Thomas Marshall (Marsh) MEWETT

MEWETT, Thomas Marshall

Service Number: SX12890
Enlisted: 3 March 1941, Aldgate, SA
Last Rank: Private
Last Unit: Not yet discovered
Born: Kersbrook, SA, 30 January 1920
Home Town: Kersbrook, Adelaide Hills, South Australia
Schooling: Kersbrook School Adelaide Hills - South Australia
Occupation: Gardener
Died: Died of wounds, Egypt, 29 October 1942, aged 22 years
Cemetery: El Alamein War Cemetery
Plot A II Row J Grave 18 , El Alamein War Cemetery, El Alamein, Marsa Matruh, Egypt
Memorials: Adelaide WW2 Wall of Remembrance, Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour, Gumeracha Our Fallen Heroes WW2 Honour Board, Kersbrook Roll of Honor
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World War 2 Service

3 Mar 1941: Enlisted Aldgate, SA
22 May 1941: Enlisted Private, SX12890, Adelaide, South Australia

‘His duty nobly done.’

Thomas, called by his second name, Marshall, was born in Kersbrook, the fruit growing area of the Adelaide Hills on the 30th January, 1920. His parents were Ernest Marshall and Ruby Verna Mewett and he had two brothers, Thomas and Adrian. Younger brother Thomas
The boys all attended the local Kersbrook School where Marshall proved to be a capable student. His work was selected for a display at Houghton, where the Torrens Valley school of Kersbrook, Houghton, Paracombe, Hermitage, Millbrook, and Cudlee Creek all displayed students’ work. Initially there were athletic events followed by physical drill, marching, and rhythmic competitions, and sports finals. Thomas and Marshall were both recipients of awards, Marshall for his Grade III transcription and his copybooks.
As was typical of country lads, Marshall was a very useful member of the local Rovers Football team where his father, Ernest also served as President for a number of years. The Club was particularly successful in ’38 playing in the Hills Association and consequently organising a Victory Ball in the local Memorial Hall. Rovers had defeated Houghton and were presented with the Premiership Shield. To add to the celebration, Marshall won the medal as the most improved player over the season.
Marshall was working with his father as a gardener while also having joined to act as a member of the Militia as S30547 in the 101st General Hospital. With the outbreak of WWII he enlisted at Aldgate on the 3rd March, ’41, just after his 21st birthday. He was allocated to the newly formed 2/48th Battalion which was to become one of the most decorated but decimated Battalions. Following preliminary training in the Adelaide Hills at Woodside Marshall was soon being shipped over to the Middle East to Syria and Tobruk, where much more primitive conditions were experienced.
By 1942 conditions were ever-changing and the fighting continuous. Montgomery had ordered the 9th Battalion to attack northward in what was to be relentless fighting in in a massive assault to ambitiously take the strategic position of Trig 29. John Glenn in his book, ‘Tobruk to Tarakan’ describes the carnage.
‘The attack continued, however, without pause…it was only after hard fighting, with heavy casualties on both sides, that they were able to consolidate on their objective. The troops had never been more tired.. The 2/48th had stirred up a real hornets’ nest; from first light until nine o’clock the enemy turned all their fury on the Trig area, with particularly heavy fire on 29 itself, hiding the position in a cloud of dust and smoke.’
A strongpost had to be taken before Trig 29 could be reached. Kenneth Slessor writing for the Advertiser wrote an article published in March ’43. In that action both Private Percy Gratwick and Sgt Bill Kibby both from the 2/48th Battalion, earned a Victoria Cross. ‘No 7 platoon with 20 men under Lt. Colin Taggart, was given the job. They set off in three sections. Cpl. Bart Lindsay from South Australia, in charge of number one, on the left. Cpl. Mick Cleave, from West Coast of South Australia in charge of number two, on the right. Taggart between the two sections leading, with Sgt. Alf Meyer from Renmark, just behind, and Sgt. Harry Lock, also from Renmark, bringing up the rear, in charge of number three section. "The moment we crossed the sky-line we got belted with everything - mortars, Spandaus and later on, grenades," said Dillon. It was under these horrific conditions that 22-year-old Marshall sustained his fatal injuries and died of wounds sustained in the fierce fighting.
His parents were officially informed of his death which was reported in the Advertiser on November 10th ’42. “Mr. and Mrs. E. M. Mewett, of Kersbrook, have been notified that their eldest son, Pte. Marshall Mewett, 22, died on October 29 of wounds received in action in Egypt. He enlisted in February, 1941, and went abroad in September of the same year. He was a member of the Williamstown Football Club for many years.“
Others who died of injuries with him include those from the 2/7th 2/13th, 2/15th, 2/17th, 2/23rd, as well as 23-year-old Lance Corporal Percival James (Mick) Cleave, SX6662 from Mangalo and 26-year-old Lt Basil Shepard SX12500 from Colonel Light Gardens, both from Marshall’s 2/48th Battalion. Initially Marshall was buried in the field but was later re-buried at the El Alamein War Cemetery on the 19th March, 1945. He is resting in Plot A II Row J Grave 18 His parents chose the inscription for his headstone ‘His duty nobly done.’
His family, friends and fellow soldiers continued to remember Marshall in the ensuing years.
Advertiser Tuesday 10 November 1942, MEWETT. —Died of wounds in Egypt, Oct. 29, Pte. Marshall Mewett. aged 22, dearly loved eldest son of Mr. and Mrs. Ern Mewett, of Kersbrook, loved brother of Tom and Adrian. Treasured memories are all we have left MEWETT. —A loving tribute to Pte. Marshall Mewett, dear nephew of Doll, Lil, Jean, Alma, and Doug, died of wounds received in action Oct 29, in Egypt. We will remember him.
Advertiser Friday 29 October 1943, MEWETT.- In memory dear Marshall, died of wounds, Egypt, Oct. 29. 1942. To have you back in the same old way would be our greatest wish today. —Always re-membered by uncle Peter, aunty Jane and cousins. MEWETT. - In loving memory of Marshall, who died on active service, October 29. 1942. He sleeps in a soldier's grave, honored among the Australia's brave. Ever remembered by Doug, Dot, and Bill. MEWETT. - In loving memory of Marshall. Gone from us his smiling face, those loving, cheerful ways; the heart that won so many friends in happy by gone days. Ever remembered by his uncle and aunty Pinson, Williamstown. MEWETT. - A proud tribute to our dear nephew, Marsh, died of wounds, Egypt, October 29, 1942. His comrades laid him down to rest among the honored brave. Ever remembered by uncle Doug, aunt Jean, and boys. MEWETT. - In loving memory of our dear nephew and cousin, Marsh, died of wounds. Egypt, October 29. 1942. His happy face and cheerful smile are always in our thoughts. Ever remembered by Kevin, Li, and children. MEWETT. Pte. Marshall. - A tribute of love and honor to our gallant hero, who made the supreme sacrifice at El Alamein, Egypt, Oct. 29, 1942. Loved, remembered, longed for always, by dad, mum, Tom and Adrian. MEWETT, Marshall. Died of wounds in Egypt, October 29. 1942. A pal and soldier. Ever remembered by Alma Warner. MEWETT. - In loving memory of Pte. Marshall Mewett, died of Wounds in Egypt, Oct. 29. Too dearly loved to be forgotten. Always remembered by his best friends, Maude, George, and Neville Stephen. Lobethal. MEWETT. - In loving memory of my dear friend, Pte. Marshall Mewett, died of wounds in Egypt, Oct. 29. Deep in my heart a memory is kept of one I love I'll never forget. Ever remembered by his best friend. Ivy Dicker, Lobethal MEWETT. - In loving memory of Marshall, who died of wounds at El Alamein, October 29. 1942. His happy smile and gentlemanly manners endeared him to all. All ways remembered by his pals at Inglewood and Prospect.
Advertiser Saturday 28 October 1944, MEWETT.—In loving memory of Marshall, killed at El Alamein October 29, 1942.—Remembered by Roy Marr, A.I.F. MEWETT.—In loving memory of Marshall, died of wounds October 29, 1942. Two years have passed, but memory of you will always last. lnserted by uncle Albert, auntie Edna, Brian. MEWETT, Pte. Marshall. Gave his life for Australia, October 29, 1942, at El Alamein. Beneath the Cross of Sacrifice, among the honored brave. Inserted by dad, mum, Tom and Adrian. MEWETT. —In loving memory of our pal, Private Marshall, who paid the supreme sacrifice at El Alamein. The evening stars are shining upon a heroe’s grave, beneath the cross of sacrifice he lies among the brave. —Lovingly remembered by Alice, Ann, Marg, and Phyllis.
Advertiser Monday 29 October 1945, MEWETT, Pte. Marshall. — Loving memories of our soldier hero, sacrificed his life, El Alamein, October 29, 1942. Greater love hath no man than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. — Inserted by dad, mum, Tom and Adrian. MEWETT. —A tribute to the memory of our dear nephew and cousin, Marsh, died of wounds, El Alamein, October 29, 1942. His smiling face and cheerful ways will always be remembered by Doug, Jean and boys MEWETT. —In memory of Marshall, died of wounds, El Alamein, October 29 1942.—Remembered by his friend, Roy Marr, SX11978. MEWETT. In loving memory of Marsh, died of wounds, October 29, 1942. There is a face that's always with us, A smile we will always remember, And a memory precious and dear. —Ever remembered by Kevin, Lill and children. MEWETT. Marshall. —Died of wounds, El Alamein October 29, 1942. A pal and soldier. Ever remembered by Alma Warner.
Advertiser Tuesday 29 October 1946, MEWETT. —In loving memory of Mar-shall, died of wounds. El Alamein, October 29. —Always remembered, Edna and Brian. MEWETT. —In loving memory of dear Marshall, who died on October 29. —Always remembered by Uncle Peter, Aunty Jane and family. MEWETT, Marshall. Pte.—Ever loving memories of our soldier hero died of wounds, El Alamein. October 29. 1942. He lies across the ocean Among Australia's brave. Please God, may we be worthy Of the sacrifice he made. —Inserted by dad, mum. Tom and Adrian. MEWETT-—ln loving memory or our dear nephew and cousin. Marsh, died of wounds received in action. El Alamein. October 35. 1942 Egypt. Always In our thoughts. —Ever remembered by Kevin. Lill and children.
Advertiser Friday 29 October 1948, MEWETT. —In loving memory of our dear nephew and cousin Marsh. His happy face and cheerful smile are always in our thoughts. Lovingly remembered by Kevin. Lit and children. MEWETT. Pte. Marshall. —Loving remembrance of our soldier hero, died of wounds. El Alamein. Egypt, October 29. 1942. "Greater love hath no man than this."—inserted by dad, mum. Tom and Adrian.

Researched and written by Kaye Lee, daughter of Bryan Holmes, SX8133 2/48th Battalion.

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