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NX4572 Patrick Edward Harrington

On 22 Aug 2007, the webmaster of the 2/18th web site got an e-mail from Jim McCorry in Ireland.  He had been doing some research on his uncle, Patrick Harrington who was born in Ireland on 4th June 1902 and died in Australia on 28th October 1948. Patrick served with the 2nd/18th during the War and was a POW. Patrick was married to Jim's father's sister Mary, she died in July 1981, they lived in Bathurst.

He was also trying to get information on Johnathan Dixon who was born around 1901 near Armagh in Ireland and who also served with the 2/18th but died while a POW.  It would appear that Dixon lived in Lane Cove and was married to Eliza Jane Dixon (nee Corkey or Rea). Jim is still inquiring if she by any chance still alive?

Jim indicated he had quite a lot of information on Patrick which he would be willing to share but he has very little on Dixon. Jim has enquired by way of this article and the Newsletter #136 Request for Info Section for any further feedback.  If anyone does, please contact us on Feedback and we'll pass it along to Jim.

Jim has supplied us with a 43 page document on the life of Patrick Harrington.  Thanks to Jim's diligence in posting us a CD, we have the opportunity to make it available on the 2/18th web site.  Please have a look, but we ask that you respect the permission clause at the bottom of this page.  You might like to review the index below before downloading the sizable document. Click here to download in MS Word Document format. [Caution!  50Mb download will take a LONG time at dial up speed.]

But Jim has not stopped there.  With the help of the both 2/18th researcher and the archivist, he has found out more about his uncle and been pointed to further info he was unaware of that will take even more research on his part.

In brief, our researcher uncovered the following -

  • Patrick Harrington is recorded in the 2/18th Unit History as POW Sumatra. It is noted that he is also listed in some areas (POW lists AWM) as 2/19th Battalion. This comes about because he was a reinforcement. The original members of 2/18th left Australia 18/2/41 but he did not enlist until the April so went later. He trained in Australia with one battalion and when he got to Singapore he was transferred to the other. If he went in January 1942 there was such confusion that records were not kept correctly and transfers did not get recorded – or if they did, records were subsequently lost at or after capitulation.

    He gave evidence at War Crimes Trials and reference to that, and where these records are held, can be found on www.naa.gov.au and entering his service number NX4272 in the record search. No doubt, that will be evidence on being a POW in Sumatra and on the other hand it could be for somewhere else as he could have been transferred from Sumatra.
    .
  • Jonathan Dixon was an original member of the 2/18th Battalion and sailed for Singapore on 18/2/41. After capitulation he was a POW in Singapore and later left there with E Force who sailed from Singapore 20th March 1943 and went to Borneo. He died 9/6/45 along the track on the second death march. In actual fact he was murdered and much more detail can be found in Lynette Silver’s book Sandakan – A Conspiracy of Silence. He had served with the Militia Forces in Australia prior to joining the AIF in 1940.

In addition, on a personal note, Jim has had some personal contact with the family relatives and let's us know on 26 Jan, 2008 -

"I had arranged to meet a nephew of Roberta Dixon, (nee Rea), Jonathan Dixon's widow. I met him last Sunday for the first time. Roberta's nephew is John Rea, he lives about twenty miles away, he was not aware of the full facts as to what had happened to Dixon so I was able to fill him in on the detail, some of which I knew but some of which I have just learned with the generous help of [the 2/18th researchers].

John's family had lost touch with Roberta and he was trying to find out when she died, some members of the family lived well into their 80's, in fact John's mother is over 100. He had hoped that Roberta might have had a long life but she died in 1949 at the young age of only 46, he is trying to find out the cause of death at present but he wouldn't be surprised if it was from a broken heart.

It's a long shot now but might any of the members of the 2nd/18th Association know where Roberta be buried?"

Again, should anyone be able to assist with information, contact us on Feedback and we'll pass on to Jim.


INDEX RE PATRICK E HARRINGTON document
[Webmaster note:  Some pages might be slightly out.  For example, personal review shows the Paul Gemmell letter on page 31, not page 32.  But this will help navigate through the long document.  Jim confirms this with the follow -  I can't remember if I had a page included on the original disk which detailed Pat's campaign medals, if not then the page numbers might now be out of sync.]

  • Page 1 Front Page & Dedication
  • Page 2 – 6 Life Story of Patrick Edward Harrington
  • Page 7 Photographs of Patrick & Mary Harrington (nee McCorry)
  • Page 8 World War Two Campaign Medals
  • Page 9 – 19 Letter dated 1st December 1946 from Partick Harrington to his sister-in law Isabella (Bella) McCorry) in Ireland
  • Page 20 Reference notes for letter
  • Page21 Patrick Harrington’s Royal Irish Constabulary (RIC) Record
  • Page 22 Patrick Harrington’s Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) Record
  • Page 23 Letter from RUC dated 8th October 1981 re Patrick Harrington
  • Page 24 – 27 Newspaper reports about IRA attack on Camlough RIC Barracks December 1920
  • Page 28 Photograph of Camlough Barracks May 1921 and today
  • Page 29 RIC / RUC Officers including Patrick Harrington (front right) Date unknown
  • Page 30 Item re attack by British Army lead by Lieutenant later General Percival on home of Michael Collins Irish republican leader.
  • Page 31 Map of Sumatra
  • Page 32 Letter from Paul Gemmell, Bathurst NSW, January 2003
  • Page 33 Letter from Arthur Dasey, Inverell, NSW, January 2003
  • Page 34 Nominal Roll Arthur John Dasey
  • Page 35 Photograph Patrick Harrington
  • Page 36 Copy Death Certificate Patrick E Harrington 25th October 1948
  • Page 37 Nominal Roll Patrick Harrington ( with Search Reference Page)
  • Page 38 – 44 National Archive Defence Record of Patrick Harrington

We wish to also remind you that the story is provided with written permission of Jim McCorry on behalf of Harrington family. This permission does not permit the copy, electronic or otherwise of the material presented for ANY use, personal or commercial, without the express written permission of the Secretary of the 2/18th Battalion (AIF) Association.


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