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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 Western Australia.
  • 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.


  • Joined up June 1940
  • Wallgrove formation of 2/18 Battalion
  • Ingleburn – Training
  • Bathurst – Final training
  • Sailed ‘Queen Mary’ February 1941
    • Malaya – Jungle Training
    • Camps
      • Port Dickson – Seremban
      • Port Dickson – Singapore
      • Mersing – Jemaluang
      • Johore Bahru – Singapore Island-West Coast
  • Units
    • 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.
      • Changi
      • Adam Park (Memorial to Japs killed at Reservoir)
      • Changi
      • ‘H’ Force Thailand – River Kwai Railway – 1943
      • Changi
      • 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  Hit Counter

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