Raymond William (Ray) JAMESON

JAMESON, Raymond William

Service Number: SX13065
Enlisted: 31 May 1941
Last Rank: Private
Last Unit: 2nd/48th Infantry Battalion
Born: Tumby Bay, South Australia, 24 September 1912
Home Town: Tumby Bay, Tumby Bay, South Australia
Schooling: Tumby Bay School, South Australia
Occupation: Fisherman
Died: Port Lincoln, Souith Australia , 26 February 1991, aged 78 years, cause of death not yet discovered
Cemetery: Tumby Bay Cemetery
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World War 2 Service

31 May 1941: Involvement Private, SX13065
31 May 1941: Enlisted Wayville, SA
31 May 1941: Enlisted Australian Military Forces (Army WW2), Private, SX13065
30 May 1945: Discharged Australian Military Forces (Army WW2), Private, 2nd/48th Infantry Battalion

Ray’s legacy- Ray Jameson Trophy Race

Born on the 24th September 1912, Ray was raised in Tumby Bay on Eyre Peninsula, where his life revolved around the sea. His parents were William Robert Jameson and Lilian May (nee Vesty). Ray was particularly close to his sister, Connie and also had two brothers, Jack and Kenneth. William was a part-time professional fisherman and commission agent dealing predominantly with wheat. Connie was the scholar of the family, receiving several awards throughout her schooling where the children attended the local Tumby Bay School. Ray was 13 when his 36-year-old mother died at the Largs Bay Private Hospital in February ‘26. She was buried with her parents, Mary Ann and Samuel James Vesty.
Ray became a fisherman with his father and became used to the relative tranquillity of the sea. He and his brothers also enjoyed social evenings together, particularly with the opening of the new dance palladium in Tumby Bay in January ’38. However, the war soon intervened but despite this, brother Jack and Thelma Swaffer married in March ’41, choosing sister Connie as a bridesmaid.
Aged 27, Ray enlisted on the 31st May ’41 at Tumby Bay where there was a huge push aimed at recruiting fit young country men to join the army. He was allocated the number SX13065 and was very quickly added to the 2/48th Reinforcements. (His younger brother, Kenneth enlisted on the 19th August the following year, becoming SX22353.) Whilst on leave prior to embarking, Ray celebrated a little too much and received his first reprimand for being drunk. By September he was on his way overseas, arriving in the Middle East in October ’41.
It was an expensive exercise when Ray went absent without leave early in December ’41 at Dimra. Fortunately, not attending Parade the following month did not hit his finances. In the heat, dust and poor sanitary conditions, Ray contracted a severe high temperature (Pyrexia of Unknown Origin) which was followed by sandfly fever, then a further fever called phlebotomus which causes severe headaches, aching joints and muscles. He consequently received ongoing medical attention over ‘42.
While Ray was in the Middle East, his youngest brother, then Sergeant Kenneth Jameson married Jean Munro who was with the A.W.A.S. Jack, Ken’s other brother, home at the time, acted as the best man.
Finally, Ray’s service in the Middle East had come to an end and he was on the way home to Australia via Melbourne in March ’43. The Port Lincoln Times immediately reported that Ray and three other Privates, SX13569 Ken (Jack) Grindell, 2/48th, SX11815 Harold Thomas 2/43rd and SX7114 Keven Branford 2/8th were back in the town and visiting family.
Training in Queensland was followed by service in New Guinea, with Ray arriving at Milne Bay in August ’43. A still unwell Ray returned to Australia in February the following year but was immediately hospitalised in his local Tumby Bay Hospital for two weeks with malaria. He continued to be affected by that tropical disease, being well for a week before succumbing and again being hospitalised several times over April and early May ’44. In April, Ray was able to spend a week of his leave in Whyalla visiting Connie but returned to Tumby where he was again admitted to hospital.
An indication of Ray still not being well was the recurrence of him being AWOL in July, having just returned from recuperating at Tumby. This, yet again, attracted another fine. High fevers, varicose veins and malaria continued to affect Ray towards the end of ’44, with several bouts of hospitalisation. He was able to return to the 2/48th at the start of ’45 but was heavily fined yet again for being absent without leave. Malaria returned in February as did yet another expensive case of being AWOL. Dyspepsia and a continued anxiety state were finally recognised with Ray receiving some attention and a transfer from his Battalion.
On his return, via Brisbane in June ’44 Ray, again went AWOL with a resultant warrant for his arrest being issued. Fortunately, he was in possession of a Medical Certificate, but another fine was still issued. Adding to his physical ill health, Ray’s varicose veins continue to make life difficult and resulted in a further bout of hospitalisation in October ’44. In deteriorating poor health and still affected by varicose veins, malaria, contracted disease and in an ‘anxiety state’ Ray was discharged in May ’45. His army records do not indicate any support was forthcoming regarding Ray’s mental health.
A huge, warm ‘welcome home’ function was held in the Tumby Bay Institute in November ’45 with many returned servicemen in attendance, including Ray. The local RSL veterans from WWI also welcomed the young men to the ranks. Celebrations including supper with dancing continuing into the early hours of the next morning.
Ray’s sister, Connie, who had joined the A.W.A.S. married Aubrey Kotz, SX27501 who had served with the 2/10th Battalion. Post war Ray returned to being a professional fisherman. Conditions on the sea were not always calm, as in April ’59 when the thick fog disoriented Ray, causing his 20 foot cutter to run aground on the reef which stretches, out from Tumby Island. The vessel was so tightly wedged on the reef that efforts the next morning to move it were initially unsuccessful. It was finally re-floated with the aid of drums and towed to shore, returning to Tumby from about five miles out.
By 1971 Ray was keen to build his own home but wanted to make use of the War Service Home Loan offered to those who served during WWII. He needed his formal discharge papers to implement this but, like many soldiers at the end of the war, lost his formal papers. In Ray’s case, he claimed they were on his boat when it sank in 1960.
Ray married widow Lillian Ada May Haines (nee Howard) who had two daughters, Daphne and Pam. (Her first husband, 72-year-old Mark died in April ’59 in the Tumby Bay Hospital.) Ray and Lillian had several decades together with Ray relishing the role of stepfather to the girls and being Poppa to the grandchildren.
He continued to support the Tumby Bay Yacht Club Championships, donating trophies for both light and heavyweight races in the ‘60’s. His generous contributions came to be known as the fiercely contested ‘Ray Jameson Trophy Race’.
Lillian also enjoyed sailing with Ray from the Tumby jetty, apart from one incident that occurred in August ’62. As she went to board his boat, her purse, containing £14, dropped overboard, sinking into 18 to 20 feet of water. By coincidence, a visiting bank officer, Doug Hunt volunteered to try and recover the purse, despite the wintry weather. He borrowed bathers, diving down and recovering the purse at the first attempt. The local Port Lincoln Times quipped ‘Obviously Mr. Hunt is a banker of good account who knows, how to handle money and raise interest.’ Headlining the report with ‘Liquid assets are always handy. However, if your stock is watered and descends to the bottom of the sea, you are left with a doubtful sinking fund.’
In later years, Ray and Lillian moved from Tumby Bay to the Pioneer Village in Port Lincoln. Aged 76, Ray died on the 26th February 1991. A plaque commemorating his service is in the Tumby Bay Cemetery. The following year the family placed a tribute to him in the Port Lincoln Times. ‘JAMESON, Raymond William — In loving memory of my dear husband, passed away 26.2.1991. Silent thoughts of our time together hold precious memories that will last forever, your loving wife — Lillian. JAMESON, Raymond (Poppa) — Loving memories of our dear stepfather and pop, passed away 26.2.1991. Now fishing in calmer waters. Still sadly missed — Pam, Ray and family. JAMESON, Ray — Passed away 26.2.91. Loved brother of Connie, brother-in-law of Aubrey, fond uncle of Colleen, Judy and Ian. Happy memories, Poppa.’
In her 89th year, Lillian died on January 30, 1999. A beautiful tribute was placed in the Port Lincoln Times in February that year. ‘Dearly loved wife of Mark Haines, and also Ray Jameson (both deceased). Dearly loved and precious mother of Daphne McArthur and Pam Morrison, and mother-in-law of Terry and Ray. Devoted nan of 11 grandchildren and great nan of 13. May the winds of love blow softly, and whisper for you to hear, that we will always love you, and wish that you were here.’
Researched and written by Kaye Lee, daughter of Bryan Holmes, SX8133, 2/48th Battalion

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