John Patrick Twiss (nickname Doc) was in the 2/3 Pioneer Battalion. Zara Farmer. 



Service Australian Army
Service Number NX27427
Date of Birth 17 Aug 1909
Place of Birth SYDNEY, NSW
Date of Enlistment 19 Jun 1940
Locality on Enlistment GLADESVILLE, NSW
Place of Enlistment PADDINGTON, NSW
Next of Kin TWISS, ROSE (mother)
Date of Discharge 9 Oct 1945
Rank Private
Posting at Discharge 2/3 Pioneer Battalion
WW2 Honours and Gallantry None for display
Prisoner of War No


Prisoner of War (Prigione di Guerra) Campo 57 Gruppignano, Udine, Fruili, Northern Italy


This site is dedicated to the Prisoners of War (POW) held at Campo 57, gruppignano in Northern Italy during World War Two. Information, photos, mementos or stories, will be gratefully accepted and added to this website in order to increase its value as a resource for families and researches. Visitors and Researchers should feel free to copy any material from this site without fee. I have wherever possible referenced where I obtained my material and as a courtesy I would encourage others using this material to also reference the original owner of the material.


Whilst I am making every attempt to ensure accuracy, I am only too happy to be corrected by those with historical expertise that is almost certainly likely to be vastly superior to mine – though I am learning rapidly. The fastest way to build a repertoire of historical knowledge, mementoes, images and family historical detail, is through the exchange of questions and answers. To my mind the best way to do this is via facebook where any interested person can pose a question or post an image, and any one of us can subsequently respond with an answer. Thus I have attached a link to a facebook site.


Lastly I want to extend to the families of prisoners of war at campo 57 my sincerest assurances that any information you provide or detail you provide regarding your relative will be treated with the utmost respect and posted to this site with the dignity that these men deserve.

via Home.





My father was great mates with Andy Boney of Urunga. He lived behind our house and was a fine Aboriginal man. He used ot come to our house for a yarn and mum would make scones. We played iwth the Boney kids including Robbie. Mr Boney was in the Pioneers during the Second World war and worked on the railways. Hise children Kevan and Margarte were good singers and sang in the beer garden at Unrunga Hotel. There was not discrimintaion against the Boney, Averies or Kelly’s we palyed iwth them all. When Andy Boeny got cancer my father sat with him as he died in the Concord Repat Hospital in Sydney. My mother and father said he was of the best people he had ever had the pleasure of meeting. There were plenty of good footballers amongs the Aboriginal people who grew up near us. All those kids went to the convent school and we went to the pulbic school. Everyone had jobs.

from Dianne Brown


RSL Living History Project

The aim of the project is to capture the history of the sub-branches in Western Australia celebrating the role of the RSL in the community both in supporting returned service personnel and in fostering the ideals of ANZAC.

Elizabeth Hazelwood

My great uncle John William Brown, service number NX58192 was in 2/3 i am still trying to find out as much as i can about him and his brothers that served so any information would be very much appreciated.

Melinda Collins

my Grandpa John Lee was in the 2/3 Pioneer Battalion, he passed away on 17/06/2011 aged 90….. he lied about his age to serve our country. my Grandpa never realy spoke about the war. i do know that he was injured during the war by a bit of scrapnal in his chest that was never removed. my grandpa was a great man and is very sadly missed

Tanya Murphy

Hi. I’m hoping someone might remember Ivan Willis from Victoria with the 2/3. He served from June 41 to Dec 45 in Darwin, The Middel East, New Guinea and Borneo. Any memories or stories would be mostt gratefully received.

Ian George Jones

Does anyone know if the old Pioneer newsletters were archived and if so where they might be accessed or who might have them.
Ian Jones

Ian George Jones

Hi, my father served with the Pioneers on Tarakan. He was in 17 Platoon ‘D’ Coy. His name was William Jones and he hailed from Perth, WA. Unfortunately he passed away in 2006 but I was able to talk to him about his service before his death. I know few of the diggers remain but was wondering if any families may have memories of him that were passed on.
Ian Jones

Debbie McGlinn

My father, so I have just found out, served in this battalion his name is Ian Robert Edgar Giles, does naybopdy know of him?

Thomas Benjamin Mulley

Hi my father (who would be 101 this year if he was alive) was in the c company 14 platoon in the 9th Division. A friend who is 95 (still kicking) served in the 9th division. I just gave him my copy of "Mud and Sand" I am really interested in finding out more about my dad and the times he served in the war. i also served in Vietnam…
Keep in touch

Luke Benny Belford

Hi all glad to see so many descendents out there taking a keen interest. I finally got my rising sun tattoo with the pioneers badge in the centre, still in the process of getting it finished and touched up, work in progress. Grandpa CPL Maurice Ryan NX82259 your memory lives on for another generation.

Luke Benny Belford

The final result (note no white behind the purple triangle:it doesnt show real well so we decided to stay skin colour. Let me know what your thoughts are good or bad



My name is Jennifer Pearce. My late father Ronald Cassin served in the 2/3rd Pioneer Battalion. Any information about the Battalion would be great for me as Dad was very reluctant to talk about his war days. I don’t think he spent any time in the front line, but I know he spent a lot of time clearing mine fields. “Daisy Cutters”. He was in Palestine,El Shat(Eygpt)& El Alemain.


This image is included in my father’s (Neville Carson – the one with the hat) photo album. The identifying label says "The Staff Kilo 89 Staging Camp" – Palestine November 1941. Would love if someone could identify some of the other soldiers. Have other images with the names Bill, Harry and Garth – "Soapy" also appears.



Jenny Wheatley said

My late father was in the 2/3 Pioneer Batallion. His name was Billy Legg. When I saw the name Bruce Sanders it jogged a memory of my father being a close friend. Do you know if I am correct?

Hi Jenny. Yes, your dad was a c lose friend of mine ( Bruce Sanders). I wish I could remember more stories about them or find all of Dad’s documents. Good to hear from you.  Yrs. Lynne S.



my husbands grandmothers brother was in the 2/3 Australian pioneer

battalion.his name was john Pla (jacky).Would you have any information

relating to him or evidence of him on the Roll.He was a victorian

,reference VX 103798.Please reply.

Cheers Linda.


Pete Branch: WOW! Thank you sooo much Mark! My grandfather, Herb Hardy fought in this batallion and it’s the first photos I’ve seen of his deployments. Again, thank you!

Vivien Halaska. Thanks Mark…My dad Stan Bartlett was a pioneer. We do have some photos but your video was fantastic…thanks heaps.

John Carr: Thanks Mark,my grandfather Vince Mulcahy was a 2/3 Pioneer,a mob that mauled hitler,mussolini and tojo,also like to say thanks for creating this page in their memory.



Thank you for this site. My father Ronald Victor Moulds was originally with the6th Machine gunners .Then he was deployed to the 2/3rd Pioneer battalion.I watched the march this morning and saw both groups and my mother’s AAmWas army nurse). We once visited the War memorial and there was a diarama of the landing at Tarakan. My father said that he landed near here.He could remember the ouil tanks being on fire and the bombardment before the landing. His words were “They soften up the Japs before we landed” My father past away in 1999.



Wayne said

November 10, 2010 at 10:57 pm

My grand father served in WWII with the 2nd/3rd pioneers. His name was Warwick James Drewe. I have not been able to find any information about him during the war or about the company he was in. if you have any information about my grand father and the campaigns he may have been involved in i would love to hear from you

CPL Maurice Ryan NX82259 D Coy 18 platoon

Hi all just found the site. Long live the memories of the pioneers. My late grandfather Maurice was a pioneer and i must say extremely proud of it. I march in melbourne most years and have done since i was about 15. I’m 31 now and am passing the memories and history to my daughter who never met my grandpa but the legacy lives on. Thanks all luke Belford


Edward George Impey NX58067 kia Buso ‘Red’ Beach near Lae, PNG – D Company, 16th Platoon

I am interested in talking to anyone who knew Edward George Impey or who has any photographs or diary references or letters from other Pioneers referencing this period of the Pioneers leading up to the  September 1943 landing at Red Beach, near Lae. Unfortunately my father (brother of Edward George) disposed of all the personal belongings of Edward George in the early 1950s. This has now made it that much more difficult for the famly to record and document the short life of Edward George (aged 21 years and 11 months whem killed on the 6th of September, 1943).
Any snippets of information, no matter how small, will be greatly appreciated by the Impey family.

Started by Edward John Impey



I have been right through the original enlistments for the 2/3rd Pioneer Battalion and have not been able to find any information about Edward George IMPEY. I am guessing that he joined the Pioneers after the Alamein battles upon the Battalions return to Australia. Unfortunately my Grandfather was horrifically wounded during the El Alamein battle which kept him out of the rest of the war. I do not have any other information in regards to the Battalions actions in New Guinea. Sorry.
Pete Kennedy


Service Record


Australian Army

Service Number

Date of Birth
30 Nov 1906

Place of Birth

Date of Enlistment
16 Feb 1942

Locality on Enlistment

Place of Enlistment

Next of Kin

Date of Discharge
17 Nov 1944


Posting at Discharge

WW2 Honours and Gallantry
None for display

Prisoner of War



Hello Lynne,
I am new to this type of thing, so will start with an e-mail, as I have never created a blog before. First things first.
My name is Simone Wood and I have a twin sister – Nicole Dorward. We are grandaughters of James (Bluey) George Watson of the 2/3 Pioneers. He was also part of several other battalions as his brother kept calling him. James passed away last year, and there are only two member of this Battalion left in the Melbourne group. That is Stan Owler and Frank. We will be meeting the Sydney Pioneer members and families on Monday, are you part of this group? If so, will you be attending this meeing/gathering?
Nik and I went to Canberra War Memorial to find out more information about our Pa only two weeks ago, but they will be posting that information to us as they have it filed in Archieves. We had hoped to have this information prior to this gathering, SayLaVe?

If anyone knows anything of Bluey, do let us know and we will pass it on to Simone and her sister or post it on her Ning Page.