• John Rex Moffatt

Army / Flying Corps
  • 5th Australian Division Signals Company
  • 2nd Australian Division Signals Company
  • Corporal
  • Second Lieutenant
  • Lieutenant
  • Sergeant

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  • 1914–1915 Star
  • British War Medal
  • Victory Medal
  • Birth

    Brighton, VIC, Australia

  • Enlistment - WW1

    Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Stories and comments
    • Excerpts of letters, including Rex Moffat - re the Southland saga
    • Posted by FrevFord, Thursday, 25 September 2014

    The Argus, Tue Nov 23rd, 1915: OTHER ACCOUNTS Rex Moffatt, writing to his mother, says: “The torpedo…….hit just level with the bridge, entered one of the messrooms before exploding, and killed a couple of fellows and wounded three.” Corporal Allan Roark says while on the boat he noticed “a couple of fair-sized sharks – one of the seamen had a boathook and was trying to spear them.” He confirms the account of Moffatt concerning the leaping from the boat. “Rex Moffatt and Keith Allard,” he says, “are quite heroes. They were in a boat, and somebody …..called for volunteers to swim to another boat, so they jumped in. Rex was not long being picked up, but Keith …..was in the water for about an hour.” Rex Moffatt’s letter to his mother describes his swim, and how he was hit on the head by a floating chair while in the water. He saw one boat on the davits overturn, spilling its occupants out, and then come down with a run on top of them. “Our boat was horribly overcrowded, and while it was being lowered they said that some would have to get out, or it would not float, so as Keith and I were strong swimmers we dived overboard. I was not in the water more than a quarter of an hour before I managed to find a boat with enough room in it for one. Lots of boats capsized, and there were fellows swimming everywhere. After we had sorted ourselves out in the lifeboat we started to pull for land, which could be seen about 15 miles away, but long before we got near it we were picked up by a seaplane carrier, which is supposed to be the fastest boat in these waters. She came out to our rescue at 32 knots per hour, and it was a very pretty sight to see her coming. About all you could see was foam. The sailors were very good to us, and supplied us with warm clothing and gave us all a feed.”