Duncan Struan MAXWELL MC

MAXWELL, Duncan Struan

Service Numbers: 447, NX12610
Enlisted: 19 August 1914, Pontville, Tasmania
Last Rank: Brigadier
Last Unit: 2nd/27th Infantry Battalion
Born: Hobart, Tasmania, 8 January 1892
Home Town: Hobart, Tasmania
Schooling: University of Tasmania and University of Sydney
Occupation: Farmer / Medical Practicioner
Died: Natural causes, Chatswood, New South Wales, 21 December 1969, aged 77 years
Cemetery: Not yet discovered
Memorials: Hobart Roll of Honour, Tomki Public School Honor Roll
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World War 1 Service

19 Aug 1914: Enlisted AIF WW1, Private, SN 447, Pontville, Tasmania
20 Oct 1914: Embarked AIF WW1, Private, SN 447, 3rd Light Horse Regiment, HMAT Geelong, Hobart
20 Oct 1914: Involvement AIF WW1, Private, SN 447, 3rd Light Horse Regiment, Enlistment/Embarkation WW1
9 May 1915: Involvement AIF WW1, Private, SN 447, 3rd Light Horse Regiment, 'ANZAC' / Gallipoli
3 Dec 1915: Promoted AIF WW1, Lance Corporal, 3rd Light Horse Regiment, Gallipoli
17 Mar 1916: Promoted AIF WW1, Second Lieutenant, 52nd Infantry Battalion
17 Jun 1916: Promoted AIF WW1, Lieutenant, 52nd Infantry Battalion
14 Nov 1916: Honoured Military Cross
1 Apr 1917: Involvement AIF WW1, Lieutenant, SN 447, 4th Division Headquarters
16 May 1917: Promoted AIF WW1, Captain, 52nd Infantry Battalion
16 May 1918: Involvement AIF WW1, Captain, SN 447, 51st Infantry Battalion
31 Jul 1918: Involvement AIF WW1, Captain, SN 447, 51st Infantry Battalion
2 Dec 1919: Discharged AIF WW1, Captain, SN 447, 51st Infantry Battalion

World War 2 Service

25 Nov 1939: Involvement Australian Military Forces (Army WW2), Brigadier, SN NX12610
25 Nov 1939: Enlisted Australian Military Forces (Army WW2), Brigadier, SN NX12610
1 Jun 1940: Enlisted Major, SN NX12610, Cootamundra, New South Wales
1 Jul 1940: Promoted Lieutenant Colonel, 2nd/19th Infantry Battalion
3 Feb 1941: Embarked Lieutenant Colonel, SN NX12610, 2nd/19th Infantry Battalion, HMT Queen Mary
1 Aug 1941: Involvement Brigadier, SN NX12610, 2nd/27th Infantry Battalion
1 Aug 1941: Promoted Brigadier, 2nd/19th Infantry Battalion
21 Nov 1941: Promoted Colonel, 2nd/27th Infantry Battalion, & Temporary Brigadier over Command of HQ 27th Infantry Battalion
15 Feb 1942: Imprisoned Malaya/Singapore, taken on Singapore Island
28 Nov 1942: Embarked Brigadier, SN NX12610, 2nd/27th Infantry Battalion, embarked Singapore for Japan
28 Apr 1943: Imprisoned in Taiwan Camp
14 Oct 1944: Imprisoned now interned in Hoten Camp
27 Sep 1945: Involvement Brigadier, SN NX12610, 2nd/27th Infantry Battalion
3 Sep 1946: Discharged Australian Military Forces (Army WW2), Brigadier, SN NX12610
4 Sep 1946: Discharged Brigadier, SN NX12610, 2nd/27th Infantry Battalion, Retired - honourary Brigadier

Help us honour Duncan Struan Maxwell's service by contributing information, stories, and images so that they can be preserved for future generations.

Biography contributed by Julianne Ryan

Born 08/01/1892, Hobart, Tasmania

Father Crawford John Maxwell (Bank Manager, Commercial Bank, Hobart, TAS) and
Mother Caroline Emily Maxwell (nee Giblin)

Brother:
59  Captain Arthur Mainwaring Maxwell, MID, DSO – 52nd Infantry Battalion

1909  Attended University of Tasmania
1913  Hawkesbury Diploma of Agriculture

Previous service:  Hawkesbury College Rifle Club; School Cadets

Duncan was described on enlisted into WWI as 22 years 8 months of age, single;
6' 3" tall; 11lbs; dark complexion; brown eyes; black hair; Church of England

447         19/08/1914  enlisted at Pontville, Tasmania

              04/09/1914  appointed to C Squadron, Pontville Camp

               20/10/1914  embarked Tasmania onboard HMAT A2 Geelong
                                  as a Private with 3rd Light Horse Regiment, C Squadron

                09/05/1915  proceeded to Gallipoli, ANZAC

                03/12/1915  promoted to Lance Corporal – 3rd Light Horse Regiment

                17/03/1916  promoted to 2nd Lieutenant – 52nd Infantry Battalion

                17/06/1916  promoted to Lieutenant

                14/11/1916  Awarded MILITARY CROSS – London Gazette

                01/04/1917  taken on strength 4th Div, HQ

                21/06/1917  promoted to Captain – 52nd Infantry Battalion

                16/05/1918  transferred to 51st Infantry Battalion

                31/07/1918  Returned to Australia onboard HT D17 Malta

                02/12/1919  discharged from service

1921       Bachelor of Medicine – University of Sydney, NSW
              Duncan became a doctor and established his own practice in the town of
              Cootamundra, in New South Wales.

Married:   Marion Wistie Sly   (b.30/06/1888 Torrington Rd, Strathfield, NSW)
               Marion's parents - Richard Meares Sly and Constance Adelaide Sly (nee Mullens).
               25/03/1969  passed away in Sydney, New South Wales

Interwar Service:
                 09/07/1927  Captain – Reserve of Officers

                 14/08/1939  Major  – Reserve of Officers – 56th Infantry Battalion

                 25/11/1939  Commanding Officer – 56th Infantry Battalion

When the 22nd Brigade was being formed in 1940 as part of the 8th Division, he was selected by its commander, Brigadier Harold Taylor, to lead the 2/19th Battalion.  However, when the original commander of the 27th Brigade became ill before it travelled to British Malaya to reinforce the British presence there, Maxwell was selected to replace him. This caused tension between Maxwell, who had been promoted to temporary rank of brigadier, and Lieutenant Colonel Frederick Galleghan, the senior battalion commander within the 8th Division.

NX12610    01/06/1940 re-enlisted into WWII at Cootamundra, NSW (48 yrs 5mths)

                 01/07/1940  promoted to Lte-Colonel - 2/19th Infantry Battalion

                 26/07/1940  taken on strength 2/19th Infantry Battalion

                 03/02/1941  embarked HMT Queen Mary
                 18/02/1941  disembarked into Singapore

                 01/08/1941  promoted to Brigadier – HQ AIF Malaya

                 01/08/1941  appointed to Command 27th Australian Infantry Brigade

                 21/11/1941   promoted to Colonel / Temporary Brigadier to Command

Following the Japanese invasion of Malaya in December 1941, during which the 27th Brigade undertook a withdrawal down the country into Singapore, Maxwell was a source of frustration to the commander of 8th Division, Major General Gordon Bennett, for repeatedly requesting permission to retreat. 

In February 1942, with what was left of the Allied forces in Malaya now on Singapore Island, Maxwell's brigade was tasked with defending a 3.5 km stretch of the island's northern coastline.

                 15/02/1942  taken POW – Singapore Island

                 18/03/1942   admitted to Australian General Hospital

                 28/11/1942   embarked Singapore for Japan

                 28/04/1943   POW – Taiwan Camp

                 14/10/1944   POW – now interned in  Hoten Camp, China

                 27/09/1945   Returned to Australia – Brigadier 27th Inf Brigade, HQ

                 03/09/1946  discharged from service

                 04/09/1946  Retired – honourary  Brigadier

1968          last known address 188 Eastern Valley Way, Willoughby, NSW

21/12/1969  passed away in Chatswood, NSW

Submitted by Julianne T Ryan.  24/02/2017.  Lest we forget.

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Biography contributed by Julianne Ryan

Brother:
59/546 Captain Arthur Mainwaring Maxwell, MID, DSO MC – 52nd Infantry Battalion
24/09/1914    enlisted in Sydney, NSW (26 years of age) – b. 8/6/1888 Hobart, TAS
21/12/1914    embarked Sydney, NSW onboard HMAT A29 Suevic
                     as a Corporal with 6th Light Horse Regiment, A Squadron
09/05/1915    proceeded to Gallipoli
20/05/1915    promoted to Corporal – 3rd Light Horse Regiment
14/03/1916    taken on strength 52nd Infantry Battalion
17/03/1916    promoted to 2nd Lieutenant 52nd Infantry Battalion
17/06/1916    promoted to Lieutenant
14/11/1916    Awarded MILITARY CROSS
18/04/1917    promoted to Captain 52nd Infantry Battalion
25/08/1917    Awarded DSO
28/12/1917    Awarded MID – London Gazette
16/05/1918    taken on strength to 51st Infantry Battalion
25/05/1918    attached to 12th Inf Brigade, HQ
19/08/1918    attached to 1st Div, HQ
16/06/1919    Returned to Australia onboard HT Ormonde
11/07/1919    Awarded MID – London Gazette
Married:        Marion Grey Wemyss Maxwell  (d. 4/11/1970)
Children:       Sally, Meg and Bill Maxwell
17/06/1966    passed away
Cremated –   St Simon and St Judes Cemetery, Bowral NSW
                    Columbarium 1 section

Relatives in service (cousins):
2nd Lieutenant  Edward Lionel Austin Butler – 12th Australian Infantry Battalion
Father Edward Henry Butler and Fanny BUTLER, lived at Sandy Bay, Tasmania
02/08/1915  enlisted (32 years of age)
29/03/1916  embarked Port of Melbourne, VIC onboard RMS Orontes
                   as a 2nd Lieutenant with 12th Infantry Battalion, 16th reinforcements
23/08/1916  Multiple shell wounds to legs, lost right leg, received in action - died of wounds
                   at Mouquet Farm, France
buried in:     Puchevillers British Cemetery, France
                   Plot III, Row A, Grave 10

4922  2nd Lieutenant Colin Edmund Alleyne Chalmers –  52nd Infantry Battalion
23/08/1915  enlisted  (33 years of age)
18/02/1916  embarked Port of Melbourne, VIC onboard HMAT A70 Ballarat
                   as a 2nd Lieutenant with 12th Infantry Battalion, 15th reinforcements
07/06/1917  killed in action, Messines, Belgium
buried in:     Derry House Cemetery No.2, Belgium
                   Plot I, Row B, Grave 22

1590 2nd Lieutenant Brian Nairn Butler – 12th Infantry Battalion
14/12/1914  enlisted (22 years of age)
19/02/1915  embarked Port of Melbourne, VIC onboard HMAT A54 Runic
                   as a Private with 12th Infantry Battalion, 3rd reinforcements
18/09/1918  killed in action
buried in:     Jeancourt Communal Cemetery Extension, France
                   Plot III, Row B, Grave 5

Lte Colonel Harry Nairn Butler MID, DSO - Australian Army Medical Corps
--  brother of 2nd Lieutenant Brian Nairn Butler --
21/08/1914 enlisted (28 years of age) - b. 31/03/1886
02/11/1914 embarked Hobart, TAS onboard HMAT A13 Katuna
                  as a Major with 3rd Field Ambulance C Squadron
04/05/1917 Returned to Australia
22/02/1955 passed away
cemated in: Cornelian Bay Cemetery & Crematorium, TAS
                  Derwent Gardens

Captain Charles Edwin Wodrow Bean (Official WWI Correspondent)
28/09/1914  enlisted in 1st Division Headquarters
21/10/1914  embarked Port of Melbourne, VIC onboard HMAT A3 Oriveto
                   as Press Corresonpdent, 1st Australian Division, Headquarters
01/04/1919  Returned to Australia onboard HT Kildonian Castle
30/06/1919  discharged from service
January 1921  Bean married Ethel Clara Young
Worked as Official Historian, writing the Official History of Australia at War 1914-1918 at
Tuggeranong Homestead
30/08/1968  Passed away at the Concord Repat Hospital, Concord, NSW

Major  John Willoughby Butler Bean – Australian Army Medical Corps
-- brother of Captain Charles Edwin Wodrow Bean  --
20/06/1914  enlisted (34 years of age) – b. 01/01/1881
20/10/1914  embarked Sydney, NSW onboard HMAT A14 Euripides
                  as Captain with 3rd Infantry Battalion, Headquarters
05/09/1915  promoted to Major
23/10/1918  Returned to Australia
30/04/1919  discharged from service
1969            passed away in St Leonards, NSW

Submitted by Julianne T Ryan.  06/03/2017.  Lest we forget.

Read more...