John Arthur METSON BEM


METSON, John Arthur

Service Number: VX15796
Enlisted: 20 May 1940, Caulfield, Victoria
Last Rank: Corporal
Last Unit: 2nd/14th Infantry Battalion
Born: Richmond, Victoria, 1 August 1918
Home Town: St Kilda East, Port Phillip, Victoria
Schooling: Not yet discovered
Occupation: Salesman
Died: Executed By Japanese, Sangai, Papua, 4 October 1942, aged 24 years
Cemetery: Port Moresby (Bomana) War Cemetery, Papua New Guinea
Port Moresby (Bomana) War Cemetery, Bomana, Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea
Memorials: Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour
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World War 2 Service

20 May 1940: Enlisted Private, SN VX15796, Caulfield, Victoria
20 May 1940: Enlisted Australian Military Forces (Army WW2), Corporal, SN VX15796, 2nd/14th Infantry Battalion
7 Jun 1941: Involvement Private, SN VX15796, 2nd/14th Infantry Battalion, Syria - Operation Exporter
4 Oct 1942: Involvement Corporal, SN VX15796, 2nd/14th Infantry Battalion, Kokoda - Papua New Guinea

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Biography contributed by John Edwards

"John Metson was born on the 1st of August 1918 to George and Margaret Metson of the inner Melbourne suburb of Richmond.After finishing his schooling, Metson found work as a salesman, and paraded part-time with the 5th Battalion of the Victorian Scottish Regiment.

Following the outbreak of the Second World War the battalion was called up for a three-month period of compulsory training. While some members would be sent to Western Australia and Darwin to carry out garrison duties, the 21-year-old Metson instead volunteered for overseas service, enlisting in the Second Australian Imperial force in May 1940.

He was posted to the newly raised 2/14th Battalion and, after a period of training at Puckapunyal, left Sydney in October, bound for the Middle East.  

After further training in Palestine, in early April 1941 the 2/14th Battalion moved to Egypt to help bolster defences along the Libyan frontier. In late May, it returned to Palestine to prepare for the invasion of Syria and Lebanon.

The 2/14th launched operations in Lebanon, attacking Vichy French frontier outposts in the early hours of the 8th of June. After taking part in the drive along the coast and fighting major engagements along the Zahrani River, and inland at Jezzine and Damour, it remained as part of the garrison until early January 1942.

Sailing from Egypt at the end of the January, the 2/14th had a brief period of respite back at home. Metson took advantage of this break, marrying his sweetheart Dorothy on the 17th of April.

A few months later he was back in action, as his battalion was sent to New Guinea to stem the Japanese overland advance on Port Moresby. Metson had been promoted to acting corporal, and then confirmed in that rank before arriving in Port Moresby in mid-August. Within a few days, he and the other men of the 2/14th were advancing along the Kokoda Trail to confront the rapidly advancing Japanese..." - READ MORE LINK (