Pte Victor Carlton Griffin and Pte Martin Michael Dillon

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Southern (left) pylon

Private Victor Carlton Griffin, 3rd Battalion, on leave after recovering from wounds received at Gallipoli and illness. He is wearing a colour patch (probably brigade level) and machine gun qualifications badge on his right sleeve of his coat.

A junior porter in civilian life, Pte Griffin put his age up to enlist and embarked with the 8th Reinforcements aboard HMAT Runic (A54) from Sydney on 16 June 1915. Following his recuperation in England, Pte Griffin re-joined his unit in Egypt before deploying to the Western Front. For a time he served with the 2nd and 5th Field Survey Companies, Royal Engineers, then returned to the 3rd Battalion, where he was appointed Lance Corporal. He discharged from the AIF on 11 September 1918 as the result of being on selection for a cadetship at the Cadet College, Quetta, India.

Following training he was commissioned Second Lieutenant and posted to the 10th Gurkha Rifles, serving in the Third Afghan War in 1919. In 1922, with the rank of Lieutenant, he was posted to the 5th Mahratta Light Infantry, however after only one month, he transferred to the Royal Air Force unit in Karachi where he trained as a reconnaissance pilot and later flew reconnaissance sorties along the Afghanistan border. In 1925 Griffin was promoted to Captain and was stationed in the Sind Province, Karachi, where he married Myra Julie Rieu.

During the Second World War he continued to serve with the 5th Mahratta Light Infantry. In 1941, he was Second-in-Command of the 2nd Battalion during Operation Battleaxe, an attempt to relieve the siege of Tobruk. From 1941-1942, with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel, he commanded the 3rd Battalion at Cyprus, then at Salum (Sollum), Egypt. Griffin remained with the 3rd Battalion as part of the Middle Eastern Forces until January 1944. He was Brigade Commander, 11th Indian Brigade, during the 4th Indian Division's involvement in the war in Italy.

In 1946, he was promoted to the rank of Brigadier and given command of the 5th Mahratta Light Infantry Regimental Centre, Belgaum, India. The Australian War Memorial holds a Turkish map acquired by Pte Griffin at Lone Pine, a portion of a First World War trench map from France and a manuscript 'Brigadier Victor Carlton Griffin 1898-1973.

Courtesy of the Australian War Memorial.

Northern (right) pylon

Private Martin Michael Dillon, 13th Battalion.

A farm labourer of Junee Reefs, NSW, he enlisted on 18 November 1914 and sailed from Sydney on HMAT Seang Bee with the 2nd Reinforcements on 11 February 1915. He was killed in action on 27 August 1915, aged 21, and is commemorated on the Lone Pine Memorial, Gallipoli Peninsula. This photograph is from an Australian Red Cross Wounded and Missing Enquiry Bureau file.

The Bureau, which commenced operation in October 1915, sought to identify, investigate and respond to enquiries made regarding the fate of Australian personnel. It investigated the majority of personnel posted as wounded and missing on official Army lists, as well as written enquiries from concerned relatives and friends.

Approximately 32,000 individual case files were opened for Australian personnel who were reported as wounded or missing during the First World War. The Bureau employed searchers to operate both at the front and in Britain. They searched official lists of wounded and missing, interviewed comrades of missing soldiers in hospitals and wrote to men on active service. Altogether 400,000 responses were sent back to those who placed enquiries with the Bureau.

Courtesy of the Australian War Memorial.

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