Don Sutherland, Stan Neal and George Rouse
AINSWORTH FAMILY CONNECTIONS
The battle to save Singapore lasted from 8th to 15th February 1942 resulting in the larges British surrender in history.
The Combined Australian Forces, including 2/4th MGB were located on the northwest coast. It was here that Japanese troops initially attacked and quickly ran over the Allies and took control of Singapore.
WX15967 SUTHERLAND, Donald Elias enlisted 22 Aug 1941, joined ‘A’ Coy HQ as one of 14 reinforcements – others included Northampton’s Randall, Cripps and Eric Osborne who was KIA 15 Feb as was Don Sutherland. Sutherland was 20 years old.
Son of William James Sutherland and Amelia (Millie) Victoria Georgina Ainsworth who was daughter of William AINSWORTH of Ajana.
WX9260 NEALE, Stanley Edward (Stan) b 1914 Northampton d. Sandakan with ‘B’ Force on 28 Feb 1945 aged 30 years. Stan is son of Edward Neale and Ruby Elizabeth Ainsworth – daughter of William AINSWORTH of Ajana and sister to Amelia (Millie) Sutherland.
Stan Neale had been living around Elleker/Denmark region for several years prior to his enlistment in 30 Oct 1940. He trained in Trade Group 1, 88 Light Aid Detachment attached to 2/4th MGB.
WX7656 ROUSE, George Robert enlisted 10 Aug 1940 later joining ‘D’ Coy 15 Platoon.
Rouse was KIA Singapore 8 Feb 1942 aged 27 years. He was captured by fast advancing Japanese troops –was shot whilst trying to escape.
Married about 1940 Northam to NEALE, Hannah Jemina Nora eldest daughter of Mr. & Mrs Edward NEALE, Maddington and sister of Stanley NEALE.
George’s family were residents of Pingelly and he was born there.
Brief Summary of 2/4th – Approximately 960 men formed 2/4th MGB AIF WW2
88 men were AWOL Fremantle. Sailed a few weeks later however were diverted from Singapore to Java.
125 2/4th died during intense one-week’s battle to save Singapore
11 Men later died of war injuries or illness.
555 SURVIVED with 2/4th TO RETURN TO AUSTRALIA (8 were evacuated before war broke out, 3 escaped to Australia via Sumatra and Ceylon – later joining other battalions.)
401 NEVER RETURNED – KIA, DOW, Executed, Died of illness, drowned South China Sea (Incl. 2 men died before embarkation from Australia.)
Hannah and Stanley Neale’s mother is AINSWORTH, Ruby Elizabeth who married Edward NEALE. The Neale family farmed at Naroling about 1912 – 1916 (near Northampton). Previously Edward Neale farmed at Mt Erin. The Ainsworth family also farmed at Ajana.
AINSWORTH, RUBY ELIZABETH NEALE (nee Ainsworth)
AMELIA (MILLIE) VICTORIA GEORGINA SUTHERLAND (nee Ainsworth)
They are daughters of English born WILLIAM AINSWORTH (1857 – 1933) m. 1883 in Victoria to MUIR, JEMINA ANN (d. Victoria 1897)
Jemina AINSWORTH (nee Muir) was mother to seven children:
1. Robert William (b. 1884)
2. James Herbert (1885-1885)
3.Hilda Winnifred (b.1887)
4. RUBY ELIZABETH NEALE (nee Ainsworth) (1888 – 1953)
5. Violet May (1890) married 1909 SA to William Barker. Their son Arthur Barker VX34993 2/40th Btn. died 29 November 1943, Thailand aged 29 years. Buried Kanchanaburi War Cemetery 10. L. 15.Thailand.
6. Selina Mina (b. 1892)
7. Herbert James (b. 1894 d. 1916 KIA Pozieres France)
AINSWORTH, WILLIAM remarried in Victoria to 1899 FRANCES ALICE MEGERGNEY (nee SHORT) Widow and mother of one child:
Elias Megerney ‘Jack’ Ainsworth 1894-1915 KIA Gallipoli.
Francis AINSWORTH (nee Short) 1872 -1954 had 8 children with William Ainsworth.
1.Charles William (b.1899-1937) ** See below
2. Amelia (Millie) Victoria Georgina (b. 1901)
3. Lillian (b.1903)
4. Wilhemenia Francis (b.1905)
5. William Jnr (Sonny) (b. 1906)
6. Alfred Thomas (b.1908)
7. George (b.1910)
8. Herbert Jack (b.1917)
All Ainsworth Children were born in Victoria, except for the last three – Alfred, George and Herbert who were born in WA.
Kings Park Honour Avenue Plaque
Ainsworth, Jack (1451)
Place of Birth: South Melbourne, VIC
Age: 21 years 6 months
Enlistment Details: Thursday, 19 November 1914 – Blackboy Hill, WA
Service Number: 1451 view online service record
Address: Ajana via Northampton, WA
Next of Kin: Frances Ainsworth (mother) Ajana via Northampton, WA
Date: Monday, 22 February 1915
Ship: HMAT Itonus A50
Port: Fremantle, WA
Unit: 16th Infantry Battalion – 2nd Reinforcements
KIA: Sunday, 2 May 1915
Place: Gallipoli Peninsula
The following information from ‘Bloody Angle – Bullecourt & Beyond -16th Battalion AIF’ by Ian Gill.
‘The 16th Battalion AIF was raised from 16 September 1914, six weeks after the outbreak of the First World War. Three-quarters of the battalion were recruited in Western Australia, and the rest in South Australia. With the 13th, 14th and 15th Battalions it formed the 4th Brigade commanded by Colonel John Monash.
The South Australian and Western Australian recruits were united when the battalion trained together in Victoria. They embarked for overseas on Boxing Day. After a brief stop in Albany, Western Australia, the battalion proceeded to Egypt arriving in early February 1915. Australia already had an AIF division there, the 1st. When the 4th Brigade arrived in Egypt it became part of the New Zealand and Australian Division. The 4th Brigade landed at ANZAC late in the afternoon of 25 April 1915.
A week after the landing the 16th was thrown into the attack on Bloody Angle suffering many casualties.’
We wish to acknowledge the following has been copied from https://www.theislanderonline.com.au/story/2953599/private-suffers-from-conditions-on-gallipoli-peninsula/
Signaller Ellis Silas at ANZAC, Gallipoli wrote: “At nightfall on May 2, the 16th went into attack again up a hill called the Bloody Angle towards Quinn’s Post, and throughout the night they continued to fight and dig trenches.
The battalion’s exposure to continual firing made it very dangerous to carry ammunition to them. Again and again volunteers were shot as they scrambled up with heavy cases; others took their places only to fall dead across the boxes they were dragging, or to roll down the steep side of the hill.”
Captain C Longmore, The Old Sixteenth: being a record of the 16th Battalion, AIF, during the Great War 1914-1918, Perth, 1929, wrote: “Near dawn on May 3, the 16th rose out of their trenches to attack the Turkish position about 100 metres away but were seen and met with heavy fire.
Their attempt failed and when dawn came their dead ‘lay thickly on the slopes’.
During that night, men of the Royal Naval Division had been brought in to reinforce the battalion, but confusion prevailed and communication with the 16th became impossible. Attempts to dig a communication trench through the hill failed and throughout the morning the 16th gradually fell back in twos and threes.
At 6 pm the remnants of the battalion were withdrawn. At the landing on April 25, the 16th had been about 1000 strong. Overnight on May 2, they had lost eight officers and 330 men.
At roll call on 3 May 3, only nine officers and 290 men answered their names.”
‘Decades later, Fragile pieces of collars and shoulder straps were found in a gully between Dead Man’s Ridge and Quinn’s Post, leading up to the Bloody Angle. The photograph below shows the area to the left of Quinn’s Post, with the gully where the bodies of the 16th Battalion men were found indicated in red, leading up to the Bloody Angle.’
‘Above map October 1915: Mortar Ridge, Mule Valley, Johnstone’s Jolly, Steele Post, Chessboard, Bloody Angle, Quinn’s Post, Courtney’s Post, Pope’s Hill, Monash Gully, Braund’s Hill, Bridge’s Road, German Officer’s Trench, Wire Gully.’
Full name: Elias Megerney ‘Jack’ Ainsworth
Brother: Herbert James Ainsworth
‘Private Jack Ainsworth was born to Edwin and Francis Megerney 1894. Jack’s father died when he was one year old, and his mother remarried to William Ainsworth who was a widower.
Altogether there were nine boys and seven girls in the family and they resided at Graham Street, Port Melbourne. Jack attended Graham Street primary school.
The family came to Perth in 1905 and lived in the Maylands area until 1911 when they took up land at Ajana, north of Northampton. Jack worked as a teamster before enlisting at Blackboy Hill Military Camp in November 1914.
In February 1915, after finishing training, he sailed from Fremantle aboard HMAT Itonus bound for Gallipoli via Egypt arriving there in April.
Private Jack Ainsworth, service number 1451 of 16th Battalion was killed in action at Gallipoli on 2 May 1915 as the Australians of 16th Btn at the Bloody Angle. He was twenty-one years of age.
His plaque at Kings Park Honour Avenue is located alongside that of his step brother, Private Herbert James Ainsworth of 28th Battalion.
‘Private, 16 Infantry, killed in action 2 May, 1915, Gallipoli, aged 22, commemorated Quinn’s Post Cemetery, Gallipoli.
Parents: William and Mrs Francis AINSWORTH, brother Herbert James AINSWORTH killed in action, 29 July 1916. Born South Melbourne, 208 Graham Street, raised Western Australia. Enlisted Western Australia and appears to have been defaulted to South Melbourne by AWM staff when no response was given to the question as to place of association on the circular. Herbert was born in Port Melbourne, but listed under a Western Australia district on the circular. AWM Roll of Honour suggests he was also known as Elias Edwin William AINSWORTH, a Death Notice from his mother in the Port Melbourne Standard has him as Elias Megerney AINSWORTH “loved grandson of the late Mrs SHORT, South Melbourne. Originally posted as Missing, declared killed in action at that date by a Court of Inquiry, April, 1916)’
Kings Park Honour Avenue Plaque
Private Herbert James Ainsworth
Service number 1
Unit 28 Battalion
Cause of death Killed in Action
Place of death Pozieres, France
Date of death 29 July 1916
Plaque number L291
Dedicated by Family on 16 November 2013
‘Private Herbert James Ainsworth was born to William and Jemima Ainsworth. After the death of his mother, his father remarried the widow Francis Megerney.
Altogether there were nine boys and seven girls in the family and they resided at Graham Street, Port Melbourne. Herbert attended Graham Street primary school.
The family came to Perth in 1905 and lived in the Maylands area until 1911 when they took up land at Ajana, north of Northampton. Herbert enlisted at Kalgoorlie (his last known address was 14 Pirie Street, Kalgoorlie) at the end of February 1915 and prior to that he had worked as a farm hand.
In March, he commenced training at Blackboy Hill Military Camp and in June embarked on HMAT Ascanius for Egypt. Then in September he embarked on HT Ivernia at Alexandria for Gallipoli.
Below: HMAT Ascanius
In November he was admitted to hospital at Heliopolis with jaundice and he returned to duty at Tel el Kebir in January 1916. He then sailed from Alexandria in March for Marseilles.
Private Herbert James Ainsworth, service number 1 of 28 Battalion was killed in action at Pozieres on 29 July 1916. He was 20 years of age.
His plaque is located alongside that of his step brother, Private Jack Ainsworth of 16 Battalion.’
The 28th Btn was raised at Blackboy Camp in early 1915. The 28th would become the fourth Battalion in the 7th Brigade – part of the 2nd Division. The 7th Brigade was drawn from the smaller Australian States with the 28th mostly comprised of Western Australians.
In late 1916 the Australians fought their first battle on the Somme.
The Australian 1st and 2nd Divisions captured Pozières village and Pozières heights, a ridge 500 metres east of the village between 23 July – 5 August 1916.
‘The initial attack began at 12.30 am on Sunday 23 July when the 1st Division seized the German front line and in the following hour reached the main road through Pozières. At dawn the Germans counter-attacked but the Australians held on. The rest of Pozières fell on the night of 23–24 July and further gains were made on the night of 24–25 July. The Germans reacted to the seizure of Pozières by concentrating the bulk of their artillery on the Australians. Constant barrages were directed onto the village and the narrow approaches creating a nightmarish situation for troops forming up and attacking in the dark. By 27 July, the 2nd Division had taken over in Pozières.
The 2nd Division was ordered to take Pozières heights. The attack commenced at 12.15 am on 29 July but the Germans were ready and the attack failed at a cost of 3,500 Australian casualties.’
‘In less than seven weeks of fighting at Pozières and Mouquet Farm three Australian divisions suffered 23,000 casualties. Of these, 6,800 men were killed or died of wounds. It was a loss comparable with the casualties sustained by the Australians over eight months at Gallipoli in 1915.’
Below: A Summary of 28th Battalion
Please note the above notice should read H.J. Ainsworth.
In 1933, William Ainsworth died at Fremantle.
.**Charles AINSWORTH travelled to Perth to enlist 1917, his application was however rejected. Their are no recorded reasons why – however his two Ainsworth brothers had already been killed.
Charles Ainsworth died in a mining accident in 1937.