Private Owen Reid Amos, the son of Owen Eugene Amos and Dorothy Amos (nee Warner) was born at Sydney in New South Wales on 3rd August 1916. He was educated at the Toowoomba Grammar School. At the age of 24 years and 11 months he voluntarily enlisted in the Australian Imperial Force at Brisbane in Queensland on 15th July 1941 after swearing the statutory oath that he would serve for the duration of the war and an additional twelve months. He had no previous military experience. At the time of enlistment, he was married, employed as a Garage Proprietor and residing with his wife at Woodstock Street, Toowong, Brisbane. His physical description at the time of enlistment was that he had black hair and blue eyes. He stated that he was of the Church of England religion. His next of kin was shown as his wife, Mrs Marie Phyllis Amos, residing at Woodstock Street, Toowong, Brisbane. His wife’s address was later changed to Victoria Street, Warwick on 19th March 1942.
Private Owen Amos joined the Reception Camp at the Exhibition Grounds in Brisbane on 15th July 1941 and he was allotted the regimental number of QX22157. He joined the 11th Training Battalion at Redbank Camp on 22nd July 1941. He was granted pre-embarkation leave during the period 11th August until 17th August 1941 to enable him to finalize his affairs and farewell his family prior to his leaving for overseas service with the Australian Imperial Force. He was allocated to the 2nd/31st Infantry Battalion on 31st August 1941 and left Queensland for Bathurst in New South Wales. He embarked with his battalion on 1st September 1941 and disembarked from the ship in the Middle East on 25th September 1941 where he continued his military training with the 25th Infantry Training Battalion. He joined the 2nd/31st Infantry Battalion on 29th November 1941.
Private Owen Amos embarked from Suez on the ship “Mount Vernon” to return to Australia to meet the Japanese threat on 8th February 1943 and he disembarked from the ship at Adelaide in South Australia on 10th March 1942. During the voyage he was a patient in the ship’s hospital during the period 2nd March until 7th March 1942.
He embarked for overseas service in New Guinea on 31st August 1942 and disembarked from the ship on 9th September 1942.
Private Owen Reid Amos was killed in action in Papua during his battalion’s unsuccessful attack on Gona Village on 22nd November 1942. At the time of his death Owen Amos was 26 years of age. He was buried in the Gona Mission Cemetery on 14th December 1942. His remains were reburied in the Gona War Cemetery on 26th August 1943 and they were finally laid to rest after the war in the Port Moresby (Bomana) War Cemetery. His name is commemorated on Panel No. 59 at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra and locally on the Toowoomba Grammar School World War 2 Honour Board. His headstone in the Port Moresby (Bomana) War Cemetery contains the family inscription “Greater Love Hath No Man Than This”.
His mother applied for and received her Female Relative Badge on 24th September 1941 and his wife received the Female Relative Badge on 26th September 1941. His wife received the Mothers & Widows Badge on 15th June 1943 and his mother received the Mothers & Widows Badge.
A detailed account of the 2nd/31st Battalion’s action at Gona is contained in Bob Burla’s publication “Crossed Boomerangs – A History Of All The 31 Battalions”, Australian Military History Publications, Veronica Place, Loftus, New South Wales. 2005.
Toowoomba Grammar School archive records show that he enrolled as a day student on 1st July 1934 and that he left the School on 30th November 1934. His parent was shown as Mrs Amos, Fernside, Toowoomba. Whilst a student he represented the School in athletics.
View on Australian War Memorial