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2/2nd Machine Gun Battalion Plaque

Description
Ornate copper, brass and marble memorial, displaying commemorative elements of Rising Sun, crossed Heavy Vickers Machine Guns, laurel wreath, and battle honours. Unique design and a fitting tribute to the individual from the unit who perished during the Second World War.
Location
Shrine of Memories, ANZAC Square, Brisbane Qld 4000

Location of 2/2nd Machine Gun Battalion Plaque

Inscription
WE SHALL NEVER FORGET
Conflicts commemorated
Second World War, 1939-1945
Unit Memorials
Memorial type
Plaque
Additional information

Originally intended to support the 7th Division the 2/2nd Machine Gun Battalion was raised in Sydney on 2 May 1940 and largely composed of personnel from Light Horse units in New South Wales and Queensland. Those from New South Wales undertook their initial training at Cowra and from Queensland at Redbank. The battalion came together in Pyrmont in New South Wales at the end of the 1940, prior to embarking for overseas service.

The battalion sailed from Sydney to the Middle East in February 1941. It underwent further training at Khassa, near El Majdal in Palestine and towards the end of April moved to Mersa Matruh in Egypt. The battalion spent the next 12 months carrying out garrison duties in Egypt and from January 1942 in Syria, where it became attached to the 9th Division.

In the third week of June the 9th Division received urgent orders to return to Egypt to reinforce the British Eight Army that had retreated to the Alamein "box". The 2/2nd played an important part during the subsequent battles, fighting alongside the infantry defending the Alamein line in July and during the counter-attack in October to November. By 6 November Axis forces were retreating. The battalion suffered heavily: one officer and 15 other ranks were killed in action; one officer and 14 other ranks were mortally wounded; four officers and 124 other ranks were wounded; and two officers and 26 other ranks were captured. Alamein was a great, although bloody, success for the Allies.

The 9th Division was now needed back in Australia to fight a new enemy - the Japanese. The unit was utilised all across New Guinea from Milne Bay to Lae and then were engaged in the fighting for Tarakan. Following Japan's surrender the battalion was concentrated on Labuan but its ranks gradually thinned, as men were either discharged or transferred. On 20 January 1946 the remaining battalion returned to Australia and was disbanded in Brisbane on 26 February.

Battle Honours:

North Africa 1941-42, Defence of Alamein Line, Ruweisat Ridge, Sanyet el Miteirya, El Alamein, South-West Pacific 1943-45, Lae-Nadzab, Finschhafen, Sattelberg, Borneo, Brunei, Labuan.

(Source: Australian War Memorial - www.awm.gov.au)

Recorded by
QLD War Memorial Register
Date recorded
9 April 2009

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