Saturday, January 27, 2018

Matchless G3 dispatch bike with the 6th Australian

This great image of a wartime DR with his dog and G3 has the message, "To Edna from Ron. Me and my dog." written on the reverse.

The kangaroo and boomerang insignia on the headlight denotes the 6th Australian Infantry Division. The 6th were raised two weeks after war was declared in 1939 and went immediately to the Middle East where this photo was most likely taken - the G3 is an early war spec bike with its girder forks and 8 inch headlight, it still looks in fairly tidy condition here. The 6th were moved to Greece in 1941 to bolster Greek and allied forces against the planned German invasion of Greece. The Division suffered losses in the Allied withdrawal from mainland Greece and were re-stationed to Crete where they also suffered grave losses when the Germans took the island. The Division was moved back to the Middle East where they were split between Palestine and Egypt. They saw further action against the Vichy French in Syria.

Early 1942 the Australian Government withdrew the 6th from the Middle East to assist with the efforts to stem back the approaching Japanese forces. They were stationed in New Guinea and saw service in several campaigns on the island.

Let's hope Ron made it through. It would be fascinating to know his story.

Ron of the Australian 6th, his dog and Matchless G3.


  1. If I was guessing: The uniform is dark. They would have worn khaki in the desert, switching to green when moved to the Pacific. Presence of a dog, a smile, semi-permanent building with concrete floor and a bulletin board suggest "training base"?

    1. I see what you are saying, it does look like the regular green woollen uniform. I'm going mainly by the bike though, it's a 1939 machine and would have been unlikely to have made it through the war at all, let alone in this condition. The 6th went to Egypt pretty much immediately after being raised and were, I believe, stationed in Alexandria. They were a short time in Greece and Cyprus and I can't imagine such a photo being taken there. A mystery though, and in a way that is the charm of these photos!