The following dates are from Les Worthington’s service record (WX4449) at the National Archives of Australia.
June 1—medically examined and accepted in Wiluna
July 6—ceased work at The Wiluna Gold Mines Limited
July 13—enlisted at Northam Army Camp as WX4449
September 5—transferred to the 2nd/28th Battalion, 24th Brigade, 9th Division, A.I.F.; became a member of 8 Section, 12 Platoon, B Company
January 5—the 2nd/28th departed for the Middle East on the Aquitania
November 12—appointed lance corporal
July 27—missing in action at the Battle of Ruin Ridge (report of August 9, 1942)
Les was captured by Germans, but was then handed over to the Italians for transport to Italy.
September 19—probable date Les left Benghazi by ship via Athens, Piraehus, the Corinth Canal, Patras (all in Greece) and then across to Taranto in Italy
October 13—report shows him missing, believed prisoner
November 28—officially reported as POW
December 19—report shows him now interred at Camp 59 PM 3300
September 14—escaped from Camp 59
This event is not on Les’s service record.
June 26—makes contact with Allied lines
Report of July 10, 1944 says Les reached Allied lines. The date of his reaching lines is uncertain, but the Australian Red Cross report on his file says it was June 26, 1944. In that case, he spent about nine months with the patriots/partisans.
July 4—embarked at Taranto (report of July 15, 1944)
July 9—disembarked Middle East as escaped POW (report of July 15, 1944)
August 2—embarked for return to Australia (report of September 11, 1944)
August 4—embarked Johan Van Oldenbarneveldt in Middle East (report of September 25, 1944)
August 25—transshipped to Dunottar Castle at Colombo (report of September 25, 1944)
September 10—disembarked at Melbourne (report of September 25, 1944)
September 10—entrained at Victoria, Vic L of C [Lines of Communication] Area (report of September 25, 1944)
September 17—detrained in Western Australia, WA L of C Area (report of September 25, 1944)
November 14—discharged at Claremont
After his return to Australia, Les was in Royal Perth Hospital for a while before his eventual discharge as a lance corporal.
A note from Ray Worthington:
“My mother always said there were two periods, one of three months and one of nine months, when she never knew if Les was alive or dead. From reading the above it appears that the first period was from July 27, 1942 to October 13, 1942, and the second from September 14, 1943 to July 10, 1944.”