William Fergusson (Bill) SANDERS

SANDERS, William Fergusson

Service Number: SX10652
Enlisted: 9 December 1940, Adelaide, South Australia
Last Rank: Bombardier
Last Unit: 2nd/14th Field Regiment
Born: Georgetown, SA, 19 May 1918
Home Town: Georgetown, Northern Areas, South Australia
Schooling: Georgetown Primary and Prince Alfred College, Adelaide, South Australia
Occupation: Farmer & Grazier
Died: Tamworth, New South Wales, Australia, 25 January 2012, aged 93 years, cause of death not yet discovered
Cemetery: Not yet discovered
Memorials:
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World War 2 Service

9 Dec 1940: Involvement 2nd AIF WW 2, Bombardier, SN SX10652, 2nd/14th Field Regiment
9 Dec 1940: Enlisted 2nd AIF WW 2, Adelaide, South Australia
31 Oct 1945: Discharged 2nd AIF WW 2

As told to son David

It was diificult getting stories from Dad but here goes.

Because the 2/14th Field regiment was made up of mostly Victorians and topped up with South Australians he had the nickname "Crow".

He was based at Nightcliff, Darwin when the Japanese started bombing there were no trenches dug at the time he dived into a tyre track and tried to pull his bottom in when the 1st raid came in.

They were sick of army food and so took half the camouflage net off the gun and went fishing, as always with Aussies the shortest man in the unit was sent out on the deep end, the tide took the net and they all had to go and swim after it or there was going to be trouble.

Dad was practising with the 25 pounder and blew the barrel out, the barrel is still buried somewhere in Nightcliff.

The sergeant of his unit was Bill Roycroft (later won equestrian gold at the Rome Olympics) got out of the tent one morning and playfully was dancing around and tapping dad in the stomach with his fists which eventually got to Dad who laid one on Roycroft's nose, which sent him to hospital to repair. After transfer to Cronulla just prior to being sent to New Guinea, Roycroft did a similar dance tapping at Dad's stomach, Bill whatever you do don't hit me on the nose. He did and off to hospital again to repair the nose.

Roycroft commented because he did have a large nose the 2nd time after his hospital visit, it was repaired slightly facing to one side so when he was in the equestrian event he had to hold his head slightly to the side as he was riding.

They were transferred by ship to New Guinea and for 2 days were camped on the ship in sight of Townsville unable to disembark, he had a plank 6 foot long (he was 6 foot 3 1/2 inches).

He met Mum through family in 1942 when home on leave in Adelaide, they corresponded for 12 months eventually marrying in April 1943. Having been in personal contact for around 3 weeks, this lasted for 68 years.

Dad was a one eyed South Australian in any sport with the nickname of friends as the Old Crow.

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Biography

Married to Mary Moore (Mollie) Shannon

Children, David, Elizabeth (ex WRAN), Anne and John.

Took an enormous interest in Legacy and the RSL.

Brother James Blackwood Sanders also served in WW2

 

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