Jack Caple's story
Jack Caple enlisted on 22 June 1940 and served with the 2/24th Battalion in the Middle East, North Africa, New Guinea and Borneo. He remembered exhaustive route marches as part of the training in Palestine. He also recollected the giant dust cloud thrown up at Benghazi by the German tanks as they advanced. Jack found himself cut off in Tobruk, and recalled knowing the importance of the navy in holding the position.
Jack remembered the horror of war. He told the story of a young Australian officer who was killed by a mine soon after his arrival. Jack had great admiration for the German general Rommel. After serving at Tobruk, Jack participated in the battles at El Alamein.
On return to Australia, the battalion was sent to New Guinea. Jack compared the conditions of the desert with the jungle and commented on the determination of the Japanese. After another spell in Australia, the battalion was sent to Borneo.
Jack was discharged 5 October 1945, having attained the rank of Lieutenant, and on returning to Australia married his fiancée Sheila. They settled in Warrnambool. Jack worked for many decades at the Fletcher Jones clothing factory at Pleasant Hill. In his later years, he moved to Melbourne to be closer to his family.