Dennis Davis's story
Dennis Davis was born in London, England, and migrated to Sydney with his family. He was living in Kogarah and working as a clerk when he enlisted in the Australian Imperial Force in July 1940.
During World War II, Dennis was a driver with the 9th Division Supply Column, Australian Army Service Corps (AASC). He served in the Middle East, New Guinea and Borneo.
While in North Africa, Dennis participated in the Siege of Tobruk and the battles at El Alamein. He recalls the dust storms and invasive nature of the desert sand, as well as the discomfort caused by fleas, flies, scorpions and asps. At El Alamein, his unit was bombarded and suffered heavy casualties.
After Tobruk, the division was withdrawn to Syria, where Dennis was co-opted into serving with a newly formed ski unit, an endeavour he considered a mad enterprise.
Dennis recalls the cramped conditions on the troopships, including Queen Mary. He married his fiancé Margaret on return to Australia before again departing for overseas service, this time in New Guinea and later in Borneo.
After the war, Dennis had several bouts of malaria and spent nearly 11 months in hospital due to that and an injury to his foot received while serving in the Middle East but inflamed by service in the tropics.
Dennis discharged from the Australian Army in November 1945.