Colin Ivan (Petal) WILLIAMS

WILLIAMS, Colin Ivan

Service Number: SX7972
Enlisted: 5 July 1940, Adelaide, SA
Last Rank: Private
Last Unit: 2nd/27th Infantry Battalion
Born: Mount Gambier, South Australia, 17 December 1914
Home Town: Kensington, South Australia
Schooling: Compton Area School, SA
Occupation: Grocer/Salesman
Died: Emphysema, Repat Hospital, Daw Park, South Australia, 22 December 1997, aged 83 years
Cemetery: Not yet discovered
Memorials: City of Kensington & Norwood Honour Roll World War II Book and Case, Compton WW2 Honour Board, South Australian Garden of Remembrance
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World War 2 Service

5 Jul 1940: Involvement Private, SX7972, 27th Infantry Battalion
5 Jul 1940: Enlisted Adelaide, SA
5 Jul 1940: Enlisted Australian Military Forces (Army WW2), Private, SX7972, 2nd/27th Infantry Battalion
15 Nov 1945: Discharged
15 Nov 1945: Discharged Australian Military Forces (Army WW2), Private, SX7972, 2nd/27th Infantry Battalion

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Colin Ivan Williams is my Father.   

He was born on 17 December 1914 in Mt Gambier, South East of South Australia, to Herbert Opie & Annie Amelia Williams. He had 3 Brothers - Edward, Horace & Graham and 1 Sister, Myra.  His father was 6'4" and Colin was 5'4" - the runt of the litter he always said.

His family were Salvationists and he played the Cornet/Trumpet in the Salvation Army Brass Band from a young age through to his 60s.

Colin and his family moved to Kensington near the city of Adelaide - he attended the Norwood High School and was then employed with the CPS Grocers.  

He met Sylvia Nellie Marie Smith when he was 22 and she was 15. Mum was extremely shy and Dad was the complete opposite.  He would carry on a conversation with "a bum on the street" or the Prime Minister.  To him there was no distinction - everyone was equal in his eyes. He had such a loving nature; something I always admired about him.

They married at the Salvation Army Citadel on 1 April 1941.  He had 4 days furlough and then returned to Woodside Camp before going off to the Middle East.

He fought in the Middle East, Papua New Guinea and Borneo.  His best mate was Cec Grieg and stayed mates for their rest of their lives.  His nickname was "Petal".  He did everything for everyone - stretcher-bearer and played "Reveille" on his trumpet every morning to wake the camp.  If they needed a laugh Colin could be relied upon to provide it - sometimes they laughed at him and not with him!

Colin was a prolific letter writer to Sylvia - he was very descriptive as far as he could be in wartime.  

When he returned from the War Sylvia said he was not the same and never really spoke about it - only his mates.  He kept himself busy with sport, mainly tennis and squash, and he was in the Salvation Army Band, the City of Adelaide Band and St John Ambulance Band.  He was then employed as a Travelling Salesman with WP Crowhurst Pty Ltd - known as Solver Paints.  He was their top salesman for many years. 

He and Sylvia had two daughters, Robyn & Julie (me).  We hardly saw him - he was always helping out everyone else outside of the home.  His way of staying occupied and happy I suppose. Everybody loved Colin - he couldn't do enough for people.  He would sometimes sit down with me and I'd ask him questions about the War.  The only point of conversation was talking about how fabulous and strong the "Fuzzy Wuzzies" were in New Guinea. 

He retired from Solver Paints in 1976 at the age of 62.  That's when he was diagnosed with Emphysema.  He passed away from complications of Emphysema at the Repatriation General Hospital in Daw Park, South Australia at the age of 83 on 22 December 1997.

Not a day goes past that I don't smile and think of him.  Very sadly missed to this day.


1939/45 Star, Africa Star, Pacific Star, Defence Medal, War Medal (1939/45), Australia Service Medal, Returned from Active Service Badge