The Soldier's Details
- First Name:
- Michael Joseph
- Nick Name:
- Lieutenant-Colonel, Commanding Officer 2/4th Machine Gun Battalion
- Regimental #:
- Mentioned in Despatches
- Battalion Headquarters
- Place of Birth:
- Briagolong, Victoria
- Father's Name:
- Richard John Anketell
- Mothers's Name:
- Annie Anketell
- Church of England
- Pre-war Occupation:
- Trustees Officer
- Epitaph, Singapore Memorial, Column 135, Age 51.
- Cause of Death:
- Died of Wounds
- Place of Death:
- Alexandra Hospital
- Date of Death:
- ln Slit Trench No. 17 near main entrance of Alexandra Hospital with 32 other men on Monday 16.2.1942
Wounded in action at Ulu Pandan 12.2. 1942, receiving a gunshot wound to the groin. The Colonel was evacuated unconscious by ambulance to Alexandra Hospital. Major Bull R.A.M.C. stated that he was on duty in the officer’s ward at Alexandra Hospital and that Lieutenant-Colonel Anketell was admitted there on Thursday, Feb 12 at 1700 hours. He was suffering from a compound fracture of the right upper femur and was in a profoundly shocked condition. He was sent to the resuscitation ward and was given 2 pints of plasma. When his condition was improved he was sent to the operating theatre whilst his wound was dressed and the limb splinted. He was sent to the ward in moderate condition but never rallied and died on the morning of Friday, Feb 13 1942.
Report by the Surgeon in Charge-Major Webster, R.A.M.C.
On 7 November 1940, the Minister for the Army, Francis Forde announced Lt-Col M.J. Anketell was to form and train the 2/4th Australian Machine Gun Battalion.
Michael Anketell’s military career commenced on 3rd March 1916 when he volunteered for the A.I.F. On 20th January 1917, he departed Australia for overseas service with the 7th reinforcements for the 44th Battalion.
By January 1918, 22 months after his enlistment, Michael Anketell had risen to the rank of Lieutenant.
On his return to Australia in 1919, Michael joined the Australian Military Forces (Militia) where he rose to the rank of Lt-Col and was appointed to command the 28th Battalion in February 1937.
In addition to his military pursuits, he was a very keen sportsman and competitor. His sporting achievements included gymnastics, ‘A’ Grade WAFL Football and ‘A’ Grade Cricket and was a dedicated yatchsman.
His father Richard John Anketell, an engineer and surveyor of note who had opened up large tracts of Australia throughout his career was the greatest influence on Michael.
Michael Anketell was to leave an indelible stamp upon the Battalion. He is remembered for his dedication to physical training and was able to impart his WWII experiences to his men.
For further reading go to Anketell Commanding Officer 2/4th MGB
Col. Anketell Wounded – Daily News, Wednesday 18th February 1942
Official advice has been received that Lieut Colonel M.J. (Mick) Anketell has been wounded in Singapore.
Lieut – Colonel Anketell left Western Australia in charge of a machine-gun battalion.
His wife and two children reside in Adams Street, Claremont.
Mrs Anketell received advice that he had been wounded from the Minister for the Army on Monday evening.
Before the war Lieut-Colonel Anketell was in the Perth office of the W.A. Trustee Company Ltd
Anketell Street, South Perth was named after him, read story, Anketell Street.
Michael Anketell rear right WW1 44th Battalion
Earlier news reports stating Anketell was killed were untrue.