Thomas is my first cousin, once removed. That is,
he is my mother's first cousin. She is
Eileen Gertrude Green (1914-1991). This is a photograph
of Private Green held in the Museum at Redhill in South Australia. He is honoured in the list of those
from the town who lost their lives during World War II. Refer to my Visit
to Redhill page for more information.
My subsequent research on Thomas's war service showed the misfortune he suffered. He was recruited as a national serviceman
to the Australian
Infantry Forces 2/10 Battalion. The Battalion saw service
in the Middle East (Palestine), North Africa (Tobruk), Europe
and later New Guinea in 1942, 1943 and again in 1944. Thomas was
to survive all this.
On 1 July 1945 the battalion landed at Balikpapan
in Borneo and stormed the heights of Parramatta Ridge. In ensuing
days it cleared the Japanese from in and around Balikpapan town.
Thomas was killed in action on the first day. Just a short 6 weeks
before the end of hostilities and only 5 days before the Battalion
was withdrawn into reserve on 6 July 1945.
I subsequently obtained more information about Thomas and the war from the
Commonwealth War Graves Commission and the Australian War Memorial.
Thomas Alexander Green's name is located at 34 in the Commemorative
Area at the Australian War Memorial (as indicated by the poppy
on the adjacent plan).
More reading about Thomas's 2/10th Battalion is available
at www.awm.gov.au/units/unit_11261.asp. Reference www.naa.gov.au. Thomas's army record has not been digitized however a copy may be purchased
from NAA using his service number SX22187 as a reference in your
A detailed history,
"Purple and Blue - The History of the 2/10th Battalion"
(4th Edition) by Frank Allchin of the 2/10th Battalion has been
the webpage www.regimental-books.com.au/purple-and-blue-the-history-of-the-210th-battalion-4th-edition-p-346.html.
This link states:
" This book covers the history of this famous unit during
its period of active service during The Second World War.
Formed at Woodside, South Australia in October 1939; the Battalion
had served as part of an anti-invasion force in the UK in
the dark days of 1940. It was meant to support the British
Expeditionary Force in France but reached the UK just after
Dunkirk. As part of the 18th Brigade of the renowned 7th Division
(The Silent Seventh) it moved to the Middle East, where in
1941, it played a significant part in stopping the German
under Field Marshall Rommel holding Tobruk. Then followed
service until early 1942, on the Syrian-Turkish border, where
another German attack threatened."
The Battalion then returned to Australia after Japan entered
the war; and so our country was at risk. After brief home
leave and moves to Tenterfield and Kilcoy, in August 1942
it moved to Milne Bay, in Papua. With its sister Battalions
the 2/9th and 2/12th, they stopped the Japanese for the first
time on land as the Japanese tried to take Milne Bay air base.
The end of 1942 and early 1943 saw the Battalion help defeat
the Japanese at Buna and Sanananda; but at great cost 113
men killed and 205 wounded."
After returning to the Atherton Tablelands in Australia for
rest and reinforcement, the Battalion went back to Papua New
Guinea for the battle in the Ramu Valley in 1944. Its final
commitment was Oboe 2 the landing at Balikpapan
in Borneo, in 1945. The 2/10th Battalion AIF was disbanded
on the 29th of December 1945, at the scene of their final
action, in Balikpapan."
Until recently Thomas's
name was included in Rostrevor
Old Collegians Roll
of Honour. Rostrevor is a
Christian Brothers school in Adelaide, South Australia. The site
for the link no longer appears to be current - it was: www.rostrevor.sa.edu.au/community/wwii-honour-roll.
The other links above are
accurate as at 11 February 2017.