred to the headquarters of the 2/1st Guards, Battalion. He went to Greece and was among the fortunate ones who escaped when that country fell into enemy hands. He came back to Aus tralia as one of the guard in charge of Italian prisoners. Returning to the Middle East, he rejoined the Guards Battalion and was taken prisoner at Alamein. While the men were being issued with their pay and tobacco rations yesterday the Western Command Band played entertaining music. The list of those who returned to Perth yesterday is as follows: Mayrhofer, Capt, L., Subiaco; Abercrombie, Pte R. H., Kalgoorlie; Barnden, Pte L. E, Geraldton; Bate man, Pte F. A. R., Dowerin; Board, Pte L. G., Bruce Rock; Chappel, Cpl N. G., Collie; Chitty, Pte F. V., Toodyay; Clark, Pte E., Perth; Elp hick, Pte D. F., Stoneville; Fancote, Pte E. C, Kelmscott; Geyer, Pte C. E, Leederville; Gilbert, Pte C. H. N, Perth; Green, Pte P., East Perth; Gulson, Pte F. C., South Perth. Harmer, Pte F., Mt Hawthorn; Hess, Pte R. G, Bellevue; Honner, Pte F. St A., Leederville; Johnston, Pte H. E, Kulin; Larkins, A/L/Cpl? G. G., Bunbury; Logan, Cpl F., Kal-goorlie; Mills, Pte F. M., Aldersyde: Nunn, Pte H., South Fremantle; Murphy, Pte D. J., East Northam; Murray, Pte E. A., Gingin; Mc Kenna, Pte S. E, Perth; O'Malley, Pte J. A., Geraldton; Proud, Pte W. F., Kalgoorlie; Richards, Pte W., Inglewood. Sharp, Pte R., T., Swanbourne; Sinclair, Pte J., Bayswater; Stephen, Pte J, Mt Lawley; Stokes, Pte A. K., Dongarra; Thomas. Pte I. J, Mt Magnet; Warburton, Pte J. E., Brunswick Junction; Wilks, Pte C. A., Mt Lawley; Woods, Pte L. S., West Perth.

Ted was with them until 30 Oct 1945 when he was discharged to the care of the 109th Australian Convalescent Depot. On 30 Nov 1945 he was taken on strength by Western Command Recruit Reception & General Details Depot, but from 3 - 17 Jan 1946 he was again in need of treatment from the 109th Australian Convalescent Depot. Ted was discharged on 18 Jan 1946.

Post War

On his return to Australia, Ted worked at the Byford and Armadale State Brickworks until his retirement, helping out in the family orchard as before. He married Lila Jean Sproston from Collie on 13 Dec 1947 and they lived at 38 Fancote road, Kelmscott. Ted and Lila had three children, Leslie, Rodney and Beverley.


  1. Trove West Australian (Perth, WA : 1879 - 1954), Wednesday 18 July 1945, page 6
Edward was the son of Charles Fancote and Mary Fancote (nee Watson). He is buried in Karrakatta War Cemetery.

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