Maynard Davidson (Cupe) CLOSE

CLOSE, Maynard Davidson

Service Number: VX38761
Enlisted: 31 August 1940, Royal Park, Victoria
Last Rank: Lieutenant
Last Unit: 2nd/24th Infantry Battalion
Born: Kellerberin, Western Australia, 14 February 1914
Home Town: Adelaide, Adelaide, South Australia
Schooling: Prince Alfred College
Occupation: School teacher
Died: Natural causes (cancer - bowel & kidney), Adelaide, South Australia, 15 December 1962, aged 48 years
Cemetery: Centennial Park - South Australian Garden of Remembrance
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World War 2 Service

31 Aug 1940: Enlisted 2nd AIF WW 2, Lieutenant, SN VX38761, 2nd/24th Infantry Battalion, Royal Park, Victoria
10 Apr 1941: Involvement 2nd AIF WW 2, Lieutenant, SN VX38761, 2nd/24th Infantry Battalion, Siege of Tobruk
3 May 1941: Imprisoned Siege of Tobruk
12 Nov 1945: Discharged 2nd AIF WW 2, Lieutenant, SN VX38761, 2nd/24th Infantry Battalion

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Maynard was commissioned with only elementary cadet officer experience into the 2/24th Bn, 20th Brigade, 7th Div AIF, where he described himself as "easily the greenest member of the battalion" 

His brigade was transferred to the 9th Division and took part in the withdrawal from Benghazi to Tobruk where as OC 9 Platoon, A Company he was captured at post R0 on the perimeter on 30 April - 1 May  1941. In this battle the 2/24th Bn lost nearly half its strength.

Maynard spent the next 4 yrs as a POW in North Africa, Italy (Sulmona and Bologna), Germany (Mooseberg, Weinsberg then back to Mooseberg) and was liberated by the US 14th Armored Div 30 April '45.

He was renown at Sulmona for the 1942 pantomime: an "exceedingly Rabelaisian version of Aladdin ....written by 'Cupe' Close,who was a master of the double entendre" which played for "14 successive nights to wildly enthusiastic audiences" (Ward, Edward, 1946, Give Me Air)

Maynard returned to Adelaide, married Winsome Louise Dawkins and became Master-in-Charge, Prince Alfred College Preparatory(ie primary) School. They produced 4 sons. He died of bowel and kidney cancer at age 48 years.