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Number VX51030

Battalion 2/22nd Infantry Battalion

Place of Birth Chelsea 23 September 1916

Next of Kin Edith Millsom, his mother. His father was Alfred Millsom

Date and place of enlistment 11 March 1941 at Royal Park

Location on enlistment

Tarwin via Leongatha and Koonwarra

Occupation Farmer

Date and place of death 8 March 1942 on Gasmata Beach, New Britain, Papua New Guinea

Location of grave or memorial

Harry has no known grave. He has his name on the Rabaul Memorial, the Leongatha Memorial and his name on a memorial gate at the park in Koonwarra.

Relationship to Woorayl Shire

He lived with his family in the Tarwin area near Koonwarra

Military History

Harry was placed in the 2/22nd Battalion and trained at Mt Martha before going to Trawool near Seymour. The battalion then marched on foot from Trawool to Bonegilla near Albury for further training.

The soldiers of the 2/22nd Battalion were given a few days leave to see their families and friends before returning to Bonegilla and going away to the war. The men travelled to Sydney by train and then headed north by sea. They sailed in to Rabaul on Anzac Day. 1941

The men continued training and found themselves in a waiting game. Would the Japanese attack? Bombing started in late 1941 and the situation became very serious. The Japanese landed with a large force and quickly over ran Rabaul on 23 January 1942. Harry together with his others from A Company escaped into the jungle. The men were on the run in the jungle with limited food until early March. We do not know how they became prisoners at Gasmata. Unfortunately the men in this group were all executed by the Japanese on 8 March 1942.

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