Sergeant Zebulun Green, MM, 7th Employment Company


Replica medals of Sergeant Zebulun Green, MM, 7th Employment Company. Image credit: the Green family

Author: Australian War Memorial

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Zebulun “Zeb” Green, was born on 1 December 1895, to George and Bridget Green of Broomehill, Western Australia. Little is known of his early life until November 1914, when he enlisted in the Australian Imperial Force.

Zebulun was posted to the 10th Light Horse Regiment, and embarked in February 1915. He arrived on Gallipoli in September, and remained until the evacuation around Christmas.

In 1916, his unit was defending against the Ottoman advance on the Suez Canal.

In December, he tried and failed the grenadiers course, and over the next months, he struggled to maintain military discipline. His health also suffered and he spent several periods in hospital.

However, despite occasional lapses in discipline, Green was a good soldier. In 1918, as the 10th Light Horse Regiment crossed the Jordan valley, Green was in an advanced patrol under heavy machine-gun and rifle fire.

During the operation, he saved the life of Trooper Viveash. Green, “utterly disregarding his own personal safety, carried [him] under cover, rendered first aid and then continued on his task.”

In December 1918, Trooper Green was awarded the Military Medal for his “great bravery” over the preceding months. After the war was over, he returned home in July 1919.

In 1920, Zeb Green married Lena Sweetman in Perth. They would have six children, including twin girls. Green took up land at Carnamah through the soldier settler scheme. He was a keen member of the Carnamah Football Club, and was known for his “good fellowship and popularity in the district.” Although a gregarious man, Green also struggled with his mental health.

By the 1940s, the Green family were living in Gunyidi, where Zeb was working in railway construction. In April 1940, he applied to enlist for service.

Although 44 years old, he was posted to the 3rd Railway Company of the Royal Australian Engineers. Despite his original application to work in Australia only, he was sent to the Middle East, where he served at Tobruk. He returned to Australia in August 1941 and was discharged as medically unfit.

Within a week, Zeb Green had re-enlisted with the Australian Army Labour Service. He was promoted to lance corporal and transferred to the 7th Australian Employment Company, a unit of Chinese labourers in Fremantle. The following November, he was promoted to sergeant and his company was to Mount Isa in Queensland.

In the early hours of 31 May 1943, Sergeant Green was on duty near an emulsion plant at Mount Isa when he was hit by a truck driven by an Australian driver from a neighbouring general transport company. Severely injured, he died later that afternoon. 

On 10 June 1943, Zeb’s eldest son Geoff put a notice in the local paper in memory of his father.

It reads: “loving husband of Lena, father of Geoff, Monica, Rex … Elvie, Judy and Jill … One of the best.”

Zeb Green was buried in the Adelaide River War Cemetery in the Northern Territory, aged 46.


Meleah Hampton, Historian, Military History Section


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