Talbett Keith

Name   Keith Talbett. Rank: Private

Number VX75498

Battalion 2/108 General Transport Coy Australian Army Service Corps

Place of Birth Box Hill 7 December 1921

Next of Kin Elsie Talbett, his mother. His father was William Henry Talbett

Date and place of enlistment

13 February 1942 at Caulfield

Location on enlistment   Leongatha  

Occupation labourer

Date and place of death

26 June 1942 aged 20 in Alice Springs

Location of grave or memorial

He is buried in Alice Springs Cemetery and is on the Leongatha Memorial

Relationship to Woorayl Shire

 He lived in Leongatha

Military History

Before WWII, the ‘road’ south from Darwin was an unsealed track that became a quagmire in the wet and a dust bowl in the dry. With the escalation of the Japanese threat to Northern Australia and surrounding sea lanes the authorities realised a road linking Darwin with the south had to be constructed to supply the top end in the event of a prolonged attack by the Japanese. The construction of the Alice Springs-Darwin Road constituted an engineering feat of considerable magnitude and of great military importance. As sections of the 1000- mile all-weather road was completed, convoys moved supplies between Alice Springs and Darwin. Members of Australian 108th General Transport Company gradually moved supplies from Alice Springs to Darwin. The 600 miles of roadworks commenced in September 1940 and a formed road was completed in three months. However, the wet season of 1940-41 took its toll and it was realised that a bitumen all-weather road with bridges across creeks was essential. When the road was first built, convoys of some 70 assorted three-ton trucks carried troops, food, fuel, stores and equipment. By 1942 the trucks had been replaced by seven-ton semitrailers. Food supplies, fuel and nearly 200,000 troops were moved along this roadway. Keith died in Alice Springs while serving with the transport company.

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