Guy Henry FAWCETT OBE

FAWCETT, Guy Henry

Service Numbers: SX6219, 419
Enlisted: 24 June 1940, Adelaide, SA
Last Rank: Colonel
Last Unit: Headquarters / Administrative / LoC / Training units and detachments
Born: Oakey, QLD, 5 November 1911
Home Town: Granville, Parramatta, New South Wales
Schooling: Not yet discovered
Occupation: Professional Soldier, School Bursar
Died: Natural Causes , Myrtle Bank, Unley, South Australia, 22 February 2009, aged 97 years
Cemetery: Centennial Park Cemetery, South Australia
Funeral Sat 28th February 2009
Memorials:
Show Relationships

World War 2 Service

24 Jun 1940: Involvement 2nd AIF WW 2, Lieutenant, SN SX6219, 27th Infantry Battalion, Enlistment/Embarkation WW2

Peacetime

24 Jun 1940: Enlisted 2nd AIF WW 2, Adelaide, SA

World War 2 Service

7 Jun 1941: Involvement 2nd AIF WW 2, Captain, SN SX6219, 2nd/27th Infantry Battalion, Syria - Operation Exporter
19 Sep 1943: Involvement 2nd AIF WW 2, Major, SN SX6219, 2nd/27th Infantry Battalion, New Guinea - Huon Peninsula / Markham and Ramu Valley /Finisterre Ranges Campaigns

Occupation Force Japan - BCOF Service

23 Nov 1948: Involvement 2nd AIF WW 2, Major, SN 419, 1st Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment (1RAR)

Non Warlike Service

5 Nov 1961: Involvement 2nd AIF WW 2, Colonel, SN 419, Headquarters / Administrative / LoC / Training units and detachments

Peacetime

5 Nov 1961: Discharged 2nd AIF WW 2

Help us honour Guy Henry Fawcett's service by contributing information, stories, and images so that they can be preserved for future generations.

Biography

This information was recounted to me by Guy in a series of meetings in 2004.  It was a privilege and an honour to have known him.

 

Guy Henry Fawcett was one of nature's gentlemen, and held in high regard by his friends and colleagues in Adelaide's Naval Military & Airforce Club where he had become an institution in his own right at the time of his death in 2009, aged 97 years.  He had settled in Adelaide following his retirement from the Army, in 1960, retiring with the rank of Colonel from Headquarters Central Command Keswick Barracks.  His name is recorded as the President of the Keswick Barracks Officers Mess at that time.  He later became Bursar at Adelaide's Pembroke College, a position he held for many years.

Guy Fawcett had enlisted in the Australian Army Instructional Corps in the interwar period, which was the very small Regular Army at that time.  He attained the rank of Warrant Officer.

Shortly after the outbreak of war, he was commissioned into the 2nd/27th Battalion, which was drawn largely from South Australia.  It was the unit with which he was to serve for most of the war, and as a result he became a 'de-facto' South Australian.

He was one of three brothers who served in WW2 but the only one to survive.  One brother, NX65881 Private Gordon Fawcett (www.awm.gov.au), serving with the 2nd/12th Field Ambulance,  was lost on the HMAS Centaur, the Hospital ship infamously torpedoed by a Japanese submarine of the coast of Coolangatta on 14 May 1943.  The other I believe to have been killed in Malaya (to be confirmed).

Guy served in the Middle East in the Syrian Campaign.  The main image shows him in his study at his home in Norwood in the 1980s, with a Vichy French cavalry sabre, recovered after an engagement with Vichi French Colonial Spahi Cavalry during the Syrian campaign.

He went on to serve with the Battalion in New Guinea.  He famously served in the Ramu Valley campaign.  Guy's Post, which he established with a Company defended position near Shaggy Ridge, was named after him and was used later in the campaign as an advanced Dressing Station.

At war's end he transferred to the fledgling Regular Army and served on a range of appointments and postings, including time with the newly formed Royal Australian Regiment  (although I have yet to confirm if his service included Korea), and he attended Army Command and Staff College at Fort Queenscliff.  

He retired from the Regular Army at Keswick Barracks in South Australia where he and his wife Nessie had decided to settle.  He was well networked in the Adelaide business community as a result of his war service and secured employment at Pembroke College.  His wife Nessie pre-deceased him.  They had no children.   Guy had moved out of his house on the Parade Norwood where he had lived independently until late 2008.  He was resident at the War Veteran's Home Myrtle Bank at the time of his death, which occurred after complications following a fall.  He had an extended family of nieces and nephews in Queensland with whom he had kept in regular contact and is fondly remembered by them.

 

Steve Larkins  June 2015

Read more...