AUSTRALIAN SOLDIER KILLS HIMSELF,
HIS WIFE AND USN SAILOR
WITH A HAND GRENADE
IN SERVICE CLUB IN BRISBANE, QLD
ON 9 OCTOBER 1942

 

Ernest C. Ford's great book called "My New Guinea Diary" describes an incident on page 76 that occurred in Brisbane at the US Service Club on the evening of 9 October 1942.  Ernest C. Ford and his friends were head for the US Service Club when they encountered many US and Australian soldiers running away from the Service Club. As they got closer to the Service Club they started to smell gun powder.

They were told by another US Soldier that an Australian soldier who had been in North Africa for two years and then New Guinea to fight the Japanese, where he had been wounded, had just returned to Australia on medical recuperation leave. He arrived home to find that his wife was not home, but discovered baby clothes and US Navy sailor's uniforms in the house.  His neighbour told him that his wife had befriended a US Navy sailor to whom she now had a 6 months old baby son. The neighbour told him that they would most likely be at the US Service Club in the city.

The Australian solider found them both sitting on some stools at the Service Club. His wife shouted that he had deserted her for 3 years and she told him to get lost. The Australian soldier pulled the pin from a hand grenade and rolled it under their stools. All three were apparently killed and others nearby were wounded.

I have tried to find newspaper reports on this incident without success.

 

REFERENCE

My New Guinea Diary (page 76)
by Ernest C. Ford

 

Can anyone help me with more information?

 

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 Peter Dunn 2015

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This page first produced 20 December 2010

This page last updated 05 March 2017