Tin trunk, H.A. Hammond
Wood grain patterned surface cover. Buckle at front. Handle at front and two smaller handles at the side of the trunk. Inscription painted on the lid 'wx.32624 H.A. Hammond/H.A.H./46061' similar inscription on front of trunk. Four studs on the top lid.
This tin trunk was owned and used by Captain Herbert Alexander Hammond during service with the 28th Australian Infantry Battalion during the Second World War. During the war Hammond travelled from his home in Kalgoorlie to Perth, Harvey and to Alice Springs. This trunk was used by Hammond to carry all of his clothing and personal effects to those places.
Hand painted in white paint on top, bottom and front: WX32624 H.A. HAMMOND 46061
Herbert Alexander Hammond (Bert) was born in Fremantle, Western Australia in 1905. Federal Government policy at the time dictated that young men were to undertake military training so Bert joined the 28th Battalion (The Swan Regiment) in 1925, rising to the rank of lieutenant.
He moved to Kalgoorlie in 1927 and opened a business selling stationery, drapery and general goods. The Goldfields own militia unit had folded a year earlier and without a unit to train with Bert was forced to relinquish his commission. His business however was quite successful and Bert became well known in Kalgoorlie in the 1930’s. He married Ethel Turner in 1929. During the last years of the decade war clouds began to gather over Europe. The fear of an impending war saw the government raise a new Kalgoorlie based militia unit, ‘C’ Company of Bert’s old 28th Battalion in 1938. Bert joined the new unit and was appointed lieutenant instructor.
With the outbreak of war in 1939 Bert’s military experience was sought after and he re-enlisted with the 28th Battalion in August 1940. Promoted to temporary captain in February 1941 he was called up for full time service in October 1941.
Bert was placed in charge of ‘C’ Company of 28th Australian Infantry Battalion; he was known as “Bull” to the men serving under him because of his imposing stature.
HMAS Sydney II was sunk by the German Raider HSK Kormoran on 19 November 1941.
The Kormoran was also sunk by the Sydney and the surviving German sailors drifted in lifeboats until picked up by searchers trying to find the Sydney.
In December 1941 Bert was ordered on a special assignment to escort 134 rescued German sailors from No. 11 Internment Camp near Harvey (south of Perth), where they were being held, to Wayville Camp in South Australia where they were to be interrogated.
After successfully escorting the prisoners to Wayville with no major incidents, Bert was promoted to full captain in September 1942.
In October 1942 Bert tore the cartilage in his right knee and was evacuated to the 2/1st Australian General Hospital at Guildford. Bert was discharged from hospital and rejoined the 28th Battalion on 21 November 1942.
In March 1943 the 28th moved to 49 Mile Camp in the Northern Territory where it appears that Bert’s knee was still giving him trouble. On 31 December 1943 he transferred out of the Battalion to take up a less strenuous position as camp commandant in Alice Springs.
After the war Bert returned to Kalgoorlie where he operated a news agency for many years, he was elected Mayor of Kalgoorlie in 1969.
While serving as Mayor Bert was dedicated to ensuring the welfare of the town’s people, sitting on many local charitable and sporting organisations and advocating for public parks for the leisure of residents.
In February 1976 illness forced Bert to resign from office and he died just nine days later, he was posthumously described as “...respected for his leadership, energy and sincerity of purpose.”
City of Kalgoorlie-Boulder
City of Kalgoorlie-Boulder