Friday, November 18, 2011
The Victorian railwaymen
It was the 2/7th Battalion of the 17th Australian Brigade whose Greek train crew abandoned them. They had been heavily attacked near Larisa by German aircraft, and the Greek crew had more than they could handle. Fortunately, the 2/7th had some Victorian railwaymen in the battalion. The leader, Corporal Jock Taylor, along with Corporal Melville and Private Naismith stepped up to solve the situation. They fired up a train as a decoy, and then about 5oo yards away, they assembled a train to carry the battalion to relative safety. They were able to carry the 2/7th Battalion to Domokos. All this seems to have occurred during the night of 16 April 1941. The 17th was uneventful, as the British were executing a withdrawal plan that included demolishing roads and bridges behind them. The brigade was able to prepare defensive positions on 17 April so as to be ready for the expected German attack. This is based on the account in Vol.II of the Australian Official History.