Post by hurricanejim on Apr 7, 2016 17:24:13 GMT 12
Good evening everybody,
My great-grandfather Edward ‘Ted’ Eunson was born in 1906 and was drafted into Army service during the latter half of the Second World War. He had a wife and two sons at the time, and a fledgling plumbing business in eastern Southland. My grandfather is in his mid-80s now and he can recall bits and pieces of what his father underwent during the war, including never ‘touching custard again’ after eating so much of it on the ship taking him over to Egypt. We received his military service record last year, during which we discovered he had trained at Burnham and spent a lot of time in Italy in and around hospitals as he suffered from ‘anxiety neurosis’. The handwriting is incredibly difficult to make out and doesn’t make a lot of sense.
He curiously served with the 21st Battalion, a North Island unit, despite being from the South Island. My grandfather reasoned that it was because the 21st had suffered heavy casualties at Cassino so my g-grandfather was one of the replacements drafted in. I’ve searched online records and tirelessly attempted to find any trace of his name or his unit history including platoon etc. Has anybody got any information on the 21st Battalion post-Cassino and what operations they undertook, or has anybody actually heard about my g-grandfather, Private Eunson, in Italy. I realise this is an extremely long shot but it’s worth a shot, especially with such an educated community on this forum.
I would enjoy reading through any feedback you have. Cheers.
Post by Dave Homewood on Apr 7, 2016 18:32:40 GMT 12
It was not at all unusual for people from the south being in a northern or central Battalion, the zoning was only really at the beginning of the war and replacements were basically sent wherever they were needed most. However some did manage to swap to battalions where they knew mates if they were lucky,and the Army had a thing where a soldier already in a unit could claim his brother if he turned up as a replacement, so they could serve together.