Tom Eastick

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Tom Eastick
Awm116951.jpg
Eastick (second right) views a homemade radio constructed by prisoners at the Batu Lintang POW/internment camp
Birth name Thomas Charles Eastick
Nickname(s) "Tom"
Born (1900-05-03)3 May 1900[1]
Hyde Park, South Australia
Died 16 December 1988(1988-12-16)[1]
Somerton Park, South Australia, Australia
Allegiance  Australia
Service/branch Australian Army
Rank Colonel
Commands held 13th Field Brigade, Royal Australian Artillery
2/7th Field Regiment, Royal Australian Artillery
Kuching Force
Battles/wars

World War II

Awards Companion of the Order of St Michael and St George
Distinguished Service Order
Efficiency Decoration
Spouse(s) Ruby Sybil Bruce[1]
Relations
Other work Military governor of Sarawak (1945)

Sir Thomas Charles ("Tom") Eastick CMG, DSO, ED (3 May 1900–1988) was a motor Engineer, and, during the Second World War, an Australian soldier. Eastick rose to the rank of (temporary) Brigadier, and was military governor of Sarawak in 1945 after taking the Japanese surrender at Kuching.

Early life[edit]

Eastick was born in Hyde Park, South Australia. He worked in an engineering business and was living in Reade Park, SA when war broke out. He was married to Ruby Sybil Eastick (née Bruce).

Military career[edit]

He served with the Royal Australian Artillery (RAA) during World War II. From 1 November 1939, as a Lieutenant Colonel, he commanded the 13th Field Brigade, RAA. From 26 April 1940 he commanded the 2/7th Field Regiment, and led it during the North African campaign, including the Battle of El Alamein. Eastick was Mentioned in Despatches on 15 December 1942.[3] On 18 February 1943 he was awarded the Distinguished Service Order (DSO).[4]

In 1943 Eastick returned to Australia, and on 22 June he was appointed commander of artillery with rank of Brigadier for the 7th Division during the New Guinea campaign. In 1944 he then assumed the same position with the 9th Division.

By September 1945 Eastick had been appointed commander of Kuching Force, a detachment of the 9th Division which supervised the Japanese surrender in the territory of Sarawak, on the island of Borneo. Eastick oversaw the liberation and repatriation of Allied prisoners of war and internees in Sarawak, including the large Batu Lintang camp. He was military governor of Sarawak from 10 September 1945 until December 1945, when the territory returned to civilian rule. Eastick was subsequently made a Companion of the Star of Sarawak by the last White Rajah of Sarawak, Charles Vyner Brooke.

Eastick left the army on 27 February 1946 with the substantive rank of Colonel.

Post-war Career[edit]

He was later president of the RSL (the main Australian veterans' organisation) in South Australia, and was appointed Companion of the Order of St Michael and St George (CMG) in the 1953 Coronation Honours List for his work with this organisation.[5][6]

The announcement of Eastick's knighthood was made in the 1970 New Year Honours List.[7] It was conferred on him in person by Queen Elizabeth II on 24 April 1970 at Government House, Canberra.[8]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Brook, David N. (2007). "Eastick, Sir Thomas Charles (Tom) (1900–1988)". Australian Dictionary of Biography 17. Canberra: Australian National University. Retrieved 25 March 2016. 
  2. ^ "Family Notices". Saturday Journal. XLII, (16412) (South Australia). 29 October 1927. p. 29. Retrieved 25 March 2016 – via National Library of Australia. 
  3. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 35821. pp. 5437–5446. 11 December 1942. Retrieved 2008-01-14. (Mentioned in Despatches)
  4. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 35908. p. 863. 16 February 1943. Retrieved 2008-01-14. (DSO)
  5. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 39863. p. 2944. 26 May 1953. Retrieved 2008-01-14. (CMG)
  6. ^ http://www.woomera.com.au/community/gibber_gabber/2006/21_Apr_06.pdf Archived 19 August 2006 at the Wayback Machine.
  7. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 44999. p. 2. 30 December 1969. Retrieved 2008-01-14. (KtB)
  8. ^ The London Gazette: no. 45098. p. 5343. 12 May 1970. Retrieved 2008-01-14. (KtB conferred)

References / external links[edit]