Thursday, April 26, 2007

high Rottnest standard

Rotto Bloggo is keenly interested in anything vexillological, so we were delighted by a lovely story in The West yesterday, Anzac Day.

In World War 2 lots of blokes from the 2/28th Australian Infantry Battalion signed a Union Jack.

“Someone got hold of a flag…and in the weeks which saw 1941 turn into 1942, it collected the signatures and addresses of more than 150 soldiers and some civilians, though some are indecipherable,” The West reported.

"Most are West Australians, some from country towns like Gnowangerup and New Norcia. But there are also Polish, Canadian, American, British, New Zealand and South African soldiers. And six Palestinians, too. Some, like Lawrence Arnold, became prisoners-of-war, and others, William Young, James Allen, Shamus Maunsell and John Huxley Oxton among them, were killed.”

The Rottnest angle?

One of the signees was Leonard Allan Wilkes, who was born 1 November 1913 in Kununoppin. He enlisted in 1940 in Claremont – and his “locality on enlistment” – where he lived – was Rottnest Island.

Wilkes was discharged in 1942 as a Lance Sergeant.

Story link above, and see here for more images of the flag.

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