Herbert Oswald (Herb) NEUMANN

NEUMANN, Herbert Oswald

Service Number: SX8014
Enlisted: 5 July 1940, Adelaide, South Australia
Last Rank: Private
Last Unit: 2nd/48th Infantry Battalion
Born: Saddleworth, South Australia, 14 December 1900
Home Town: Aldgate, Adelaide Hills, South Australia
Schooling: Auburn Public School, South Australia
Occupation: Fruit Grower
Died: Killed in Action, Libya, 1 May 1941, aged 40 years
Cemetery: No known grave - "Known Unto God"
Memorials: Adelaide WW2 Wall of Remembrance, Alamein Memorial (El Alamein), Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour
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World War 2 Service

5 Jul 1940: Enlisted Private, SX8014, Adelaide, South Australia
5 Jul 1940: Enlisted Australian Military Forces (Army WW2), Private, SX8014, 2nd/48th Infantry Battalion
6 Jul 1940: Involvement Private, SX8014
1 May 1941: Involvement Private, SX8014, 2nd/48th Infantry Battalion, Siege of Tobruk
Date unknown: Involvement

Herbert Oswald NEUMANN SX8014

Herbert (Herb) was one of four children, two boys and two girls, born to Pauline Bertha and August Paul Neumann. Herb was born, just prior to Christmas on the 14th December 1900 in the Mid-North town of Saddleworth, on the Gilbert River in South Australia. His siblings were Adelaide, Paul Ola and Assie. Herb attended the Auburn Public School before the family moved to live in Aldgate in the Adelaide Hills.
His father, August died in 1928 when Herb was 27. His mother died six years later in 1934. Both were buried in the Stirling Cemetery at Bridgewater.
With the outbreak of WWII, Herb enlisted on the 5th July 1940 in Adelaide, aged 39 years. He became SX10361 and was allocated to the newly formed 2/48th Battalion. Training was conducted at Woodside in the Adelaide Hills before the large contingent embarked on the Stratheden for the Middle East, on the 7th November 1940, arriving on the 19th December 1940.
Within four months of arriving, Herb was killed in action in Libya. John G. Glenn in ‘Tobruk to Tarakan’ describes how in Libya at 3:50am on May 1st, the 2/48th “in thick mist, darkness, and bitter cold snatched a quick breakfast of bully beef and hard biscuits.” German dive bombers swept over the battalion at the same time as “a heavy concentration of enemy artillery fire. One shell made a direct hit on a dugout of D Company, killing two and wounding two others.” It was under these conditions that Bert was killed in action, aged 40. The next morning there was a terrific dust storm but a foot patrol set out to find their soldiers in the terrific dust storm but it was some time before his fate was confirmed.
Mark Johnson in his recent book, ‘Derrick In His Own Words’ explained that ‘On 1 May the 2/48th suffered 51 casualties, including 16 killed. Besides Herb, these included Robert Carey SX7943, John Christerson SX7791, John Marshall SX7759 William Gates SX6867 and Glanville Porter SX7315 all from the 2/48th Battalion. A tragic day.
Initial reports back home had been that Herb was injured in action but in June, this was then upgraded to missing, believed killed, then in the official casualty list published in July was that Herb was reported as killed in action. His body was not found.
Advertiser Thursday 14 August 1941, NEUMANN.— Killed ln "action on the 1st of May. Herbert Oswald, second son of the late Mr. and Mrs. A. P. Neumann, of Aldgate and loved brother of Adelaide, Paul and Ola. Aged 40 years
Locally Herbert continues to be remembered at the Stirling Cemetery with his parents and also at El Alamein, Column 94 with five of his fellow 2/48th Battalion including George Brown SX6935, Clyde Arblaster SX7945, J.W.T. Christerson SX6935, William Gates SX6867 and Robert Cattermole SX10361.
Researched and written by Kaye Lee, daughter of Bryan Holmes SX8133, 2/48th Battalion.

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Biography contributed by Faithe Jones

Son of August Paul and Pauline Bertha Neumann, of Aldgate, South Australia.

Mrs. A. P. Neumann, of Aldgate, has been notified that Pte. H. O. Neumann is reported missing, believed killed. He was previously reported wounded in action on May 1. He enlisted in June last year and left for overseas in November. Younger son of the late Mr. A. P. Neumann and Mrs. Neumann, he was  born at Saddleworth in 1900. Pte. Neumann was educated at Auburn public school, and later resided in the Aldgate district.