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PURNELL, Francis Ormond Vernon (1919-2000)

PURNELL, Francis Ormond Vernon (1919-2000)

Francis Ormond Vernon Purnell attended the College from 10 February 1926 to 1928 and 1932 to 1934. He had previously attended the nursery school of the Presbyterian Girls’ College later known as Morongo. In later life he was known as ‘Buster’.

He enlisted (No. VX 5008) on 20 October 1939 and served as a corporal with the 6th Australian Division Signallers in the Middle East from April 1940 to August 1942 and New Guinea from October 1942 to September 1943 and November 1944 to July 1945. He was de-mobilized on 7 November 1945.

James Affleck records that after the war he worked for Trans Australia Airlines (TAA) in New Guinea ‘and on one occasion took a large consignment of chickens which were not to be collected until the following Monday; on realising most of these would not have survived, he took them home and watered and fed them. The prospective owner was most grateful for this service, and offered Ormond half the consignment, which he accepted, and eventually became one of the largest poultry farmers in New Guinea.’

Francis Ormond Vernon Purnell of Pine Mountain Queensland , formerly of Lae, New Guinea, died on 2 May 2000 age 81 years and was interred at the Pimpama Cemetery, Queensland.

Sources: James Affleck: Geelong Collegians at the Second World War p432; Pimpama Cemetery Index compiled by Judy Dickson (Internment net) :Courier Mail (Brisbane) 6 May 2000. OGC 1933.
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