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Biographical Dictionary - Coorow, Carnamah, Three Springs


"Jim" William James MORCOMBE

Born 10 January 1923 in Ceduna, South Australia [55]
Son of Philip Thomas MORCOMBE and Stella Alison SAGE [55]
Left South Australia with is mother in 1923 to join his farther on Minaru Farm in Waddy Forest, Western Australia [P86]
Educated at the one teacher Waddy Well State School in Waddy Forest and then at Wesley College in South Perth [P86] [5: 15-Feb-1935]
Attended the Children's Fancy Dress Ball held in Coorow in July 1933 as an "Australian Stockman" [4: 29-Jul-1933]
Won a 2nd prize for Writing in the Educational section of the Carnamah Agricultural Show on 18 September 1930 [4: 27-Sep-1930]
Came 2nd for Boy Rider under 14 years in the Horse Events at the Coorow-Waddy Show on 7 September 1933 [5: 15-Sep-1933]
He and his father travelled from Waddy Forest to Perth by car on Tuesday 10 April 1934 [5: 13-Apr-1934]
Received 1st place for the Best Boy Rider under 14 years in the Ring Events section of the Coorow-Waddy Show in 1934 [5: 7-Sep-1934]
His parents and sister travelled to Perth in December 1935 to pick him up from Wesley College for his Christmas vacation [5: 13-Dec-1935]
By mid December 1935 he had returned home to Waddy Forest to spend the Christmas school holidays with his parents [5: 20-Dec-1935]
Returned to his home in Waddy Forest for the May school holidays on Thursday 14 May 1936 [5: 15-May-1936]
Successfully competed in the 1936 Inter-School Sports between Wesley College and Christchurch Grammar School [5: 6-Nov-1936]
     He broke the record for the 220 Yards and came 2nd in the 100 Yards Sprint and High Jump for Boys Under 14 Years [5]
He spent Christmas and a portion of his summer holidays with a school friend in Port Hedland in December 1936 [5: 11-Dec-1936]
In 1937 spent Easter and his holidays in March, May and September with his parents in Waddy [5: 25-Mar-1937, 7-May-1937, 4-Jun-1937, 3-Sep-1937]
Won 1st prize for Border Collie in the Sheep Dog section of the Coorow-Waddy Agricultural Show in 1937 [5: 10-Sep-1937]
     The judge, Frank R. BRYANT of Marchagee, made a special mention that his dog was "an exceptionally outstanding animal" [5]
Attended Muresk Agricultural College - obtained a Diploma in Agriculture at the conclusion of his studies in 1939 [0: image 03042]
After leaving Muresk worked for Elder Smith & Co Ltd however was expected to eventually take over his father's Minaru Farm [P86]
At the age of 18 years he enlisted in the Royal Australian Air Force on 17 August 1941 [16]
     Graduated as a pilot in Australia and was then posted to England, and flew Stirling Bombers in raids over Germany and France [P86]
     Pilot Officer 415264 in Royal Australian Air Force's 622nd Squadron during World War Two [16]
Killed in Action on 18 November 1943 in a Flying Battle over France [18]
Memorialised at Lachalade Churchyard in Meuse, France and his name appears on the Carnamah War Memorial [17] [35]
His first cousin "Keith" Frank Keith MORCOMBE of Waddy Forest who was also Killed in Action during the Second World War [18]

From The North Midland Times newspaper, Friday 3 March 1944:
"Mr. Phil Morcombe, of Waddy Forest, received word from the Air Board this week to the effect that his son, who is unfortunately missing, was promoted to the rank of Pilot Officer last year. It has now been established that three members of Pilot-Officer Morcombe's plane have paid the supreme sacrifice, while five members are still unaccounted for."

From The North Midland Times newspaper, Friday 4 August 1944:
"Vale Pilot Officer W. J. Morcombe. Having been missing since November 18, 1943, it has now been officially announced that P./O. William James Morcombe, of Waddy Forest, is presumed dead. The only son of Mr. Phil and Mrs. Stella Morcombe, formerly of Waddy Forest, the late P./O. Morcombe, was well and favourably known throughout the Coorow and Waddy Forest district. He is the second member of this highly respected family to pay the supreme sacrifice, the other being his cousin Flt-Liet. Keith Morcombe (D.F.C.). At the time of his death the late "Jim" Morcombe was aged 21 years. The sympathy of the whole district goes out to his sorrowing father, mother and sister Helen, who are left to face this irretrievable loss. At such times as these, mere words cannot express the sorrow which is felt at the loss of these gallant young men, but those who are near and dear to them, will always be able to treasure the memory that they died nobly doing their duty to their country."

Reference:  Carnamah Historical Society & Museum and North Midlands Project, 'William James Morcombe' in Biographical Dictionary of Coorow, Carnamah and Three Springs, retrieved 22 May 2024 from [reference list]

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