Arthur John Charles CLIFTON

CLIFTON, Arthur John Charles

Service Number: NX36027
Enlisted: 26 June 1940, Wagga Wagga, New South Wales
Last Rank: Private
Last Unit: 2nd/19th Infantry Battalion
Born: Kent, England, 12 August 1904
Home Town: Menindee, Central Darling, New South Wales
Schooling: Not yet discovered
Occupation: Drover
Died: Killed in Action, Malaya, 9 February 1942, aged 37 years
Cemetery: No known grave - "Known Unto God"
(CWGC) Official Commemoration - Kranji War Memorial Location: Column 123., Singapore Memorial, Singapore
Memorials: Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour, Ballarat Australian Ex-Prisoners of War Memorial, Leeton ANZAC Memorial Clock Tower and Memorial, Leeton Mountford Park WW2 Memorial, Singapore Memorial Kranji War Cemetery, Whitton War Memorial Gates and Playground
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World War 2 Service

26 Jun 1940: Enlisted Private, NX36027, Wagga Wagga, New South Wales
1 Jul 1940: Enlisted Australian Military Forces (Army WW2), Private, NX36027, 2nd/19th Infantry Battalion
7 Dec 1941: Involvement Private, NX36027, 2nd/19th Infantry Battalion, Malaya/Singapore

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A brief summary of the life and times of ARTHUR JOHN CHARLES CLIFTON, prior to, and after his arrival in Australia as a passenger on the S.S."BORDA" aged 18, sometime in May 1922. Born in Kent, England, it is believed he worked aboard ships as a cabin boy during WW1. After his arrival in Aust. he found work on the N.S.W. railways in the early years, that job took him on the line building toward Broken Hill, he worked on the Menindee rail bridge over the River Darling where he met and married Catherine Geyer, their first born son "reuben" was born in Menindee at that time, thier second child "Mavis" was born in Broken Hill while still working with the railways. Sometime soon after they decided to go droving sheep / cattle, but, mainly sheep in the riverina area in central south N.S. W.. 4 more children were born during this time, "Arthur", born in Rankine Springs, "Margaret", born at Erigolia, "Iris" born at Narrandera, "Violet" born in Leeton, all these events while living out of a covered wagon and a tent, their last born child was "Dulcie", born in Menindee after he had gone overseas, He never saw her. At the time of enlistment he was employed at a fruit cannery in Leeton, it is not known how long he worked there.

He enlisted in A.I.F. in Wagga on 26/6/1940, and was inducted 1. 7. 1940, between those two dates he moved his family back to Menindee to be close to family and relatives. He trained at Bathurst, given pre-embarkment leave in December 1940 he went home to Menindee. Here begins the story of "Joey the Kangaroo", on return from leave he took with him a Joey that became the Battalion mascot, against all the rules and with the aid of a medical officer/s ??, it was smuggled aboard the "Queen Mary" prior to embarkment, it came to light only after the ship had sailed for singapore, again it was smuggled off the ship in the same matter, a box marked medical supplies with holes drilled in it for air supply.

That joey was said to be the first Australian Casualty in Malaya during W.W.2. Children chased it and it fell in a ditch and broke it's leg, it never recovered, but is buried with a headstone marked "Joey the Australian Kangaroo" "A.I.F. NX55915" belived to be somewher near Port Dickson on the south west coast of the Malayan Penninisular. Pte Athur Clifton's Story ended on 9. 2. 1942 when missing in action on singapore island, just 6 days before the surrender to the Japanese invadres, He is remembered on the memorial at Kranji War Cemetery and is possibly buried in one of the many graves marked "an unkown Australian soldier" 1939 -1945 World War.