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O'Leary, Edward Frank

Private Edward (Ted) O'Leary, NX1768, was a member of the 2/2 Infantry Battalion in the 16th Brigade, 6th Division.

AWM Website: Arriving in Greece on 22 March, the 2/2nd was soon deployed north to resist the anticipated German invasion. It occupied positions at Veria on 7 April, but a succession of withdrawals by the Allies in Greece meant that the battalion did not meet the enemy in battle until 18 April - at Tempe (Pinios) Gorge. There, in a desperate fight, the 2/2nd blocked German movement through the gorge to permit the safe withdrawal of Allied forces further south. It held its ground until overwhelmed by vastly superior German forces. Some parties from the battalion later managed to rejoin the main withdrawal south, and were eventually evacuated by the Allied navies, while others made epic escapes through the Greek islands. A group of 189 members of the 2/2nd subsequently fought with the 16th Brigade Composite Battalion on Crete.

Ted was captured in Crete (POW 3379). At Klagenfurt he was active in the theatre group.

Ted was born in Sydney, NSW on 9 Apr 1918. Post-war he was a farmer near Barraba, a town in the New England region of northern New South Wales. He died 15 Aug 2006. He was 88.

AWM Nominal Roll

Service Record at the Australian National Archives

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