NX55031 Stan O'Grady
Record of O’Grady Family of present
day from Dulwich Hill in 2nd World War
- James Augustine O’Grady – father of 5 sons.
Air Force Volunteer Spotter – was amongst the first to spot the first plane
which came off the Japanese submarine in the attack on Sydney Harbour. He
informed the Air Force and reported it – a Japanese plane has never been
recovered. He was congratulated by the Australian Air Force.
- Jim – eldest son – Volunteer Armoured
Division Tanks. This division was to be used on light tanks but never left
- Eric (known as Pat) second son – Volunteer
2nd A.I.F. 1940. He was amongst the first to join No. 1 Coy ASC and along
with his two younger brothers, Norm & Stan, was amongst the first of the
troops to sail on the Queen Mary to Singapore. Arrived in Malaya – 10 months
before Japanese landed.
- Martin Delaney – third son – was in charge
of all trains with troops for overseas from Darling Harbour. Volunteered
twice to join up.
- Norm – fourth son – Volunteered 2nd A.I.F.
June 1940. Then went to 2/18th. Left on Queen Mary in June 1941. Was in
plenty of action in Singapore and worked on Railway on River Kwai.
- Stan – fifth son – Volunteered into front
line with his brother Norm. Norm & Stan were claimed by their elder brother,
Eric, and worked on the Nithsdale Estate. They both called themselves “2/18
Battalion men”, as that was their unit. When the 2/18 Battalion arrived at
the island of Singapore, they called for volunteers on the first night, and
had plenty of action. They were cut off near the Tengah Airfield and had to
run through the ground firing at the Japanese. They were guided through by
an officer of the 2/4 Machine Gun Battalion from English Lines, Major
Saggers. Many men lost their lives. They ended up on Holland Bon Vista Road
area and then were guided to Changi.
Eric (Pat) was in hospital at wars end and remained in
bad shape – he was a large man and never recovered his health after coming home
on the Duntroon with Stan. He saw his mother and father but died soon after.
Stan weighed 7 stone when he arrived back home. Norm was held back in hospital
for some months in very bad shape - he weighed 6 stone.
Record of O’Grady Family
They came from Dulwich Hill – Five boys and a father and mother. Three of them
had, and probably still do have their names in Marrickville Town Hall noting
their time in the World War II.
The eldest boy, Jim was in the Armoured Division in Western Australia awaiting
the landing of the Japanese troops attempting to break the ‘Brisbane Line’.
Martin (known as ‘Bunny’) played for Metters in the days when soccer was played
by large companies, like Murdoch’s and Foy's. He also was held by the Railways
as not permitted to join the army. The other 3 brothers, Eric, Norm & Stan, who
were going on the Queen Mary (travelling at 30 knots) and made for Western
Australia thinking they were going to the Middle East, but the Queen Mary broke
convoy in the middle of the Indian Ocean, and passed between ‘Crackatowa’ and
Java and Sumatra and ended up in Singapore.
We travelled to Port Dixon and Norm and Stan were in 2/18th and worked digging
trenches and bunkers on Nithsdale. They were claimed by their elder brother Eric
(this cannot happen in many units in the U.S.A).
Calls were made for volunteers to go to the Front Line on their first morning,
because of the landing on the island by the Japanese. They volunteered and saw
plenty of action.
They were positioned with a good view looking down on X Battalion but were cut
off near the Tengah Airfield. Most officers were killed and Jack Ings and others
were attacked. “The oil was coming down like rain from the Japanese planes that
were coming through the smoke to ‘shoot them up’. Their skin and clothes were
black from the oil and smoke and fire. They were lying in the grass. Just
black!” They fought their way, guided by Major Saggers, through to their lines
with the 2/4 Machine Gun Battalion.
Brigadier Taylor, quite a good officer, called them together and he thanked them
individually and called for utilities to take them to Singapore town. They went
back the next morning and teamed up with George McLachlan.
Norm and Stan were sent up to Thailand. Eric was in hospital. Norm and Stan had
a terrible time on the ‘railway’ and both came back to Singapore in ‘cattle
trucks’ – which took 4.5 days to get to Changi – the entire time with no water,
toilets, no anything! They got their health back a bit whilst in Changi. From
then on they were with their old Battalion in Changi. Stan made a great mate in
Jack Ings, when they arrived back from ‘The River Kwai’ and he saw him at The
English Hospital at Changi. He was covered in plaster on a cement floor.
Norm and Stan helped each other through the war. ‘Weary Dunlop’ had to use his
skills on Norm’s ulcers on his leg, while Stan watched.
STAN O’GRADY - NX 55031
- Joined up June 1940
- Wallgrove formation of 2/18 Battalion
- Ingleburn – Training
- Bathurst – Final training
- Sailed ‘Queen Mary’ February 1941
- Malaya – Jungle Training
- Port Dickson – Seremban
- Port Dickson – Singapore
- Mersing – Jemaluang
- Johore Bahru – Singapore Island-West Coast
- 2/18 Battalion ‘D’ Coy – 16 platoon – Malaya/Johore
- 1 Coy AASC – Volunteer Front line Infantry
- Special Reserve Battalion (Major Saggers) 2/4
Machine Gun Battalion (Singapore Island)
- P.O.W. 15th February 1942
- Camps P.O.W.
- Adam Park (Memorial to Japs killed at
- ‘H’ Force Thailand – River Kwai Railway –
- Johore – Tunneling
- 1945 ‘Duntroon’ Troopship home
- Discharge February 1946
We wish to
also remind you that the story is provided with written permission of Stan
O'Grady on behalf of himself, his brothers and the 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.
Page created 28 Feb, 2007. Last Updated
12 Feb 2009 15:13:05 +1000