Edgar James (Ed) EBSARY OAM

EBSARY, Edgar James

Service Numbers: 426056, SX9760, SX9760
Enlisted: 26 July 1940
Last Rank: Lieutenant
Last Unit: 2nd/27th Infantry Battalion
Born: Bute, South Australia, 15 October 1919
Home Town: Bute, Barunga West, South Australia
Schooling: Barunga Primary School, South Australia
Occupation: Farmer
Died: Natural Causes, Barunga Retirement Village Port Broughton, 13 January 2022, aged 102 years
Cemetery: Not yet discovered
Memorials: Bute District Council WW2 Roll of Honor, Bute War Memorial Garden
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World War 2 Service

26 Jul 1940: Enlisted Australian Military Forces (Army WW2), Private, 426056, 2nd/27th Infantry Battalion
10 Nov 1940: Embarked Australian Military Forces (Army WW2), Private, SX9760, 2nd/27th Infantry Battalion, SS Mauretania (II)
7 Jun 1941: Involvement Australian Military Forces (Army WW2), Private, SX9760, 2nd/27th Infantry Battalion, Syria - Operation Exporter
30 Jan 1942: Embarked Australian Military Forces (Army WW2), Private, SX9760, 2nd/27th Infantry Battalion, Ile de France via Bombay Transfer to City of London to Colombo
18 Aug 1942: Involvement Australian Military Forces (Army WW2), Private, SX9760, 2nd/27th Infantry Battalion, Kokoda - Papua New Guinea
10 Nov 1942: Involvement Australian Military Forces (Army WW2), Private, SX9760, 2nd/27th Infantry Battalion, Buna / Gona / Sanananda "The Battle of the Beachheads" - New Guinea
18 Oct 1943: Involvement Australian Military Forces (Army WW2), Sergeant, SX9760, 2nd/27th Infantry Battalion, New Guinea - Huon Peninsula / Markham and Ramu Valley /Finisterre Ranges Campaigns
10 May 1944: Promoted Australian Military Forces (Army WW2), Lieutenant, Army Training Units, No.10 OTU Woodside SA from 10 Feb 1944
10 Oct 1944: Involvement Australian Military Forces (Army WW2), Lieutenant, SX9760, 31/51 (amalgamated) Infantry Battalion AMF, Bougainville
30 Oct 1945: Discharged Australian Military Forces (Army WW2), Lieutenant, SX9760 , 2nd/27th Infantry Battalion


an excellent narrative of this soldiers life, pre war, war service and post war was included in the Adelaide Advertiser SA Weekend supplement on April 16th 2022. Born 15 Oct 1919, died 13 Jan 2022 at Burunga Village, at Port Broughton SA and buried locally. Awarded an OAM in 1990 for his service to the community and had been made a Life Membe of the RSL for services to his comrades since the war. Lest We Forget. Rest in Peace

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24th June 1941   Private, 2nd/27th in Palestine

18th Oct 1943    Sargeant, 2nd/27th in Papua New Guinea

7th May 1944     Lieutenant, 31st/51st in Pacific Islands

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Joined 2nd/27th Battalion AIF 25/7/41

Served in the Middle East. Palestine, Egypt, Lebanon (Syrian campaign)

Served Papua New Guinea and Pacific Islands

Attended No 10 course O.C.T.U. 14/2/44

Confirmed rank Lieutenant 7/5/44

Posted to 31/51 Battalion AMF  10/10/44

Served Pacific Islands. Bouganville Island, Nauru Island & Ocean Island

Discharged 30/10/1945

Total Service: Australia       679 days

                     Overseas  1,031 days

                          Total     1,710 days

 Wounded in Action:     8/9/42

 Wounded in Action:  29/12/42

 Malaria:                    16/3/43 

POST WAR SERVICE: Citizens Military Forces  23/8/51

                              Lieutenant,  4/26056, C Coy 43/48 Bn 


Biography contributed

Biography written by Annabel Arbon from Endeavour College SA attached as a document. Winning entry for 2021 Premier's Anzac Spirit School Prize.

Biography contributed by Cornerstone College

Edgar Ebsary was a soldier who fought in WWII, was born on the 15th of October 1919. He was the fourth born of all his siblings. At an early age Edgar attended school in Barunga, which he gained his Qualifying Certificate from, at the age of 12, but considering that he did not fit the size standards to harness and manage draft horses, he endured a second year in the seventh grade. Although he eventually left at 13 to work on the farm his family owned, often working from sunrise until sundown. During his teenage years, he went through many struggles, such as The Great Depression, but was a stoic, wise and gentle presence to his entire family and his town community. Ed’s father was a grain agent at the Barunga Gap wheat stacks, which provided a chance for Ed to get a job, which he did eventually get. His job was to weigh each bag of grain and enter the weight of each bag in a tally book and write a cart note to authorize the grower of the wheat to collect his payment. A lot of time during his teenage years, Ed played tennis in the summer, and football in the winter. At the age of just nineteen, he joined up to fight in WWII.

When Ed went to sign up and join the war he had to have a medical, where he could not provide a urine sample, unlike his mates. This provided an advantage for Ed as majority of his mates were shipped out before him into the 2/3rd Machine Gun Battalion where they fought in the Middle East and majority of the crew were captured by the Japanese and were taken as prisoners of war.
In time and after a long three months of grueling drill and weapon training, Ed was sent on the Mauritania, which was a part of a fleet of ships which has departed from Melbourne and was to arrive in the Middle East. The men had to shave their hair and were given steel helmets, which made it hard for them to balance, although it was shown why they needed them when they got into the actual fighting. Ed joined a platoon, whose commander was Lieutenant A.J. Lee who eventually won the Military Cross. Ed was assigned as a runner, which was a highly important job, as except the radio, runners were frequently used to exchange messages between platoons and Battalion Headquarters.

During the invasion of Syria, which took roughly six weeks and where Ed and his fellow soldiers fought over rocky and hilly landscape, the soldiers finally saw victory. They were shipped out to Bombay where they were sent onto The City of London, which was a boat which was originally sailing to Burma and then Java, but since they were taken over by the Japanese, they had to sail back to Australia briefly before being sent to Papua New Guinea.

The landscape of Papua was full of rugged mountains and jungle. The men’s packs consisted of half a blanket and a spare pair of clothes so they could maximize the amount of food and ammo they could carry. The progress up the mountains was slow and scary due to the soldiers hiding any time they heard the roar of a plane engine.

Eventually, American bombers were called in to bomb Japanese forces. When the Japs retaliated, a man in Ed’s trench pulled the pin on a grenade and it blew up alongside many of his comrades. A man called out Ed by name and told him to “finish him off”. Eventually, he was the last man in his section, and watched as the enemy advanced. As he shot a few rounds at them, a bullet struck the fingers on Ed’s left hand, but even though, he still managed to escape by throwing a grenade.

When he was back fighting on the north coast, Ed was again struck by a stray bullet in his left foot, which hit and split his heel bone on exit. He was put on a stretcher and again spent time in the hospital due to an injury, this time in Brisbane, then Baulkam Hills in New South Wales, where he fell ill with malaria.

In August of 1943, Ed was back to fighting and by this time he was a Sergeant. And yet again, he fell sick and was moved to Port Moresby to recover. There he was told that he had been recommended to attend the Officer Cadet Training Unit in Woodside of South Australia. He passed and became a Lieutenant. He was sent to Queensland, to the Jungle Warfare Training Center, where he instructed platoons of young recruits.

In the later months of 1944 Ed was fighting on the island of Bougainville. After this he was discharged only a couple weeks before his birthday. Ed admitted that he “found camp life almost as enjoyable, with regular meals and exercise and a surplus of activity” which kept him busy.