Clifford Albert Ketels

Name   Clifford Albert Ketels   Rank: Corporal

Number   VX61256

Battalion   2/5th Infantry Battalion

Place of Birth. Leongatha 4 October 1914

Next of Kin Olive Ketels, his wife

He was the son of Hugh Stephen Thomas Ketels and Kate Ketels of Leongatha; husband of Olive Frances Ketels, of Leongatha.  

Date and place of enlistment

8 August 1941 at Royal Park

Location on enlistment  

Leongatha 

Occupation grocer

Date and place of death 27 January 1945, age 30, in Papua New Guinea.

Location of grave or memorial

He is buried in the Lae War Cemetery Papua New Guinea. His name is on the Leongatha Memorial and on his parent’s grave in Leongatha Cemetery.

Relationship to Woorayl Shire

Cliff lived in Leongatha with his family all his life until he enlisted in the army. He married Olive Hopkins who also lived in Leongatha with her family. Olive’s father Keith Hopkins ran the local paper the Leongatha Echo. She ran this paper while her father was away at the war. Cliff and Olive had a baby girl Leanora. When the Leongatha Echo closed Olive and Leanora went to Warragul with the Hopkins family and Olive worked on the Warragul Gazette. Olive and Leanora eventually settled in Warrnambool. 

Military History

Cliff was a member of the 22nd Militia Battalion before the war. After enlisting he was placed in the 2/5th Battalion and trained in Ballarat, Seymour, Tenterfield, Bonegilla, and Cairns. Cliff embarked from Cairns in November 1944 and disembarked in Aitepe, Papua New Guinea. He was wounded in action on 27 January 1945 and died the same day.

The photograph names from left to right Cliff, Hugh, Katie, Vera, Fred and Pam

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