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TOWERS Robert George

Service: Army – 2/29 Australian Infantry Battalion
Service number: VX36974
Locality on Enlistment: Olangolah East
Duration of Service: 11 Jul 1940 – 8 Nov1943
Prisoner of War: Yes
Honours: None for display
Date and Place of Birth: 12 Aug 1913 Beech Forest
Parents: William TOWERS and Louisa MULGREW
Occupation: Winch driver
Date and Place of Death: 8 Nov 1943, Kobe Japan
Place of Burial: Yokohama War Cemetery

Bob Towers, centre

NOTES: Studio portrait of three members of the 2/29th Battalion. Left to right: VX35493 Private (Pte) Sydney Riley, presumed dead, Malaya, 22 January 1942; VX36974 Pte Robert (Bob) G. Towers, died of illness as a prisoner of war (POW) in Japan, 8 November 1943; and VX36789 Pte Allan W. Clinch, presumed dead, Malaya, 10 February 1942.
Pte Towers is wearing a silver brooch with his identity discs around his neck. When Towers left for overseas service he gave his friend, Miss Lois Henriksen, a brooch which was the coat-of-arms cut out of the centre of an Australian florin, a two shilling coin. He wore the outer part around his neck. Miss Henriksen joined the Australian Army Medical Service and when working in a hospital treating returned POWs discovered her friend’s fate from a former POW in her ward. She gave this man Towers’ mother’s address, and he passed it on to an officer whom he knew had brought Towers’ effects back to Australia from Japan and in turn to Towers’ mother. Miss Henriksen went to see her sweetheart’s mother and was surprised to find among Towers’ effects the corresponding part of her brooch. Both parts of this brooch are now held in the collection of the Australian War Memorial. (Reference REL27148)  Story fromAustralian War Memorial