Harry Curwen (Sonny Frank) HAZEL

HAZEL, Harry Curwen

Service Numbers: WX864, wx864
Enlisted: 11 November 1939
Last Rank: Lance Corporal
Last Unit: 2nd/11th Infantry Battalion
Born: New Brighton, England, 4 June 1910
Home Town: Kalgoorlie, Kalgoorlie/Boulder, Western Australia
Schooling: St Peters College, Adelaide,South Australia
Occupation: Station Manager (Pastoral Industry)
Died: Congestive Heart Failure, Adelaide, South Australia, 5 September 1986, aged 76 years
Cemetery: Leasingham Upper Skilly Cemetery
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Middle East Area of Operations Service

11 Nov 1939: Involvement 2nd AIF WW 2, Lance Corporal, SN wx864, 2nd/11th Infantry Battalion

World War 2 Service

11 Nov 1939: Enlisted 2nd AIF WW 2, SN WX864

Harry Curwen Hazel

My late father joined the AIF in 1939, his whole shift working in the Golden Mile walked out and enlisted that morning as soon as war was declared. He had his enlistment interrupted for a minutes silence for the 1st World War boys.
He was bagged up on Crete, after defending Rethymno airfield. They were using German supplies, arms and ammunition at the finish. Communications had broken down completely, they were all pretty well done in at the finish. He spent 3 1/2 years as a German Pow, eventually escaping when they were being marched into Germany at the end of the war. He and a mate hooked up with sherman tank crew who were part of Pattons' tank column. He did see the General at a distance, once.
He eventually made his way back to England, spending a few months in London before being shipped back to Australia.

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Biography contributed by Gordon Hazel

 My late father came to South Australia by ship with his mother Beatrice, this stepfather Herbert Frank (Boer and WWI Veteran) his younger sister Joan and youngest brother Gordon. 

        He went to school at St Peters' College in Adelaide, till his stepfathers American Tractor Company went broke during the Great Depression. He left school and went jackarooing on Koonamore Sheep Station in the far north of SA in 1924. 

      In the early 1930s he came to Western Australia  and worked in mining, a couple of small shows near Leonora, then in under ground in the Golden Mile in Kalgoorlie from where he enlisted. He belonged to the CMF , enjoyed it and became a musketry instructor. They would spend weekends shooting with their long toms at long ranges and  developing their marksmenship. He enlised with most of his shift on Armistice Day 1939 at 11am. They all walked off shift as soon as they heard over the wireless