Places - Lark Force - A.I.F. 2/22 Battalion, Regimental Band
Every member of the 2/22 Battalion Regimental Band was originally a Salvation Army Bandsman. Of the twenty-four who enlisted, only one survived their deployment to New Britain in 1941.
Jack Stebbings was killed on the 23 January 1942 while riding. William Haines and Ronald Cook died at Tol Plantation on 4 February 1942. A. Creed lost his life on one of the mountain tracks of New Britain. Frederick Meyer died on 27 April 1942 of illness at a mission station and Stanley French died on 15 February 1942.
Bandmaster William Gullidge and bandsmen Wilfred Trigg, Raymond Cairns, Kenneth Drew, Albert Fry, T. Henderson, Harry Harvey, Mervyn McPherson, Francis Meddings, B. Morgan, Stanley Parker, Harold Pannell, John Robertson, N. Smith, M. Thomas and Reginald Watkins were listed as being on board the Montevideo Maru when it was sunk on 1 July 1942.
The only survivor was Fred Kollmorgen.
In One Bloke's Story, page 27, Rob Mitchell writes:
The Salvation Army band, or should I say the Battalion band, continued to add colour to army life at Bonegilla. Occasionally the band would march around the camp in the early morning playing bright and happy tunes. On a few of those occasions the drummer, a short, rotund man with a big brass drum balanced out in front of him, would march along wearing only a towel. What a sight! The band, being Salvationists, naturally took part in the life of the local Salvation Army Corps. Some opposition arose from the military hierarchy regarding their playing at the Salvation Army open air meetings. Eventually the order came through that no Army personnel were to stand at street meetings. After that they marched around in big circles during the street meetings until they were finished.
- Lindsay Cox, Brave and True: From Blue to Khaki - the Band of the 2/22nd Battalion, The Salvation Army, Australia Southern Territory, Archives & Museum, Melbourne, 2003, 136 pp.
- Neil Wilson, 'Band's Tribute to Echo War Tragedy; Salvo Musicians to Honour their Fallen Heroes', Herald Sun (Melbourne, Australia), 18 January 2002, p. 25.
- Neil Wilson, 'Survivor Recalls Salvos' Last Stand; The Sound of Music a Bittersweet Memory', Herald Sun (Melbourne, Australia), 18 January 2002, p. 12.
- Neil Wilson, 'Salvos to Salute War Band Heroes', Herald Sun (Melbourne, Australia), 15 November 2002, p. 27.
- Rob Mitchell, One Bloke's Story, Development and Advisory Publications Australia, Dubbo, New South Wales, 1998, 188 pp.