PIL­BARA MEN AN­SWERED CALL

Pilbara News - - News - By JULIE ARIF

WHEN Bri­tain an­nounced it was at war with Ger­many, the colonies in­clud­ing Aus­tralia were swept into the war.

The call to arms was sent out all across the coun­try in­clud­ing the Pil­bara and men were quick to en­list to do their du­ties. Many Pil­bara men joined the Pil­bara reg­i­ment and went off to war.

Archibald McGre­gor, of Car­lindi Sta­tion, wrote a let­ter to Mr Har­court man­ager of Dal­getys in Port Hed­land. One para­graph of the let­ter says, “The war is most de­press­ing and one can­not see any sign of the end, one of the Watts boys was killed and one can­not take the pa­per up with­out see­ing fa­mil­iar names amongst the list of killed and wounded.”

In an­other piece of cor­re­spon­dence to Mr McGre­gor on April 19, 1915 writes, “Dear Sir, you will prob­a­bly be sur­prised to hear that Mr Stevens has left for the front hav­ing re­ceived the ap­point­ment to go as a chap­lain with the next con­tin­gent.

“Rev. Stevens was one of the for­tu­nate sol­diers to re­turn to the Pil­bara af­ter the war.” Percy Gratwick VC: Jenny Hardie in her book

Nor westers of the Pil­bara Breed wrote of Percy

Gratwick: Orig­i­nally from Katan­ning Percy Gratwick is proudly claimed as one of Port Hed­land’s he­roes. Af­ter a num­ber years in the dis­trict prospect­ing and work­ing on sta­tions he adopted the Pil­bara as his own coun­try. He en­listed in the A.I.F. in De­cem­ber 1940 and left for the Mid­dle East with the 2/48th Bat­tal­ion. Pte Gratwick was killed in fierce fight­ing at Miteiriya Ridge in the West­ern Desert, charg­ing a Ger­man ma­chine-gun nest af­ter his pla­toon, in­clud­ing his com­man­der and sergeant, had been re­duced by en­emy fire to seven.

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