Patrick George (Rick) CARMODY

CARMODY, Patrick George

Service Number: S8091
Enlisted: 4 March 1941, Georgetown, South Australia
Last Rank: Corporal
Last Unit: 35 Infantry Battalion AMF
Born: Peterborough, South Australia, 17 March 1912
Home Town: Georgetown, Northern Areas, South Australia
Schooling: Gulnare and Killarney
Occupation: Farmer
Died: Stroke, Adelaide, South Australia, 15 June 2000, aged 88 years
Cemetery: Centennial Park Cemetery, South Australia
Memorials: Georgetown Memorial Hall WW2 Roll of Honour, Georgetown War Memorial Recreation Ground Gates
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World War 2 Service

4 Mar 1941: Enlisted Private, SN S8091, Georgetown, South Australia
4 Mar 1941: Enlisted Australian Military Forces (Army WW2), Corporal, SN S8091, 35 Infantry Battalion AMF
5 Mar 1941: Involvement Private, SN S8091
21 Feb 1946: Discharged Corporal, SN S8091, 35 Infantry Battalion AMF
21 Feb 1946: Discharged Australian Military Forces (Army WW2), Corporal, SN S8091, 35 Infantry Battalion AMF
Date unknown: Involvement

Patrick George (Rick) Carmody

Born: 17 Mar 1912
Died: 15 Jun 2000

Rick, as he was known, was born on St Patrick’s Day 17 March 1912, so there could be no argument about his name. He was the 4th of seven children of James and Elizabeth (nee Evans) Carmody, farmers of Georgetown SA. His siblings were Mary (b 1907), Michael (b 1909), James (Jim) (b 1910), John (b 1914), George (b 1916) and Clare (b 1919)

The family moved to the Georgetown farm when Rick was about four years old. He started school at Gulnare but when Killarney school opened, all the Carmody
children went there. The children carried out the usual farm duties, cows to milk, pigs and poultry to feed and helping out at harvest time and then as he grew
older, working as a farm hand.

Rick and his younger brother John competed in a number of the athletic sports meetings in the district, particularly the Sheffield Handicaps where there was a good prize for the winner. He was the winner of the Sheffield Handicap at the Centenary Sports Meeting at Crystal Brook in March 1937.

This event at the Showground Oval, had total prize money of £60 and was the richest meeting to be held at Crystal Brook since the WW1. There were pedestrian, cycle and Light Horse events to entertain the crowd of about 1000. Rick won the Centenary Sheffield “in easy style......” and “...appeared to have speed in reserve”.

Rick was part of the successful Georgetown Football Club which was dominant in the Northern Areas Association and usually played on the half back flank. The team travelled to Port Pirie to decide the “Cock of the North” title in October 1938. It was a rugged game and Georgetown lost by 13 points after holding an advantage in the final term. The weather was quite warm, more like cricket weather than football and the players suffered from fatigue. Rick was “a safe man for Georgetown”.

On 4 March 1941 Rick enlisted in the AIF. His occupation was given as farmer and it was noted he was a motor driver and could do running repairs. He did his initial
training course at Gawler and then was sent to Victoria where he attended a Snipers Course at Victoria Park. Later that year he attended an Armoured Corps Training Course at Puckapunyal. He was in Victoria for about two years before being transferred to Canungra in Queensland where he was taken on strength with the 35th Australian Infantry Battalion.

He embarked at Cairns on board the “Andrew D. White” for Finschafen, New
Guinea and disembarked there on 25 January 1944. The “Andrew D White” was a Liberty Ship, the name given to cargo type ships built by the United States Maritime Commission during WW2. Time magazine nicknamed them “ugly ducklings”.

They were build to a standard,mass produced design – one was built in four and a half days! The five holds of a Liberty Ship could carry over 9000 tons of cargo, as well as aeroplanes, tanks and locomotives lashed to the decks. The “Andrew D White” was chartered and operated by the Army Transportation Service. None of the ships carried their name on the bows so the enemy had no idea of their mission or cargo.

The 35th Battalion was deployed to New Guinea as part of the Huon Peninsula campaign. Finschafen had been occupied by the Imperial Japanese Army in March 1942 but was captured by the Allied forces in October 1943 enabling the construction of airfields and naval facilities for the New Britain campaign. The role of the 35th was to support the Huon Peninsula campaign by clearing the Rio
Coast between Sio and Saldor.

They patrolled the many mountain tracks and villages further inland and then later that year after the capture of Madang and Alexishafen they were ordered to maintain pressure the Japanese who were north of Alexishafen. They moved to Megiar Harbour and sent out patrols to the coast. During the months of difficult jungle conditions, casualties from combat and disease were high.

On 19 Jan 1945 Rick flew out of Madang to Cairns for a few weeks’ break. He was promoted to Lance Corporal in February. He returned to New Guinea in April on board the “Katoomba”, disembarking at Lae. Hostilities were brought to a halt in mid August following the Japanesesurrender. Rick was promoted to Corporal on 1 September.

The formal surrender ceremony took place on Cape Wom Airstrip at Wewak on 13 September 1945 before a Division Ceremonial Parade of 6th Australian Division AIF. Approximately 3000 troops paraded. Lieut-General Adachi, commander of the Japanese 18th Army in New Guinea surrendered his 14000 troops to Major-General H C H Robertson with the official signing of the surrender documents and handing over of his ceremonial sword.

After the surrender Rick was part of the general “mopping up” and attended a
Tractor Driver & Mechanic course with the 7 Australian Mechanical Equipment Co
RAE. On 6 February 1946 he embarked at Lae on “Duntroon” for home, disembarking at Brisbane. He then returned to South Australia for the discharge process at Hampstead, being finally discharged on 21 February 1946.

Rick returned home to the farm at Georgetown and continued his old life – farm work and playing football once again for Georgetown. He leased six acres of the farm from his father for 10/- an acre per annum and farmed sheep and poultry.

Two years later he applied for a War Service Land Settlement Scheme grant citing his experience of 16 years as a farm labourer on a mixed farm of sheep and wheat. He presented references, one from John J Angley, JP and local storekeeper who was happy to recommend Rick whom he had known since boyhood.

Rick was a “good, honest and upright young man” of excellent character. His
parents were prominent farmers and graziers in the district. Mr Angley could recommend Rick “to any position of trust, particularly on the land” and “he hoped he gets the opportunity he deserves”.

He did a course at the Wingfield Rural Training Centre and was assessed as a qualified applicant but with no guarantee of being allocated a property.
Ultimately his application was unsuccessful.

Following his father's death in 1948, Rick completed a Refresher Course at the Rural Training Centre in April 1950 and he and his elder brother Michael continued on at the farm until the farm was sold to Ted Lang, one of the local
landholders the following year. There was an auction and most of the farm equipment and furniture was sold. There were still a couple of the old horses remaining and it fell to Rick to take them up to the hills to shoot them because in the days of tractors and machines no-one wanted to buy them.

The proceeds of the farm sale were divided up between the family and Rick, together with Michael, initially came to Adelaide where they stayed with their brother Jim. Jim had bought a house at Richmond with his share and their mother "Lizzie" came to live with Jim and his family. The front verandah of the house was enclosed and Rick and Michael slept there.

Over the next few years Rick and Michael worked together for varying periods of time. They were in Broken Hill for a while before going share farming with a Beinke family at Port Neill on the West Coast from about 1954. They remained here for about four years.

On returning to Adelaide Rick lived at Rose Street in Mile End. He worked as a storeman at Elders Wool Store in Port Adelaide. Elder, Smith & Company was one of the large wool and produce brokers. In 1967, whilst working here, a bale of wool fell on Rick and crushed his right lower leg. He was admitted to the Royal Adelaide Hospital and underwent two surgeries to try and save his leg. It was
discovered he had an allergy to Penicillin and gangrene set in so the decision was made to amputate the leg below his knee.

After his recovery, Elders arranged work for him as a lift operator at Harris Scarfe but Rick remained here only a few months and he retired from working life.

Despite the accident, Rick was still active. He maintained his interest in football and was an active supporter of the Norwood Football Club and the Adelaide Crows, catching the bus to “Pneumonia Park” as he called Football Park to watch them. He danced at his nephews weddings and went on coach holidays and cruises.

One of his cruises was to Japan and he had a new prosthesis made prior
to this but took the old one “just in case”. He was sharing a cabin with another single male traveller, a gentleman of about 90 (Rick thought) who had selected the lower bunk leaving Rick to scramble to the upper bunk. Somewhere off the coast of Western Australia, Rick become fed up with seeing his spare leg every time he opened his suitcase and so he threw it overboard – but it didn’t sink and he last saw it bobbing along the Indian Ocean.

He didn’t have any trouble with the new leg during his Japan tour, except he couldn’t go into any of the temples because shoes had to be removed

As an addendum to this, a couple of years later there was a small article in a local
newspaper about a prosthetic leg which had been washed up on a beach in southern New Zealand. Was this Rick’s old leg??

When his elder sister Mary came home from England in 1974, Rick went and lived with her at Cluny Avenue Walkerville, and they later jointly bought a house in Warwick Street.

Rick enjoyed pottering in the garden, growing tomatoes and other vegetables. He had a regular spot at the Sussex Hotel and would walk around every
evening for a couple of beers (“only two”) before returning home in time for dinner at 5.30pm which Mary had prepared.

To liven things up a bit he and Mary would often have a heated discussion about
who would win the football or whether it would rain.

Rick died suddenly at home on 15 June 2000 at the age of 88. He had a simple funeral service and was buried at Centennial Park. Rick never spoke of his war service. He had a very dry sense of humour and Mr Angley was correct all those years before, Rick was a good, honest and upright man.

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