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Australian WWII - Far North Queensland Metal detecting and recovery

Article about: Hi Blokes ~ I am posting this as an going blog for interested parties that have been following my fossicking of (extensive) WWII ~ Far North Qld Australia . This area has been described in r

  1. #101


    The lettering on the plate is ~ G.C. Field II 1940

    So with that in mind "we" feel it is associated with a field radio~ and not a personal identification! (??)

  2. #102


    Great work mate! Your finding some really cool stuff. I just took a look at your youtube chanel and love it. Hey question for ya... did the army let you keep a few fragments from the mills grenade?

  3. #103


    did the army let you keep a few fragments from the mills grenade?

    Well ~ The D/I\D blokes did go back into the "trench" specifically to find shrapnel ~ with a view to confirm that it had exploded and not simply "left the building" !

    But the fact that the previous week they had blown a 25lber artillery shell in the same hole was a tad confusing ~ but they did in fact ID some fragments based on SMELL~

    They were quite happy with the result ~

    But having said that I believe that both Mills grenades and 25lber shells both used TNT as the propellant charge ~ (??)

    And I also revisited the creek bed that was used to blow up the 16 mortar shells ~ and yes there were a few shrapnel fragments ~
    Last edited by AT P Sweep; 09-26-2013 at 10:28 AM.

  4. #104


    Cool, was just curious if when it blows up does the grenade split up into the little squares

  5. #105


    Well ~ A big 24 hours ~

    Friday I decided I would arrange to knock off work early at 11.30 hrs.

    I headed home to touch base with Ms M before heading out for a few hours ~ But this time a change of target ! I decided to revisit the 2 / 7th cavalry site ~ where I found the mortar shells back in April (?)

    The water level has dropped dramatically and fresh ground was available ~

    I hooked in and this site is renowned for mixing new with old targets ~ and again was typical of that ~ But I soon was forced to higher waters as the drop off under water was dramatic ! But in doing so I found the site trash mound ~ as can be seen in the video below ~

    But I picked up a nice Mills Mk I type 36 grenade base plug ~ I spent several hours on the site overall~ including some 15 minutes chatting with several young future MD advocates who wandered over form their parents campsite to ask "Have you found anything!"

    And the conversation ended with the inevitable question ~ " Have you found any guns !? " ( Actually there was a US 1911 automatic pistol found by one of the blokes at work, some years ago!)

    Eventually I headed off to more recent territory ~ Not a huge day but some familiar scores and more ~

    Service Record


    Service Australian Army

    Service Number QX10710

    Date of Birth 25 Mar 1920

    Place of Birth MARYBOROUGH, QLD

    Date of Enlistment 6 Jul 1940

    Locality on Enlistment BAUPLE, QLD

    Place of Enlistment MARYBOROUGH, QLD

    Next of Kin WALDOCK, D

    Date of Discharge 7 Aug 1945

    Rank Sergeant

    Posting at Discharge 2/25 Battalion

    WW2 Honours and Gallantry None for display

    Prisoner of War Yes
    2/25th Battalion

    The 2/25th Battalion was formally raised in Brisbane on 1 July 1940. Recruited in Queensland, it began assembling at Grovely Camp on 15 July, and subsequently trained at Grovely (15 July-15 October) and around Darwin (23 October 1940-1 February 1941).

    It returned to Brisbane to complete its preparations for overseas service, and embarked at Sydney on 7 April 1941.

    On 3 May 1941, the 2/25th landed in Egypt and moved out into the desert to join the 25th Brigade of the 7th Australian Division that was manning defences along the Egypt-Libya frontier against an expected German attack.

    The 2/25th occupied positions at Mersa Matruh throughout much of April and May 1941, before returning to Palestine in preparation for its first offensive operation - the invasion of Syria and Lebanon, which began on 8 June.

    The 2/25th initially constituted the 25th Brigade’s reserve for its drive into eastern Lebanon, and its companies were widely scattered. Reunited, the battalion fought its only major battle of the campaign at the inland town of Merdjayoun on 19 June.

    Given inadequate time to prepare, and confronted by Vichy French tanks, the 2/25th failed to capture Merdjayoun, which had previously been occupied by Australian forces but lost to a counter offensive. The battalion suffered heavy casualties, including over 50 men taken prisoner.

    On 25 June the 2/25th was temporarily placed under the command of the 21st Brigade to secure a route from the coast to the inland town of Beit ed Dine against the possibility of a Vichy French counter attack. It was still thus engaged when the armistice came into effect on 12 July, and remained in Lebanon as part of the Allied garrison until 13 January 1942.

    After sailing from Egypt on 9 February 1942, the 2/25th disembarked in Adelaide on 10 March. It trained in Australia until August and on 9 September arrived in Port Moresby to reinforce the battered Australian units on the Kokoda Trail.

    Joining the fray at Ioribaiwa on 15 September, the battalion participated in the last Australian withdrawal on the trail - to Imita Ridge. It subsequently participated in the advance that followed the Japanese withdrawal, fighting major battles near Templeton’s Crossing (13-21 October) and at Gorari (7-11 November).

    The 2/25th was briefly involved in the operations at Gona between 23 November and 4 December, before returning to Port Moresby by air on 13 December and eventually sailing back to Australia in early January 1943.

    The 2/25th returned to Port Moresby on 22 July in preparation for the 25th Brigade’s next operation - the advance on the Japanese base at Lae, in New Guinea.

    The brigade flew into Nadzab on 7 September, commenced its advance on the 11th and Lae was in its hands by the 16th - the 2/25th was the first battalion to enter the town.

    On 29 September the 2/25th was flown from Nadzab to Kaipit and spent the rest of the year principally engaged in patrol actions in the Ramu Valley and the foothills of the Finisterre Range. The battalion returned to Australia on 16 February 1944.

    Like most of the AIF battalions, the 2/25th spent over a year training in Australia prior to its final operation of the war. It departed Australia on 2 June 1945 and landed at Balikpapan in Borneo on 2 July.

    The 2/25th’s operations were concentrated around the Milford Highway, the site of the most determined Japanese resistence at Balikpapan. It was still involved in active operations when the war ended on 15 August.

    Drafts of long-service personnel began returning home from October, and what was left of the battalion disembarked in Brisbane on 4 February 1946.

    It disbanded there on 7 March 1946.


    My latest video ~

    Metal Detecting with Garret in Water WWII Relics - YouTube


    I figured I would head over to the Fun park for a few hours ~ but it was a late start at < 14.30 hrs> ~ The scores were a tad short but the 1924 King George V , the tunic button and the buckle saved the day some what ~

  6. #106


    My Grandfather probably knew Bevan Waldock as he was from Bauple too,which was only a very small community.He signed up a year later and served in the 2/31st.
    Great finds

    Interesting snippet concerning Bevan Waldock from The Courier Mail,Tuesday 21 August 1945,i just found.
    Click to enlarge the picture Click to enlarge the picture Australian  WWII - Far North  Queensland Metal detecting and  recovery  

  7. #107


    Is the item at the far right of the photo a short screw? It looks like the filler screw from the Mills grenade family.

  8. #108


    Nice work sweeps.


  9. #109


    Thanks for the feed back blokes ~

    Another fellow MD in Brisbane checked Beven Wladock in Ancestry .com ~ "Leigh" found this ;

    News from Trove newspapers-

    21 August 1945
    WALDOCK—NICHOLS.—The engagement is announced of Sgt. Joan Nichols (W.A.A.F.), second Daughter of Mr. and Mrs. J. E. Nichols, 228 Ellena St., Maryborough. to Sgt. Bevan Waldock (A.I.F. returned), only Son of Mr. and Mrs. D Waldock, Bauple.

    20 May 1947
    WALDOCK.— At Lady Chelmsford Hospital, Bundaberg, on the 10th May to Mr. and Mrs. Bevan Waldock (nee Joan Nichols), a Son (David John).

    Notes from

    Bevan Claude WALDOCK was born on 25 Mar 1922 in Maryborough, Queensland, Australia. He died on 28 Jan 2001 in Bundaberg, Queensland, Australia. He married Joan Nichols on 24 Oct 1945.

    Thanks for the heads up on the screw ~ It did immediately look familiar but i could not quite place it ~ Sure looks the business are suggested ~ thanks ~ two components in two days ! LOL

    ( And I have no idea regarding the implosions characteristics of the Mills grenade but I woud assuem the casting would be designed to segment as suggested ??)

  10. #110


    That is indeed a No 36m filler plug, and your 2lber transport safety cover is very nice too. Nice Kolynos toothpaste tube as well. Funnily enough, they actually still make this stuff

    As for the characteristics of the No 36m ex/implosion, the grenade very rarely segmented in line with the casting. It helped a little, but not enormously. A typical No 36m fragmentation would involve pieces a couple of mm across, to whole chunks of grenade. Examples of the type of thing found you can see in the picture below.

    Australian  WWII - Far North  Queensland Metal detecting and  recovery

    As for other parts of the No 36m, the first thing to happen is an implosion onto/into the central striker column. This has the effect of crushing the metal against the striker spring, forming deep grooves on the inside of the column. The base of the striker column and striker 'head' are also normally severed from the main column during this implosion phase, resulting in the formation of a small bell shaped object. Examples of both you can see below.

    Australian  WWII - Far North  Queensland Metal detecting and  recovery

    Hope that helps

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