Rex Emerson GROTH

Poppy

GROTH, Rex Emerson

Service Number: SX13720
Enlisted: 16 July 1941
Last Rank: Craftsman
Last Unit: 2nd/48th Infantry Battalion
Born: Mannum, South Australia, 13 February 1911
Home Town: Salisbury, Salisbury, South Australia
Schooling: Not yet discovered
Occupation: farmer at Sandalwood and in the Murray Mallee
Died: Killed in action, Egypt, 28 September 1942, aged 31 years
Cemetery: El Alamein War Cemetery
Plot AIV, Row B. 25, El Alamein War Cemetery, El Alamein, Marsa Matruh, Egypt
Memorials: Adelaide WW2 Wall of Remembrance, Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour
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World War 2 Service

16 Jul 1941: Involvement Craftsman, SN SX13720
16 Jul 1941: Enlisted Wayville, SA
16 Jul 1941: Enlisted Australian Military Forces (Army WW2), Private, SN SX13720, 2nd/48th Infantry Battalion
Date unknown: Involvement

‘Until We Meet Again, Dear Rex. His Dad Sisters and Brothers’

Rex Emerson GROTH SX13720
Rex Emerson was one of eleven children born to Mary Sawers Christie (nee Taylor) and Jacob Henry Groth. The Groth family were well recognised as being one of the pioneering families of the Riverland town of Mannum, home of the first Paddle Steamer on the Murray in 1853 which enabled the stations along the Murray and the early Victorian goldfields to be more easily accessible. Rex was born at Mannum on the 13th February, 1911. He was the youngest son and 10th born of the children, with five sisters, Mary Sars Christie, Emilie Clara, Jean Evelyn, Lily Marie, and Joyce May and five brothers; Jacob Henry Medway, Robert Albert Harold, Peter Taylor, Ernst Crawford and Max Adolf.
While living at Uley, via One Tree Hill, Rex was active in the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, gaining a Special Prize as a 14-year-old for his essay on ‘Why we Should be Kind to Animals’. Soon after, the family then moved to Evanston in ’26 where Jacob had a dairy and also a mail contract. He and Mary had developed a productive home garden which was a ready source of seasonal fruits and vegetables for their family. Just two years later, when Rex had just turned 16, his 58-year-old mother, Mary was killed in an horrific motor accident at Gawler, just two days prior to her birthday in March ‘27. At that stage, her children ranged in ages from 33 to the youngest, Joyce being just 11 and the couple were planning to enjoy a peaceful future now their children were older. As a consequence, Jacob Street, where the accident occurred, was recommended to be made one-way. In a very thoughtful gesture, Jacob met with the woman driver to reassure her that it was an accident, adding “'I pity her from the bottom of my heart." Mary was later buried at One Tree Hill Cemetery. The two married daughters, Mary Colbert and Emilie Taylor immediately volunteered to help their father at his home.
Post school, Rex became a farmer at Sandalwood and in the Murray Mallee. He was also a useful football player for Sandalwood in the Murray Association, being a consistent goal kicker and appearing in the list of best players. He was similarly a reliable all-round cricketer for Sandalwood, with his brother, Ernst also playing in the same team. Rex also played tennis for Claypans.
With the outbreak of WWII, the call was constantly being made for young men to enlist, which Rex did on the 16th July 1941, just after his 30th birthday. He became SX13720 and was allocated to the 2/48th Battalion, serving in Palestine and Syria. From there he was transferred to the battle front in Egypt, where just over a year after enlisting, Rex was killed in action in Egypt on 28 September, 1942. He was 31 years old.
In John Glenn’s book, ‘Tobruk to Tarakan’, events of September, ’42 are graphically described. “To identify the enemy troops facing the 2/48th Battalion a patrol of eight men under the command of Lieutenant Bill Laird was sent out form C Company on the night of the 27th September ’42 with instructions to bring in a prisoner. They moved towards the main road until close to the enemy front, then turned due south along the German minefield, past several knocked-out carriers that were still manned by their dead crews. The patrol had just topped a low rise when a German broke the uncanny silence with a challenge. Sergeant J. Buckley, who was the forward scout, and Corporal Arblaster answered with sub-machine gun and rifle, killing one man and taking another prisoner. They were now ready to make back and Laird had just given the bearing for home when the night again broke into violent action and the patrol split up. They had run into a returning German patrol and a platoon of Germans guarding the minefield.’ Lieutenant Bill Laird (WX8898) and Corporal Arblaster, SX7945 had gone missing, despite a foot patrol setting out the next morning to find them in the terrific dust storm. However, when the dust storm cleared briefly, the patrol came under very heavy fire.
“The carriers, now no longer hidden by dust, stood out clearly, and the enemy immediately plastered them with airburst, succeeding in knocking one of them out and inflicting casualties, Private R.E. Groth being killed.”
Rex was buried at the El Alamein War Cemetery, Plot AIV, Row B. 25. Nearby were Lieutenant Sergeant Prime Willmott SX8183 and Lieutenant John Wilson SX10269 both of the 2/48th Battalion who were killed on the 15th September.
Back home, the Chronicle reported the deaths on Thursday 22 October 1942: SX13720 Pte. R. E. Groth, Gepps Cross; SX2445 Sig. George D Davis, Loxton; SX3450 Pte. Donald A. Fairlie Adelaide; SX10360 Pte Harold R. Haines, Corrondown; SX10044 Pte. William J. N. O'Neill, Stirling West; SX13498 Pte. Thomas A. Tee, Fort Germein; SX4153 L/Cpl. George M. Tipper, Berri; SX8755 Pte. David E. Wooton, Mt. Bryan; SP6482 Gnr. R. Hannaford, Eng., Cudlee Creek; SX4420 Cpl. John H. Thomas, Albert Park.
His devastated family continued to mourn and remember Rex over the ensuing years. The day prior to the nineth anniversary of Rex’s death in September 1951, his widowed father died at his daughter’s home in Stanley Flat. He was 85 years old. Jacob was then buried with his wife at the One Tree Hill Cemetery.
Advertiser 1942, GROTH. —On September 28. Rex youngest son of J H. and the late Mrs. Groth, killed in action. GROTH. —Killed In action In Egypt on Sept. 28. Pte. Rex Groth, loving brother of Harold, Doris, and uncle of Henry. GROTH. —A tribute of love to Rex, our dear brother and uncle, killed in Egypt. Sept. 28. His duty nobly done. — Ever remembered by Chris. Jim. Phyl. and Tess.
GROTH. —A tribute to the memory of Pte. Rex Groth, killed in Egypt. September 28. "His duty nobly done." Remembered by Lola. GROTH. —In memory of Rex, Killed in action Egypt. September 28. dear brother of Lily and Harry, loving and much-loved uncle of Annette, Judith and Robert. Sadly missed. GROTH. —Just a tribute to our dear brother Rex, who made the supreme sacrifice In Egypt. September 28. Some day we'll meet again —Always remembered by Peter (A.I.F returned) and Crawford GROTH. —A tribute of love and honor to a dear brother and uncle, Rex. killed in action, Egypt. Sept. 28. Greater love hath no man. —Remembered always by Clara, Cecil, the girls, and Peter GROTH. —A loving tribute to Rex, killed in Egypt, Sept. 28, dear brother of Jean and Frank, and loving uncle of Maxine and Yvonne, of Clare. Sadly mourned.
Advertiser September 1943, GROTH. —In loving memory of Rex, who was killed in action Sept. 28, 1942. overseas. Thoughts drift back to bygone days; life moves on but memories stay. —Inserted by Mr. and Mrs. R. L. Simpson. Wudinna. GROTH. —In loving memory of Rex killed at El Alamein, September 28. 1942 —Lovingly remembered by dad and brother Crawf and Pete. GROTH. —In loving memory of Rex. killed in action at El Alamein on Sept. 28. 1942. —Ever remembered by bis brother Harold, sister-in-law Doris, nephew Henry. GROTH In loving memory of Rex who gave his life at El -Alamein on September 28. 1942. Some day we'll meet again. Always remembered by Chris. Jim. Phyl. and Tess. GROTH. —A tribute of honor to Rex, who made the supreme sacrifice Sept. 28, 1942. His duty nobly done. —Remembered always by Mr. and Mrs. G Luck, Desmond and Beverly. GROTH. —In memory of a dear brother and uncle, Rex, killed EI Alamein, Sept. 28, 1942. There's many a time that we think of you, and picture you far away. —Missed by Lily, Harry, and children. GROTH. —A tribute to the memory of my pal, Rex, killed in action, Tel-El-Eisa, Sept. 28, 1942. Not just today, but every day, in silence I remember. —Inserted by Hedley Pratt, ex-2nd A.I.F. GROTH. —A tribute of remembrance to Rex, killed in action El Alamein, Sept. 28, 1942. Greater love hath no man than this, that to lay down his life for his friends. —Remembered by Lola. GROTH. —In loving memory of Rex, killed in action at El Alamein on Sept. 28, 1942. —Ever remembered by his brother Harold, sister-in-law Doris, nephew Henry. GROTH. —In loving memory of Rex, killed at El Alamein, September 28, 1942. —Lovingly remembered by dad and brothers, Crawf. and Pete. GROTH. —In proud and fond memory of Rex, who will always be remembered by his sister and brother-in-law, Joyce and Ted Curtin, Lane Cove, Sydney. GROTH. —A tribute to the memory of Rex, killed in action at El Alamein September 28, 1942. —Always remembered by Rosie, Gladys, Clem, and Adrian. GROTH. —Cherished memories of dear Rex, who gave his life at El Alamein September 28, 1942. —Inserted by Mr. and Mrs. Grigg and family and Mrs. E. Ford.
Advertiser Friday 29 September 1944, GROTH. —Cherished memories of Rex, who gave his life at Tel-El-Eisa, Sept 28, 1942. —Lovingly remembered by Chris Jim, Phyl and Tess.
Advertiser Saturday 28 September 1946, GROTH. —Fond memories of Rex, killed El Alamein. September 28. 1942. —Lily. Harry and children. GROTH. —In loving memory of Rex. killed in action. El Alamein. September 28. 1942. —Ever remembered by Harold, Doris and Henry-GROTH. —In fond memories of Rex, killed at El Alamein. September 28. 1942. —Remembered by dad. GROTH. —A tribute of love to the memory of Rex. our dear brother and uncle, killed in Egypt September 28. 1942. His duty nobly done. —Ever remembered by Chris. Jim. Phyl and Tess. GROTH. —Treasured memories of Rex, who made the supreme sacrifice four years ago. —Always proudly remembered by Ted and Joyce. GROTH. —In loving memory of our dear Rex, killed in action. September 28. 1941. You are always in our memory: God has you In His care. —inserted by brother Crawf. and sister-in-law Dot.
Advertiser Saturday 27 September 1947, GROTH. —In loving memory of Rex. killed in action. El Alamein. September 28. 1942.—Ever remembered by Harold, Doris and Henry. GROTH. —Treasured memories of Rex, who made the supreme sacrifice, in Egypt, September 28, 1942. —Chris, Jim, Phyl and Tess. GROTH. —In loving memory of Rex, killed in action, El Alamein, September 28, 1942. Every day in some sweet way your memory comes our way. —Ever remembered by Crawf., Dot and June.
GROTH. —In loving memory of Rex, killed. Egypt, September 28, 1942. —Remembered by dad and brother Peter. GROTH. —Fond memory of dear brother and Uncle Rex, lost his life, Egypt, September 28, 1942. —Always remembered by Lilly, Harry, Bob and Judith. GROTH. — A tribute to the memory of Rex, our dear brother and uncle, who we will always remember, Killed Egypt, September 28 1942. —Inserted by Joyce, Ted, Veronica and Terry. S
Advertiser Tuesday 28 September 1948, GROTH in memory of Rex. killed on active service. September 28. 1942. —Remembered by Harold, Doris, Henry. GROTH. —In loving memory of Rex. killed at El Alamein. September 28. 1942.—Fr0m dad. Jean and Frank. GROTH. —In loving memory of our dear brother Rex who was killed in action September 28. 1948. A tender chord of memory is sadly touched today. —Ever remembered by Crawf.. Dot and June.
Advertiser Friday 30 September 1949, GROTH. —In loving memory of Rex, killed. El Alamein. September 28. 1942.—Always remembered by dad. Joyce and Ted.
Advertiser Thursday 28 September 1950, GROTH. — In proud and loving memory of Rex, who will always be remembered by dad and Ted and Joyce.
Advertiser Friday 28 September 1951, GROTH. — On September 27. at his daughter’s residence (Mrs. F. Noble) Stanley Flat, Jacob Henry Aged 85 years. GROTH. — Treasured memories of Rex, who was killed in action nine years ago. — Always remembered by Joyce, Ted and Peter.
Advertiser Saturday 27 September 1952, GROTH. — Proud memories of Rex who was killed at El Alamein. — Always remembered by Ted and Joyce. GROTH. — In loving memory of Dad and granddad, who will always be remembered by Ted, Joyce. Terence and Veronica Mary. GROTH. — In loving memory of our dear dad and granddad, passed away September 28. 1951.—So dearly loved, so sadly missed; by his loving son Crawf. Dot and girls. GROTH. — Fond memories of dear dad and granddad, passed away September 27. 1951. Also brother and uncle Rex, killed in action, September 28. 1942.— Always remembered by Lilly. Harry. Bab. Judith. Annette. GROTH. J. H. and R. E.— In loving memory of our beloved dad and granddad, who passed away on September 27. 1951 and dear brother and uncle Rex, who was killed in action in Egypt. September 28 1942. A loving thought for today, a beautiful memory for ever; — Chris. Jim and family. GROTH. — In loving memory of my dear father, passed away Sept. 27. 1951: also, dear brother Rex. killed at El Alamein. Sept. 1942. Too dearly loved to be forgotten. —Remembered by Peter. GROTH. — In loving memory of my dear father, passed away Sept. 27. 1951: also, dear brother Rex. killed at El Alamein. Sept. 28. 1942. Too dearly loved to be forgotten—Remembered by Jean
Advertiser Monday 28 September 1953, GROTH. — Cherished memories of dad. also, Rex. Both are proudly remembered by Ted and Joyce.

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

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