Bluey Hope

Bluey Hope.Bluey Hope. (The file name for the image was 'Alick Bluey Hope 13.03.1943.jpg' which implies it was taken on 13 March 1943.)

(Text was firstly added to this profile on 5 March 2010. The Secretary Helene Riedl spoke to Alick Hope in late 2012 and the text has been revised in the light of that interview.)

Alick was born in Wynyard, Tasmania on 15th February 1921 where he lived at the time of his enlistment at Launceston on 13th May 1940, the very day that the 2nd 8th 16th Battery was formed at Brighton Camp, near Hobart.

Officers and men of 6th Field Brigade, the P.M.F. and Militia, were asked to volunteer for overseas service with 16th Battery, which consisted of B.H.Q.; D, E and F Troops - each troop armed with four 18 pounders. The Battery was under the command of Major A.A. Salter. The Army Numbers in this initial group range from TX1438 to TX1480.

Alick transferred from the Miltia where his rank was “Driver” (Horses) as mechanical vehicles had not yet been provided. These were delivered just prior to departure for Puckapunyal. Enlistment in the AIF was probably due to peer pressure, but it was what every 18yo did in big numbers. He was posted to “F” Troop where training eventually commenced on the 18 pounders.

Close mates were: Chas. McKenzie, Laurie Doddy, George Ross, Con Whytmore, Larry Green & Jack Ratcliff. Alick was billeted with Chas. McKenzie and Padre Udy.

Alick was to hold the rank of Acting Bombardier until he contracted “yellow jaundice” and was demoted to Lance Bombardier. He volunteered as Batman for the Padre and was reduced again to Gunner. He was later to transfer to 2nd 24th and 2nd 23rd Infantry Battallions.

He cites his most prominent memory as being the 9th Div. Parade for Lt. Gen. Sir Leslie James Morshead after El Alamein.

Alick went to Tarakan with the Infantry and was wounded there. A spell in the Field Hospital was a respite to ground sheet sleeping with the welcome feminine touch of the four nurses.

(The following text from the website version of 5 March 2010 has been retained as it adds light on his final movements.)

He was transferred to the 2/24th Battalion and then the 2/23rd where he saw action in Borneo. Alick was wounded at Tarakan and found himself in the Field Hospital, which proved to be a pleasant respite from ground sheet sleeping, not to mention the feminine touch of four lovely nurses!

Alick “Bluey” Hope was discharged from the 2/23rd Australian Infantry Battalion on 16.10.1945.