Friday, August 12, 2022

Welcome to Beacon, Western Australia

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Beacon War Memorial

Beacon War Memorial Plaque

The War Memorial Plaque and flag pole were erected in 2011.  An annual ANZAC Day Service has been held at the Memorial since its establishment with support for this event strengthening over time.

The Beacon War Memorial is located on Lucas Street adjacent to the Beacon Mens Shed and Sandalwood Dray Shed.

The first sailor on the Honour Roll is Leslie Joseph Blight.  He was the son of Les Blight, farmer and store keeper for many years in Beacon.  Leslie Junior was a student before joining the Royal Australian Navy in 1941.  His rank was Stoker.  His ship was HMAS Nestor.  Leslie was killed by a German plane dropping a stick of bombs on the destroyer HMAS Nestor on the 15th June 1942 in the Mediterranean Sea near Crete.

Robert Joseph Goff was the son of Captain George Goff MC.  The family was from Dalgouring.  Robert’s rank was Leading Stoker.  His ship was HMAS Yarra.  HMAS Yarra was sunk in the Indian Ocean by Japanese war ships. His date of death was 9th March 1942.

Harry Laurence Elkins was born in Margate, England.  He farmed in North Marindo, Location 3260.  He joined the 2nd/4th Machine Gun Battalion.  This was a Western Australian Unit.  The 2nd/4th Machine Gun Battalion was in Singapore when it was attacked by the Japanese.  The 2nd/ 4th inflicted many casualties on the first assaults by the Japanese.  An order came from higher command to surrender.  The Japanese were quite brutal to the members of the 2nd/4th due to the casualties it had caused to the initial Japanese Assault.  Harry died on 12th August 1943 whilst a prisoner of war of the Japanese.  He was survived by his widow Annie Elkins nee Whyte.  Annie died in 1995 aged 92 years.

Philip Geoffrey Hammond was Theo Hammond’s brother.  He farmed Location 3043, north of Dalgouring.  He joined the Army in Nov 1939.  He was in the 2nd/11th Infantry Battalion.  He was killed in the island of Crete on the 28th May 1941.  

William Henderson came from Lake Hillman (Kalannie) to Marindo.  He was born in Scotland in 1905.  He farmed Locations 2989 and 3408.  With the many that were walking off, William went to Nannup where he worked for Jack Lindsay, a Carrier, as a truck driver.  He lived at Mrs Atee’s boarding house Base 10 in Nannup.  William was in the 2nd/11th Infantry Battalion. He was captured in Crete by the Germans.  He died whilst a prisoner of war on 7th November 1943.  His medals were sent to his next of kin in Scotland in 1953.

Vernon Holloway Hardwick was the son of Harry Guy Hardwick of Mandiga. Vernon farmed Location 3021, south of Dalgouring. He joined the RAAF in 1940.  His rank was Leading Aircraftman.  He trained as a Wireless Operator.  His unit, 11 Squadron RAAF flew Catalina Flying boats. His plane was engaged in reconnaissance during the Battle of the Coral Sea.  On the way back to base in Port Moresby, they were shot down by Japanese fighters.  A Japanese Destroyer picked the crew up.  The crew were taken to Rabaul were they were beheaded in the Japanese Navy Execution Grounds on the 4th November 1942.  Their fate wasn’t discovered until RAAF search parties located the mass grave after the war.

Jack Oliver Street had a farm with his father William at Ballidu.  After the failure of that farming enterprise, he came to Beacon and worked for Harry Dunne.  He joined the Army from Beacon.  He was killed by the explosion of a Japanese artillery shell in Singapore on the 15th February 1942.

“Beacon War Memorial Honour Roll (1939-1945) features two sailors, four soldiers and one airman. The Roll has the servicemen listed according to their service, with the Navy being the senior service.”

Honour Roll: 1939-1945

WX9178  2/4th MG Battalion STREET, JACK OLIVER

Other Information can be found at: (navy Ship Histories) (National Archives of Australia) (Australian War Memorial) (Commonwealth War Graves Commission)