2/28th Battalion book: WWII tome updated and relaunched


John Wade with a copy of the new edition of the 2/28th Battalion book. Right: JJ Wade during his service.
2/28th Battalion book: WWII tome updated and relaunched
John Wade with a copy of the new edition of the 2/28th Battalion book. Right: JJ Wade during his service.

A BOOK chronicling the distinguished history of the 2/28th Battalion during World War II that became so rare it was selling for up to $500 a copy has been updated for the third time and is set to be re-launched on Sunday, April 9.

The project has been carried out by the 2/28th Battalion and 24th Anti-Tank Company Association after the original book was written by battalion veteran, the late Brigadier Philip Masel and published in 1961.

A second edition containing a lot of new material was published in 1995 and reprinted in 2000.

The 2/28th infantry Battalion had a distinguished history in World War II. It left WA for Egypt in January 1941 and fired the first shots in the Battle of Tobruk in Libya, and suffered a major reverse at El Alamein, Egypt in July, 1942, when almost 500 members were captured at Ruin Ridge.

The battalion was also involved in jungle operations in New Guinea and Borneo.

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Association patron Duncan Warren said all the previous editions had sold out over the years but demand for the history continued.

“Because of the continuing and steady demand, particularly from military historians and relatives of our veterans, we decided to bring out a third edition at a reasonable, affordable price,” he said. “We decided to add many more photographs, update some of the text and include names inadvertently missed on honour rolls in previous editions.”

He said the battalion’s remaining veterans were pleased with the result.

Among them was long-term Wattleup resident John (JJ) Wade (99), who saw action in Tobruk, El Alamein and New Guinea. Mr Wade survived the famous crossing of the Busu River, a raging torrent which claimed the lives of several members of the Battalion in New Guinea, and took part in the battle for Lae.

He has been the president of the 2/28th Battalion and 24th Anti-Tank Company Association for eight years and is a long-time member of the Rats of Tobruk Association.

The book was printed in WA by PK Print at Hamilton Hill and has a sale price of $60.

It will be launched on Sunday, April 9, at the Irwin Barracks, Karrakatta.

To order a copy email secretary@second28.com.au