Tuesday, May 26, 2020

The parade after the address, and then Christmas celebrations in late 1942

After the address, the men were called to "present arms". The bands played "Advance Australia Fair". The men then marched past the "saluting base". The men marched in groups "of 40 men abreast". Afterwards, the focus was "on preparing to celebrate Christmas". There was a church service and then the men enjoyed a big dinner. In some cases, officers worked on the meal "in men's messes". By 16 January 1943, the division moved to Egypt to be ready to embark on transports. The men were loaded on transports from 24 January to 31 January 1943. The ships anchored in the Maldives and took on fuel. The ships sailed unescorted through the Indian Ocean towards Australia. They had the best transports, including the Queen Mary.
On 28 September 1959, a funeral was held in Sydney for General Morshead, as he had died. General Morshead had taken a group of men and had organized them into a division and had trained them. He led them in battle, where they had fought the best of the enemy and had defended the fortress Tobruk. He had also led the division in the battles in the narrows at El Alamein, where they had played a large part in defeatin the Axis forces and breaking the enemy line and putting them into retreat.
The 9th Australian Division had lost 7,116 officers and men taken prisoner by the enemy. They had also lost men in Greece and Crete. In the desert, Rommel often interviewed Australian prisoners and treated the men well.  Rommel followed the rules of wars and did not commit atrocities or other violations. This is the end of our blogging about the 9th Australian Division. We will start next on blogging about the New Zealand Division based on their official history.

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