CANTWELL, Roland Daniel - WX12658

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Original items held by a member of the community

Lt Roland Daniel Cantwell
Conflict World War 2
Service Arm Citizen Military Force
Australian Imperial Force
Unit 2/28th Infantry Battalion
28th Battalion
Service No. WX12658
Service Arm Army
Date of Birth 22 Feb 1909
Date of Death 17 Mar 2004
Relatives Wife - Claire Emmeline Cantwell


Prior to WW2, Roland Cantwell served with the 28th Battalion as part of the Citizen Military Force.

Roland Cantwell volunteered to serve with the 2/28th Infantry Battalion during WW2.

Soldier's Pay Books

Soldier's Record of Service Book

Demobilization Procedure Book

Lt. Roland Cantwell kept a hand written booklet with the details of the men in his section. The entire booklet can be found on the 2/28th Infantry Battalion page and each soldier in the booklet has been linked his own page.


WX 12658 Lt. R Cantwell. Enlisted 9-5-41
Religion C of E
Date of Birth 22-2-09. Age 36.
Blood Group. A2
Embarked. ME 6-9-42 Disembarked. ME 18-2-43
Embarked. NG 4-8-43 Disembarked. NG 28-1-44
Embarked. Born

Campaigns. LAE Finschaven. NG. Labuan. BNE. Borneo. Padas R. Beaufort.
Next of Kin - Wife. Claire Emmeline Tambellup. W.A
Size of Hat. 6-7/8 Boots. 7.5 Rifle No. 18467 Pistol. 382080 Watch. J1672 Compass 5383

Lt. Roland Cantwell kept a copy of the Routine Order No 1587 from HQ 2/28th Australian Infantry Battalion dated 1 August 1942. He made his own notations and it can be read on the 2/28th Infantry Battalion page.

The advance on Lae once again demonstrated the indomitable spirit of the Australian soldier. Three provosts, camped by a riverbank, had all their gear, including their boots, swept away when the stream flooded during the night. They marched for many miles barefooted, without water bottles in trying heat, without any complaint. After struggling along under such conditions, a Jap shell landed in amongst them, killing one and wounding the others. One YMCA corporal, 43 years old, battled along for days with his gear and some comforts for the troops. While sleeping one night a tree came down across his face, causing a compound fracture of the jaw. With the bones in his jaw actually creaking as he spoke, he pleaded with the YM Officer to exert every pressure to have him returned to his cobbers in action at the earliest possible moment. One YM Corporal, having only a radio wrote out by hand many copies of the news which he distributed as a newspaper entitled "The Buss Beaut". This news-sheet reached hundreds of men who were right up forward. A moving scene was noted as we marched along the track. A mound where an Australian had been buried had beside it a pierced helmet, a half eaten tin of bully beef and and an open New Testament. The thought immediately was provoked that here was a man who died while reading the way of life. It seemed that here was one who was ready to meet his maker, and one who had realized the fact that there is comfort at all times and in all circumstances in the Word of God.


newspaper clippings

This is a list of the Regimental Seniority of Officers in the 28th Battalion (Citizen Military Force) as at 1 October 1953. Officers were required to memorise the list in order to salute any higher ranking officer present on any occasion.

This group photo of the 28th Battalion (Citizen Military Force), unknown year. Roland Cantwell is noted in the front row.