Clifford Brice's story

Born on Anzac Day 1920 in Kingswood, South Australia, Clifford Brice enlisted in the Australian Army on 26 July 1940 at Southwark. He was 20 years old.

Cliff was assigned to the 2/8 Field Ambulance. He served in World War II at Tobruk in Libya, at El Alamein in Egypt and in New Guinea and Borneo.

During his time at Tobruk, Cliff kept a diary that he wrote on toilet paper with a lead pencil.

The 2/8 Field Ambulance arrived in Palestine on 30 January 1941 and was based at Khasa. When Italy entered the war, the unit was part of the Allied force sent into Cyrenaica (Libya). However, with the advance of German forces, the Allies withdrew during April 1941 as far as Tobruk.

Cliff's remained with his unit in Tobruk for 6 months during the siege. After being relieved on 25 October 1941, the 2/8 Field Ambulance was again based in Palestine.

In October 1942, Cliff's unit was part of Britain's Eighth Army attack at El Alamein. They were amongst the last Australian troops to return to Australia from the Middle East, embarking on 23 January 1943. They arrived in Sydney and were then sent to Queensland.

On 26 July 1943, Cliff and the 2/8 Field Ambulance embarked in Cairns for Milne Bay, disembarking on 30 July to support the 20th Infantry Brigade. Then he was amongst the first wave of troops ashore in the landing at Lae in September.

The 2/8 Field Ambulance was active at Finschhafen. Then in November 1943, Cliff and his unit supported the 24th Infantry Brigade at Godowa, as troops moved along the northern New Guinea coast to Masawang.

In October 1944, Cliff's unit was sent back to Australia for leave.

Then in April 1945, the 2/8 Field Ambulance was again on the move. This time to Morotai to support the 20th Infantry Brigade. Cliff sailed from Townsville to Morotai, where Allied forces were assembling for the invasion of Borneo. On 3 June, the troops embarked for Brunei, where they remained until the end of the war, leaving for Australia on 30 October 1945.

Cliff discharged from the Army on 20 February 1946, having attained the rank of corporal.

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Cite this page

DVA (Department of Veterans' Affairs) ( ), Clifford Brice's story, DVA Anzac Portal, accessed 6 December 2023,
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