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Adelaide Rowing Club - The First Hundred Years

A Narrative History 1882-1982 - Compiled by R W Richardson

27. Adelaide Rowing Club at War

Without dwelling at length on members' experiences during military service in World War II, the following snippets of information may be of interest. Such an exercise has not been possible with respect to World War I.

Hurtle Morphett was Major, second in command in the field, Second 48th Battalion, in New Guinea and the Pacific Islands. The 48th was the most highly decorated battalion in the Australian Army in World War II, with four V.C.s and many D.S.O.s, and M.C.s, including Hurtle's M.C. in New Guinea. He was also one of the Rats of Tobruk with the 48th when they successfully defied Rommel's attempts to capture that seaport and defended perimeter in the Western Desert campaign before Japan came into the war.

Rob Burns Cuming was a pilot in No.2 Squadron, R.A.A.F. in Timor when the Japanese invaded, and was attempting to take off his Lockheed Hudson, grossly overloaded with squadron personnel, but failed to gain flying speed by the end of the airfield, and crashed.

Doug Howie and Geoff Sheppard both served in the R.A.A.F. in Malaya just prior to that period, Geoff flying Buffaloes in 21 Squadron and Doug was in Hudsons in No. 1 Squadron, both stationed at Sembawang, Singapore Island. The two of them managed to meet Lyn Davis for dinner at Raffles Hotel and the Singapore Swimming Club a few times - Lyn was an admin. officer in the R.A.F. nearby - they were all lucky enough to get out of Singapore alive, but Doug was in Java when it surrendered in March 1942 and was taken prisoner, and spent most of the rest of the war in Burma, so don't ask Doug about building roads or railways.

It was after Doug's squadron moved from Sembawang to Kota Bahru that two Hudsons on patrol made the first sighting of the war confirming Japanese warlike intentions. On 6th December 1941 fellow South Australian pilot Don Dowie was a crewman of one of those Hudsons, and reported seeing a convoy of 19 transports escorted by a Jap cruiser and destroyer flotilla in the Gulf of Siam heading towards Thailand. The British reported this to U.S.A., but they chose to remain complacent about it, beyond putting Pearl Harbour on a state of alert which was practically ignored, and allowed the successful attack "Tora Tora" to take place.

Part of the convoy tried to land on the beach at Khota Bahru 1'/z hours before bombs began falling on Pearl Harbour, resisted by strafing and dive bombing by the R.A.A.F. operating from a rain sodden strip, and by a battalion of Dogras from the Indian Army, and they withdrew, badly mauled. However, Japs pressed forward from other undefendable beachheads and eventually overran the defences of Singapore, and the rest is beyond the realms of Adelaide Rowing Club history.

Ian Sabey was in Divisional Intelligence in Greece when his unit was overrun by the Germans. He went underground and organised some local resistance for some time, and was eventually caught, but continued to be a thorn in the side of the German authorities, and was repatriated well before victory in Europe. Peter Cudmore, too, was caught by the Wehrmacht in Crete while his battery was fighting a rearguard action to enable other units to evade capture, and spent four years as a P.O.W. These two were in 6th Division A.I.F., into the fray quite early in the war, and Peter was in London for a period of the blitz. While visiting Stan Facy's old Boat Club, Quintin, he and some of the members watched the Luftwaffe bombing the London docks not far down the river.

Bruce Laughton was a radio operator in a Special Operations Squadron in Britain, specialising in jamming the enemy Radar, providing German-speaking airborne bogus controllers who gave misleading instructions to enemy night fighter pilots, and generally confusing German radio intelligence by "spoof" raids etc.

Col Runge, having been provisionally posted to 617 Squadron R.A.F. (Dambusters), was asked by Max Richardson (Torrens Rowing Club) towards the end of the war in Europe if he was interested in training in an R.A.A.F. eight to compete in an inter-Services rowing regatta at Henley-on-Thames, similar to the one Lyn Davis rowed in after World War I for the King's Cup, but Col was medically unfit at the time.

A.R.C. Members who saw Active Service in South Africa (Boer War)

Major Karri Davies (Founder of Colonial Light Horse)
V.M. Newland, D.C.M.
H.W. Brown, D.C.M.
W.G. Nordmann
A.G. Napier
A.E. Short
J. Kelly
R. Hamilton
Max Boucaut
A.G. Congreve
G.H. Cossins
C.C. Ferguson
R.S. Fotheringham
N. Malcolm
K. Harvey

G.H. Dean was in the Regular Army at this time, although he may have been kept on Home Service, training troops in Australia.

Adelaide Rowing Club World War I 1914-18 Honour Roll

List of A.R.C. Members who joined the A.I.F. or enlisted abroad.
Names in bold denote Killed in Action or Died of Wounds.

Andrews, P.H. Fourdrinier, K.J. Newman, C.V.
Angas, D.T. Fullarton, J.R. Norton, J.M.
Angus, F.N. Gibson, C.H. O'Dean, M.
Annells, H. Gordon, J.T. Orr, H.M.
Auld, P.H. Gordon, K.D. Owen Smythe, T.
Baker, R.C. Green, D.T. Patterson, A.S.
Bennett, J.R. Green, K.E. Pavey, G.A.
Beresford, G.E. Green, M.L. Phillipps, M.T.
Blue, W.B. Guthrie, R.H. Poole, W.B.
Bonython, G.C. Hall, K.S. Powell, C.B.
Boorne, C.W. Hardy, T.B. Prevost, B.
Bowen, H.L. Harvey, A.B. Rees, R.J.P.
Bowen, N. Harvey, E.C. Rees, S.B.
Bradshaw, F.M. Hubbe, H.F. Reid, D.B.
Bray, C.T. Hubbe, M.U. Reid, R.V.
Brooks, H.A. Hunn, S.A. Rhodes, R.H.
Brown, L.S. Jones, D.R. Rhodes, R.L.
Burford, S.G. Jones, R.C. Ross, D.B.
Catchlove, K. Kemp, C.M. Sandford, J.L.
Chapman, S.I. Kennedy, A.L. Sandland, A.C.
Christophers, W.H. Kerr, W.B. Saunders, M.G.
Clarke, E.J.H. Kingsborough, L.J. Seppelt, J.G.
Conrad, F.J. Kingsborough, L.S. Sharp, K.W.
Cook, B. Lewis, L.A. Sharp, M.R.
Cornell, L.H. Loudon, J.N. Sharp, S.V.
Cornish, A.F. Lucas, E.H. Smith, K.M.
Craven, J.D.L. Luxmoore, E.M. Smith, R.M.
Crowhurst, F.S. Macully, A.A. Stirling, E.G.
Cudmore, C.R. Matters, A.T. Strachan, W.L.
Davidson, J.L. Matters, S.W. Taylor, F.A.
Davidson, R.L. McBryde, F.B. Taylor, G.H.
Davison, C.G. McKail, J.F. Tilemann, E.
Dean, E.T. McNeilage, G.C. Timbrell, G.
Dean, G.H. Miell, G. Van Senden, D.L.
Dean, L.G. Mildred, H.H. Waddell, W.J.
DeBavay, A.J. Miller, D.J. Walker, J.W.
DeRose, P.N. Morice, J.P.S. Wastell, N.F.
Doswell, F.J. Morphett, G. Whyte, T.A.
Dubois, L.S. Morris, A.V. Wilcox, C.A.
Ekins, A.K. Moule, C.L. Wilcox, E.A.
Ekins, G.L. Muecke, C.W.L. Wilkinson, K.
English, T.W. Muirhead, G.M. Williamson, R.C.
Fearby, A.R.G. Muirhead, H.M Wood, R.K.
Ferguson, A.S. Napier, N.R. Woodley, M.W.
Fitch, E.G. Neill, R.  


Honor Roll

Members of the Adelaide Rowing Club who enlisted for active service in World War II 1939-45.

Photographs of 85 members are mounted, plus the names of 15 more.

Names in bold denote killed in action or died of wounds.

Navy Army  
D.W. Perry A. Burston A.I. Hare
J.W.B. Rischbieth D.O. Nightingale H.I. Sabey
H.F.P. Brock T.B. Hamilton A.F. Bolton
E.M. McBride J.T. Sheppard H.C. Morphett, M.C.
A.P. Berry R.H. Buttery
P.R. Mead F.A. Dibden Air Force
G.D. Stokes P.M. Linklater  
R.R.K. Clover G.R. Martin R. Goldberg
J.G. Jaffray A.E. Levinson W.J. Menz
  E.P. Cherry L.R. Taylor
Branch of R.D. Keller A.W. Crompton
Services W.H. Stephenson R.T. Hand
Unknown L. Luxton, O.B.E. L.S. Davis M.I.D.
  A.K. Buttrose D.N. Linnett
T.L. Lewis R.D. Nairn K.L. Milne
R.E. Gryst N.R. Stokes A.W.J. Bishop
H.C. Gillies N.A. Buckenara T.J. Howard
G. Birtles R.K. Dunn G.M. Sheppard
I.H. Hamilton P.M. Cudmore R.K. O'Connor
W.D. James R.E. Alexander C.A.D. Walker
C.L. Schrader M. Rutherford R.P. Paterson
M.W. Edwards D. Braham W.A. Wadey
J. Hilton J.G. Giles N.P. Ford A.F.C.
C.M.P. Hamilton J.H. Dutton M.H. Worley
H.M. Morris B.F. Hopkins J.S. Lord, M.I.D.
J.R. Barbour F.J. Nicholls P.A. Gillespie
J. Belfer J. Gilbert H.A. Ledger, M.I.D.
P.T. Claridge J.C. Williams W.W. Alexander
R.H. Foord E.C. Phillipson G. C. Harry
W. Honeybun R.V. Osman R.H. Turner
A.M.D. James S.G.W. Burston D.C. Howie
J.M. Kelly G.M. Neuenkirchen P.G. Brooks
R.J. Martin K.B. Forwood R.R. Hill
D.R. Maxwell D.E. Craven C.E. Runge
O.R. Perkins J.C. Cuming W.K. Bolitho D.F.C.
K.B. Roennfeldt H.V. Fairweather B.R. Walker, D.F.C.