Works / Labour / Employment / 'Alien' Company/ies

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About This Unit

Employment and Works Companies - RAE WW2

During the Second World War, the Australian Army established 39 Employment Companies, totaling by war’s end about 15,000 men. While the name of these army units occasionally varied – Employment Company, Labour Company, Works Company, Labour Unit, Labour Corps – their function did not. They were established to ensure that the Australian Defence Forces had a large workforce of soldiers dedicated to essential labouring tasks, the hard physical labour needed to maintain the war effort and support the fighting forces. Of the 39 Companies, 11 were in part or whole made up of ‘aliens’, or 'non-British' citizens.

Employment and Works Companies were essentially construction / maintenance / labour teams that were assembled and deployed to build, maintain and sometimes operate the infrastructure needed to support military operations on the Australian mainland and in some cases in the neighboring Territories and Islands, during WW2. 

The road and remote facilities network was rudimentary at best by modern standards, and in some cases non-existent at the outbreak of war.  Ports, railheads, supply dumps, transhipment and handling facilities, roads, transit camps and all manner of temporary accommodation had to be built maintained, moved and rebuilt throughout the war.

1 Works Company

2 Works Company - 'Alien Coy' formed in NSW

3 Works Company -'Alien Coy' formed in NSW

4 Works Company -'Alien Coy' formed in VIC 

5 Works Company

6 Works Company - 'Alien Coy' formed in VIC

7 Works Company - 'Alien Coy' of Chinese  ethnicity

8 Works Company - 'Alien Coy' formed in VIC 'The Enjoyment Company' / Dunera Boys

9 Works Company

10 Works Company - SA

11 Works Company - amalgamated with the 12th NT

12 Works Company - formed in WA but relocated to NT

13 Works Company

14 Works Company

15 Works Company

16 Works Company

17 Works Company

18 Works Company

19 Works Company

20 Works Company

21 Works Company

22 Works Company

23 Works Company - 'Alien Coy' of Koepangese (Netherlands East Indies) ethnicity

24 Works Company

25 Works Company

26 Works Company

27 Works Company

28 Works Company

29 Works Company

30 Works Company

31 Works Company

32 Works Company

33 Works Company

34 Works Company

35 Works Company

36 Works Company - 'Alien Coy' comprised of men of Javanese ethnicity

37 Works Company

38 Works Company

39 Works Company

This is a 'work in progress' which we hope will be augmented by user contributions.

 

Compiled by Steve Larkins July 2021

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