Egan B J Doc

Name   Egan Bernard James   Rank: Private

Number VX50308

Battalion 2/24th Battalion

Place of Birth Watchem 24 April 1907

Next of Kin His wife Ellen Egan

Date and place of enlistment 5 March 1941 Royal Park

Location on enlistment   Inverloch

Occupation labourer

Date and place of death Killed in action on 24 October 1942 at El Alamein in Egypt aged 35

Location of grave or memorial

He is buried in El Alamein War Cemetery Egypt and is remembered on the Leongatha Memorial

Relationship to Woorayl Shire

He and his family resided in Inverloch he was the brother of Clement Egan

Military History

The 2/24th Battalion was formed in July 1940 and became known as Wangaratta’s Own. They spent time training at Wangaratta and Bonegilla before heading to the Middle East.

In early 1941 the battalion, along with the rest of the 9th Division, moved into Cyrenica in Libya to complete its training. The Battalion entered Tobruk on 10 April and helped defend the “fortress” for the next eight months.

They saw extensive service at Tobruk, manning the Red Line at a number of different locations and participating in the bitter fighting in the area. In October the 9th Division was evacuated by sea. The 2/24th left on the night of 20 October and sailed to Alexandria in Egypt. The division was transferred to Palestine and Syria for a rest and garrison duties.

By July 1942 German and Italian forces had reached El Alamein in Egypt, about seventy miles from Alexandra. The war in North Africa had become critical for the British Eighth Army. The 9th Division was consequently rushed from Syria to the El Alamein area and held the northern sector for almost four months as the Eighth Army was reinforced for an offensive under new a commander. Bernard lost his life during the battalion’s early actions at El Alamein.

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