Edward Charles (Ted) Fancote
From Our Contribution
|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|
|Religion||Church of England|
|Address||Byford, Western Australia|
|Next of Kin||Mother , Mrs. Ursulla Fancote|
|Date of Enlistment||4 December 1939|
|Unit/Formation||2/11th Australian Infantry Battalion|
|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||U12 UK to Fremantle|
|Post War Details|
Prisoner of War (Crete) |
Returned to Australia
|External Monument(s)||The Australian Ex-Prisoners of War Memorial Ballaratt, Victoria|
1939-45 Star |
War Medal 1939-45
Australian Service Medal 1939-45
Greek Commemorative War Medal
|Date of Birth||01 December 1908|
|Age at Death||78 years|
Charles Fancote (St Mary-in-the-Valley) |
Sarah Alice 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. Loved wife of Ted. Died 10th February 1999 aged 81 years. "Together in Gods garden."|
|Burial Date||03 June 1987|
Prior to WWII assisted in the family orchard in Kelmscott in addition to delivering bread in Kelmscott and Roleystone.
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 U 12 for Fremantle, arriving here on 17 Jul 1945 and entering the 110th Australian Base Hospital the same day. 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.
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 Sprosten from Collie on 13 Dec 1947 and they lived at 38 Fancote road, Kelmscott. Ted and Lila had three children, Leslie, Rodney and Beverley.