2nd Echelon Australian Imperial Forces

These next photos are part of a collection of over two hundred Photos that I have acquired and I am in the process of researching, Therefore the information on this page will be updated regularly As more details come to light. I felt I needed to put these in a Category of there own due to there uniqueness and historical Value to the Australian Imperial Forces (A.I.F.).

I would like to thank my fellow contributors on www.ww2talk.com For their continued help in my research, who without there Help I would have come up against many a brick wall!

I have given this page the heading above due the breakthrough That came from the Australian Government National Archives Of Australia. On the back of one of the photos was John Genge NX27514 A.I.F., which lead to 2nd Echelon Australian Imperial Forces.

So here we go, like I said this page will be updated as soon As more details come to light, if you feel you can add to any Of the following please do not hesitate to contact me via Email: kieronhill@yahoo.co.uk

Where should I start?

Empress of Japan

Troops on the deck of the Empress of Japan

The Empress of Japan, Empress of Britain and The Empress Of Canada and other ships in the convoy left the coast of Australia on the 12th May 1940 for Egypt. Due to the changing circumstances going on in Europe at the time the convoy was diverted to England. That was not before the convoy pulled into Capetown where the Empress of Japan was to play no Further role in the convoy.

These following pictures are of the Empress Line Ships docked and under steam, they could be in Capetown or Australia.

The convoy arrives the Clyde, England 16th June 1940

The 2nd Echelon Australian Imperial Forces stayed in England For sometime carrying out training and protection duties against The pending invasion of England by Hitler’s Germany. We all Know this didn’t happen and they were sent Egypt throughout 1940-41, the first units arriving at Helwan Egypt in the mid September of 1940.

Training in England

Picture of a Halifax heavy bomber, which I think Was taken at sometime while they were based in UK. This particular bomber was based at RAF Leeming. I know from my research that while Waiting for embarkation for Egypt a lot of the A.I.F. were based in and around the surrounding Areas, so maybe this was taken then.

Digs somewhere in England

Libya September 1940-41

The following pictures shows a units returning back to Camp In Egypt from Libya and a Lewis machine Gun mounted on the back of a truck, which is running On a rail track.

Greece Campaign 1941

The following pictures are chilling, on the Back of one of them it says, “Please give These to Mum for me-aerial bombs in Greece”. You also have a picture of General Blamey saluting the base.

General Blamey

General Blamey was commander of the Australian land forces in the war. He had Resigned from the army to become a policeman, But in February 1940 he was called up to Take command of Australia’s Infantry Force. In April 1941 he was made Lieut General, Second in command to General Wavell. In 1941 he arrived in Greece to command The A.I.F. troops. After the evacuation Of Greece he was posted to Alexandria.

Captured German photos

These next pictures are the ones that have John Genge on the back. I should imagine they were taken from either a German POW or a dead one in Greece.

Convoy under attck

The next photos are of a convoy of ships under attack, I'm not sure where this would fit in so maybe someone could tell me. Through discussions on a forum that I regular visit it was said that maybe it could be the Malta convoys where HMS Eagle was sunk by a German U boat.


The following are train related, this is just a couple there are about twelve of these.

French Pillbox in Lebanon

The writing on the back reads: 'French "Pillbox" connecting a trench in the sand near Beirut. Capturing them was one of the main problems because they were placed in open country. This particular one when we got into it was ankle deep in empty cartridge cases'.

Ramleh War Cemetery in Israel

This is just over thirty photos out of over two hundred so you can see the scale of research that needs to be done. Here is a brief list of the other photos and places in this collection.

Egypt, Libya, Sudan, Syria, Tel Aviv and Lebanon. Pictures of armoured cars, trucks, wrecked vehicles, sports days, donkey races, prisoners, Sollum pass and other places, camps, shipwrecks, artillery pieces, guns and many more.If you think you could help in the research of this collection or could improve or correct what I have already done please feel free to contact me via email...I could do with the help.

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