Richard Alfred Amyas (Dick) PELLEW

PELLEW, Richard Alfred Amyas

Service Number: SX9166
Enlisted: 20 July 1940, Wayville, South Australia
Last Rank: Major
Last Unit: Australian Army Medical Corps (2nd AIF)
Born: Balaklava, South Australia, 9 June 1911
Home Town: North Adelaide, Adelaide, South Australia
Schooling: St Peter's College, Adelaide, South Australia
Occupation: Physician
Died: Accidental (fractured skull following a fall), Adelaide, South Australia, 28 March 1976, aged 64 years
Cemetery: Norton Summit Cemetery
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World War 2 Service

20 Jul 1940: Involvement Major, SX9166
20 Jul 1940: Enlisted SX9166, Australian Army Medical Corps (2nd AIF), Wayville, South Australia
20 Jul 1940: Enlisted Australian Military Forces (Army WW2), Major, SX9166
8 Apr 1945: Discharged Major, SX9166, Australian Army Medical Corps (2nd AIF)
8 Apr 1945: Discharged Australian Military Forces (Army WW2), Major, SX9166

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Biography contributed by Tom Turner

Biography contributed by Annette Summers

PELLEW Richard Alfred Amyas MB BS FRCP FRACP

1911 – 1976

Richard Alfred Amyas Pellew was born, on 9th June 1911, at Balaklava, SA. He was the son of Leonard James Pellew, a surgeon, and Hirrel Alice, nee Ternough. His father had served with the RAMC, in France, in WW1 and was Mentioned in Despatches. Pellew was educated at St Peter’s College and studied medicine at the University of Adelaide, graduating in 1933. While at university he played basketball for South Australia. He undertook his residency at the Adelaide Hospital in 1935, and travelled to England to gain his MRCP, in London, in 1937.  He embarked upon a career as a general physician, with interest in neurology and pathology. He married Winifred Ruth Hone, the daughter of Frank Sandland and Lucy Eliza, nee Henderson. She studied for a BA at the University of Adelaide and awarded the John Howard Clark prize.  Her brother Frank Raymond Hone also served in WW2.

Pellew enlisted in the 2/AIF on 20th July 1940, and was posted as a captain to 2/3rd MG Bn.  He remained in 4 MD until March 1941. He embarked in Sydney for the Middle East on 10th April 1941 and arrived in Dimra, in the British Mandate of Palestine just NE of Gaza City, on 14th May 1941. Still appointed to 2/3rd Bn he was evacuated with sand fly fever to 2/3rd CCS and then to 1 Aust Corps rest station from 28th July until 13th August 1941. He spent one month allotted to 14 Lt FdAmb, a medical unit of the New Zealand expeditionary force, from October to November 1941, and then posted to 2/2nd AGH at El Kantara on the Suez Canal in Egypt, with promotion to major on 6th January 1942. He returned to Adelaide on 10th March 1942, and after leave was posted to 2/2nd AGH, at Bougainville. He had a short detachment to 110 AGH, at Hollywood in WA, but returned to his unit, 2/2nd AGH, in October 1942 and transferred to the 2/AIF. He was preparing for deployment in PNG when he was admitted to 105 AMH, later, Daws Road, Repatriation General Hospital, for dermatitis and he was classified unfit for serving in the tropics. He remained in Adelaide and was posted as OC Medical to 105 AMH.  He was detailed for duty as Locum Tenens for his father Dr Leonard James Pellew from August to November 1944 and promoted to temporary lieutenant colonel on 1st November 1944; he then was posted to 103 Convalescent Hospital at Ingleburn NSW. Pellew continued to be plagued by dermatitis and had to relinquish his appointment at 103 AGH and his rank of lieutenant colonel, returning to the rank of major. He was placed on the retired list on 9th April 1945.

Following the war, Pellew returned to his private practice and his honorary position at the Adelaide Hospital, in general medicine. He was the visiting medical officer to infectious diseases wards from 1948 to 1955.  South Australia at this time suffered an epidemic of poliomyelitis, and Pellew made a study of borderline cases, producing two published papers of his research. Pellew was a dry and exciting clinical teacher and attracted the attention of the Professor of Pathology, Professor Robertson, to his ward rounds at the Royal Adelaide Hospital. Richard Alfred Amyas Pellew died, from the injuries he suffered from a fall in his home, on 28th March 1976 and survived by his wife, Winifred and his son, Richard.


Blood, Sweat and Fears III: Medical Practitioners South Australia, who Served in World War 2. 

Swain, Jelly, Verco, Summers. Open Books Howden, Adelaide 2019. 

Uploaded by Annette Summers AO RFD