ANZAC Day Blog Challenge: Restyn Walter ‘Pete’ Randell

ANZAC Day Blog Challenge: Restyn Walter ‘Pete’ Randell

April is here, which apart from Easter, is the month to commemorate Anzac Day (at least for us here in Australia and New Zealand) and Auckland Libraries have issued the Anzac Day Blog Challenge again.

You know it was this time last year when they held the same Blog Challenge that it made me realise  just how little I knew about my military ancestors. Who of them actually went to war? Where did they go? What was their rank? … and so on. So I made it my mission over the past year to rectify that. And while I’m no expert on any of them yet, I did kept the folk at the National  Archives of Australia busy by ordering copies of a heap of my reli’s which I’ve been going through slowly.

So for this year’s blog challenge I’ve chosen my great uncle Restyn Walter Randell (aka Pete Randell), one of my grandma’s brothers, because I’d seen a photo of him in his airforce uniform (as below), and it always had me intrigued.

Restyn Walter "Pete" Randell, RAAF, 1941

Restyn Walter “Pete” Randell, RAAF, 1941

So after obtaining his military records (of which there was a heap – 72 pages in fact), it told me that he initially signed up for the army, and then transferred to the airforce a few months afterwards and from what I can tell (I’m still learning how to interpret military records jargon), he worked as a airforce mechanic for the RAAF at Laverton and Ascot Vale, both in Victoria.

And as usual with military records, they contain a wealth of information – not just the military part – but also personal details as well.

From Uncle Pete’s military records I found out all sorts of snippets that were news to me …
– he had brown hair
– and brown eyes
– a few scars
– was 5 foot, 7 inches (170.18 cm) tall
– in the varying records his occupation is listed as farmer, gardener and ‘secretarial work’
– he did compulsory service with the local Rifle Club
– home phone number was No. 8
– and more …

He joined the RAAF in 1941 but by January 1944 he requested to leave the airforce as he needed to go back to help out on the family farm . This was granted and he was transferred to the reserves. And in 1947 he was discharged from the reserves.

Below are a few pages from his military records. You can find Restyn Randell’s full collection of military records online (and free) on the National Archives of Australia website.
Uncle Pete’s AIF records
Uncle Pete’s RAAF records

Restyn Randell signing up for the AIF

Restyn Randell signing up for the AIF

Restyn Randell tansferring to the RAAF (page 1)

Restyn Randell transferring to the RAAF (page 1)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Restyn Randell transferring to the RAAF (page 2)

Restyn Randell transferring to the RAAF (page 2)

 

Restyn Randell in the RAAF

Restyn Randell requesting discharge from the RAAF

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Advert for Uncle Pete's shop in Rundle Street,A Adelaide, from the News, p.4. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article130857861

advert for Uncle Pete’s shop in Rundle Street, Adelaide.
taken from the News, p.4. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article130857861

However by 1946 he had opened his shop in Rundle Street, Adelaide which became a well-known establishment, and he operated it until he died in 1983.

Pete Randell in his shop in Rundle Street, Adelaide c.1980

Pete Randell in his shop in Rundle Street, Adelaide c.1980

 

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