Elliot (Paddy) MALONEY


Service Number: SX8019
Enlisted: 5 July 1940, Adelaide, South Australia
Last Rank: Private
Last Unit: 2nd/48th Infantry Battalion
Born: Lobethal, South Australia, 16 December 1912
Home Town: Birdwood (formerly Blumberg), Adelaide Hills, South Australia
Schooling: Not yet discovered
Occupation: Not yet discovered
Died: Natural causes, Birdwood, South Australia, 10 June 1985, aged 72 years
Cemetery: Birdwood Cemetery
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World War 2 Service

5 Jul 1940: Enlisted Australian Military Forces (Army WW2), Private, SX8019
5 Jul 1940: Enlisted Private, SX8019, Adelaide, South Australia
6 Jul 1940: Involvement Private, SX8019
10 Apr 1941: Involvement Private, SX8019, 2nd/48th Infantry Battalion, Siege of Tobruk
15 Sep 1943: Involvement Private, SX8019, 2nd/48th Infantry Battalion, New Guinea - Huon Peninsula / Markham and Ramu Valley /Finisterre Ranges Campaigns
16 Apr 1945: Involvement Private, SX8019, 2nd/48th Infantry Battalion, Borneo - Operation Oboe July - August 1945
4 Oct 1945: Discharged Private, SX8019, 2nd/48th Infantry Battalion
4 Oct 1945: Discharged Australian Military Forces (Army WW2), Private, SX8019


Born in Lobethal on the 16th December 1912, Elliot grew up in Birdwood in the Adelaide Hills. The area was originally settled by Prussian Lutherans who fled religious persecution in their homeland and named their settlement Blumberg. With anti-German sentiment during WWI it was one of the unfortunate towns to have its name anglicized. (Petersberg in the mid north was another example of being renamed as Peterborough.)
Elliot enjoyed dancing, which was a regular pastime to raise funds for various local causes, including the hospital. At one Ball in November ‘32, Elliot and Ivy Carter won a lucky cap award whilst also contributing to the hospital guild. A reliable sportsman, Elliot was also a consistent batsman playing cricket for Birdwood, often acting as the opening batsman including in one of his last matches in February ’40, scoring 42 runs. He was also a capable forward lines footballer who was regularly amongst the goal kickers.
Elliot married his long-term sweetheart, Ivy and by April, ’38 they welcomed the first of their children, Roger Elliot. Barry, Wayne Michael, Janet and Craig followed but baby Terry Robin died when just a month old, in 1941 whilst Elliot was serving overseas.
With the outbreak of WWII 27-year-old Eric enlisted on the 5th July ’40, becoming SX8019 and allocated to the 2/48th Battalion. Inevitably he acquired the nickname ‘Paddy’. Just days earlier, another local, Richard Camac also enlisted, becoming SX7380 and being allocated to the same battalion, the 2/48th. The friends’ initial days were spent in the cold of the Pavilions, now part of the Royal Adelaide Showgrounds, before he and other new enlistees headed to Woodside for their preliminary training.
Their local community organized a farewell social at the Institute Hall with items, games and community singing part of the program. A gift parcel was presented to both young men, although Elliot received his earlier in the day. The young men then headed overseas, with their fellow 2/48th Battalion, boarded the Stratheden for the Middle East, on the 7th November 1940 and disembarked on the 17th December. Their 2/48th Battalion completed a few months training in Cyrenaica before going to Tobruk at the start of April 1941 where the dust, flies, heat, minimal water supplies and constant bombardment were quite a challenge to these fresh new enlistees. Once there, they completed a few months training in Cyrenaica. Both young men were to become one of the now famed Rats of Tobruk in a battalion which was to be highly regarded and decorated. For Elliot, the year was to be marred by the death of his 4-week-old son, Terry Robin.
Elliot was wounded in the battle to capture West Point of Tel el Eisa in a dawn attack. In late June ‘42 with Rommel crossing into Egypt, the 2/48th were in an offensive to capture Trig 33, which was achieved on the 10th July. In doing so, over 400 Italian prisoners were taken. The 2/48th battalion then advanced south, capturing the Tel el Eisa station and repelling numerous counter attacks. However, they were eventually forced to withdraw, having suffered over 100 casualties. The 2/48th battalion suffered 215 casualties between the 7th July and 23rd October. Of that number, 64 men were killed and six, died of their wounds, including Art. 125 other men were wounded but survived.
In his book, ‘Tobruk to Tarakan’, John G. Glenn described the ferocious encounter;
‘When the troops were well forward of the start-line they came under terrific fire from shells and mortars from the front and left and suffered heavy casualties. With the slow deliberate movement of perfectly trained soldiers both companies continued the advance in perfect formation, over ground that trembled and erupted with vicious explosions. Through this, sometimes obscured by the smoke and dust, the men moved, and, as they advanced, the fire kept place with them, leaving behind the still shapes of fallen men among the camel bush and sand.’
Back home, the local Mount Barker Courier reported in their August edition news of Elliot and two other local young men. Hartley Stocker, SX12849 who served in the 2/48th with Elliot, was killed in action on the 22nd July. James Gower who was with the 2/43rd was wounded at a similar time to Elliot.
Throughout August, the Adelaide based newspapers released the names of those killed or wounded in that battle. Included with Elliot were several others from his battalion. They were SX7666 Pte. E. J. Chuck, Kalangadoo SX14872 Pte. James S. Darwent, Coonawarra. SX13569 Pte. Kenneth. J. Grindell. Mundalla. SX7996 L/Sgt. Colin R. Jacka , Adelaide. SX13300 Pte. Leon W. Jackson, Cowell. SX8019 Pte. Elliot Maloney, Birdwood. SX9555 Cpl Charles T. Matthews. Iron Knob. SX7312 Pte. Charles D. Rosenberg. Adelaide. SX7933 Cpl. Walter H. Stewien. Verdun. SX11860 Pte. Eric R. Teakle. Ungarra and SX13709 Pte. Laurence C. Walker. Beverley.
Elliot was able to return from the Middle East and after leave, headed to Queensland for training prior to going to New Guinea and face a very different enemy and in totally different tropical conditions. He was finally discharged in October ’45, returning to his family. A son, Wayne Michael was born in July the following year, followed by Janet and Craig.
Elliot was able to return to his Birdwood Football team as a trainer. His son, Barry was singled out as a ‘future football star’ and Roger also followed in his father’s footsteps being often listed in the best players.
Aged 72, Elliot died in his hometown of Birdwood on the 10th June, ’85. Ivy lived to be 86 and died in March ’98. Both are buried in the Birdwood cemetery.
Researched and written by Kaye Lee, daughter of Bryan Holmes SX8133, 2/48th Battalion.

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