22battalion crest

22nd Battalion 2NZEF

"Vrai et Fort"



Photographs from the album of Private Michael O'Leary 617177 22 Battalion

Private O'Leary embarked for the Middle East in mid-1944. He would have spent a few months at Maadi Camp outside Cairo before joining the 22 Battalion in northern Italy for the final push to Trieste. In Trieste, he lived through the uneasy occupation by Allied forces alongside Tito's Jugoslav troops. It was not always a tense standoff, as the numerous photos of bathing and other leisure activities show. The 22 Battalion was moved south to Florence later in 1945 to Winter Quarters at the Scuola Tecnica Aeronautica, before being shipped to Japan in eary 1946 on the "TSS Strathmore" as part of J-Force. Some of O'Leary's photos show the move south to Florence and the subsequent move to Naples and the voyage through the Suez Canal, to Singapore, Hong Kong and on to Japan.

O'Leary wrote the location and date on the front of some of the photos. He also made notes on the back, and these have been reproduced here as the captions.

The Middle East

Private O'Leary arrived in Egypt in about September 1944. He spent a short time there in training before moving on to Italy.

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Day, Baxter, Collin, Whall, McArtney, Viggars, Simmis, Spooner, Standen, Whittaker, ...son?, Walker. O'Callaghan, two instructors, Wilburn, Rosser, Mansell, McLoughlin
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oleary 15 Eric Wilburn and myself six months ago my moustache makes me look awful. I only kept it a month.
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Italy

Private O'Leary appears to have arrived in Italy in December 1944. This was during the Winter standoff when both the Allies and the Nazis were dug in across from each other over the Senio River. Soon there was the final push across the Senio, past Venice and on to Trieste. One Company of the 22 Battalion was dispatched to liberate Venice (and more importantly the Hotel Danieli which Freyberg chose for the NZ Forces Club) while the rest of the battalion raced north to be the first to enter Trieste and to take the German surrender there. Forli and Faenza were just behind the front line in December 1944.

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oleary6 Myself at Bari New Year's Day 1945
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oleary19 569288 L/CPL CJ O'Donnell 24 Battalion
oleary14 442170 Pte G. DAVIDSON died 21 December 1944
oleary16 455084 L/CPL T.G. GOMER and 443527 L/CPL F.R. BROWN, both died 15 April 1945
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oleary 50 Laura, Edda, Michele, Fernanda, Guissepina, Alfredo, Corina and Tomasso (as you may guess I'm still King of the Kids) Michel
oleary 52 Vernon Topp (L.HUTT) and myself - Michael
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oleary30 During a game of cricket against 18 Platoon 22. Patton bowling for 18; Jim Sherratt umpiring and Don Cannon ready to run (taken 9th Brigades mountain line in Istria
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oleary32 Ian Spavin, Bob Pascoe, Jim Spriggens, Don Cannon, Vern Topp, - at back - Dave Viggars, Johnny Watt and "Clue" Silcock at Sistiano 7/6/45
oleary33 17 Platoon reps at beach near Sistiano 7/6/45
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oleary78 Hori Kay and his little girl-friend from Via San Nicolo
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oleary 106 Many guards from H.M.S Orion and our guards having morning tea.
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oleary57 Greek Orthodox church in Roman Catholic Italy - Trieste
oleary62 Benediction outside Chiesa in Trieste in the evening.
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oleary49 Mr C J Thompson, 64 Main Street, Mataura, South Land
oleary51 Street in Trieste - building in right foreground 12 stories high.
oleary59 Cash, Roberts, Sim and McDonald in background. Bernie Spranger, Bert Simpson, Hugh McKernie and Hugh Dunlop - outside Hotel Continentale shelling peas.
oleary56 Roberts, Sim, McDonald and Cash outside Abergo Continentale Via S. Nicolo Trieste
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oleary43 Newton, Pollard, Roberto, Watt, Larking from 17 Platoon and two others from D Company
oleary63 A shot taken from a tree - a failure. Doug Shaw Hori Kay, Cliff Newton, Bruce Jordan watching cricket 17 v. 18. 3/6/45
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oleary36 Two Italian girls with our boys in the big Piazza. Notice "TITO" in background.
oleary 113 Twenty yanks and a girl.
oleary60 Hori Kay, Charlie Pollock - and Darc Manning at Barcola 9 A.M. (in May)
oleary53 Cash McDonald Roberts -- Laking, Sim - at Savoia Baths.
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oleary37 Taken from stern of launch before I fell overboard - routing along in the bay between Monfalcone & Venice
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oleary55 Sistiana 11.6.1945
oleary65 To Mum. An old Roman ampitheatre in Trieste. It is surrounded by modern streets and buildings. Michael.
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oleary10 Milan June 1945
oleary77 Cliff Jones, Jim Spriggans and myself at beach near Monfalcone
oleary11 Les Nielson, Jimmy and myself at the waterfront, Lake Como. On the right is the famous Como cable car. Winston Churchill visited Como just afterwards but unfortunately missed the pleasure of meeting us. June 1945
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oleary45 Dave Viggars, myself, Les Neilson and Sims at the ristorante on cable car hill overlooking Como and Laga Como
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Don Coy 22 Batt just before the 8ths go home - Perugia, August 1945

South to Florence for the Winter

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oleary72 Crossing the River Po on ??? bridge July 1945
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oleary80 FOTO LEVI Firenze
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oleary82 2 Ech. leaving our camp (the Aeronautical University) at Florence. This is the start of our journey to Japan.
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oleary88 German prisoners-of-war working party on Naples waterfront.
oleary89 Four damaged German tanks. In the centre, the famed "Tiger"
oleary90 Where we stopped for dinner between Rome and (Florence) Naples. Still more poor peasants.
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olear93 The castle at Napoli.
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Another unit arrives to embark at Naples. Fascist building in background.

From Naples to Japan - J Force

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oleary95 Looking over the stern at the Suez Canal. Look at the sand!
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oleary96 Port Said 5-6-1947
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oleary100 A British warship being towed out of Singapore Harbour.
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Searching in the ruins of Hiroshima.
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The majority of the standing buildings in Hiroshima.

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Last updated: 24/09/2015