Victor Clarence Secombe

August 4, 2015

SECOMBE, Victor Clarence- – – SPC 1911-1914

DoB:- – 9 January 1897, Glen Wills, near Omeo, VIC

Father: – William Secombe

Mother:- – Catherine, nee Schlitz

Victor Secombe completed his Matriculation in 1914 in the following subjects: French Language and Literature, English Language and Literature, British History, Geometry, Trigonometry.

His participation in the Combined Sports of Ballarat Public Schools Association resulted in his being described as one of -‘-¦ the most conspicuous representatives for SPCB -¦’

Victor was the second Old Boy to be selected for the intake into the Royal Military College, Duntroon,- where he graduated from- in late 1917.

Service No:- –

Rank:- – Lieutenant

Unit:- – 5th Divisional Engineers

Victor embarked from Melbourne on 28 February 1918 aboard the Nestor. He was a single man, aged 21 years, and had been trained at the Royal Military College, Duntroon, NSW. He nominated his mother as his next of kin, Mrs Catherine Secombe, who lived at 554 Hay Street, Perth, WA.

Lieutenant Secombe’s WWI record has been amalgamated with later service records and is not available to the public. However there is a lot of information about his military service throughout WWII available in other sources.

Secombe remained in the military in the interwar years, and also completed a Civil Engineering degree at the University of Melbourne. During the early years of WWII he served with the 7th Australian Division during the early stages of the North African Campaign before taking up Engineering commands in the South West Pacific. After the war he served as Master-General of Ordnance, and commanded Northern and Easter Commands. He retired from the military in 1954.

He was recognised as a brilliant innovator and planner under sometimes most difficult conditions throughout the war, and was awarded a CBE (Commander of the Order of the British Empire, one step below a Knighthood), in recognition of his contribution to the Middle East campaigns in 1942. He was also awarded a CB (Companion of the Order of the Bath).

In his retirement, Victor took up cattle farming on a 10,000 acre property near Gatton, Queensland. He later purchased an orchard at Kenmore. He died of cancer on 3 February 1962 at the age of 65. He was survived by his wife, who he married in 1929, and two children. He was buried at Toowong Cemetery, Queensland.