Hautrie to speak of bat­tle

WW2 veteran to be hon­oured with life mem­ber­ship

Wangaratta Chronicle - - What's On This Weekend -

HAUTRIE Crick, the old­est sur­viv­ing mem­ber of ‘Wan­garatta’s Own’ 2/24 Bat­tal­ion which formed, trained and marched off to the Se­cond World War from the Wan­garatta Show­grounds, will be the guest of hon­our at their an­nual re­union in the city this week­end.

Vet­er­ans and as­so­ciate mem­bers of the 2/24 Bat­tal­ion will gather to­mor­row, and not just lis­ten to the 99 year old, but also hon­our him with a life mem­ber­ship to the bat­tal­ion.

Alas­tair Dav­i­son, hon­orary sec­re­tary of the 2/24 Aus­tralian In­fantry Bat­tal­ion As­so­ci­a­tion, said Hautrie will speak about be­ing in El Alamein.

“He has re­cently re­ceived a Quilt of Hon­our, which was copied from the Amer­i­cans who gave them to vet­er­ans and sol­diers who were

THE 2/24 Bat­tal­ion has its me­mo­rial ser­vice at the Wan­garatta Ceme­tery at 2.30pm to­mor­row.

The re­union din­ner will be held at the Ma­son Func­tion Room at 95 Ma­son Street from 7.30pm that night, where they will hear from a guest speaker, in­duct a new Wan­garatta High School stu­dent ambassador and give cit­i­zen­ship awards to stu­dents from Galen Catholic Col­lege, Wan­garatta High School and Cathe­dral Col­lege. in­jured in bat­tle,” he said.

Also speak­ing is Dr Garth Prat­ten - a his­to­rian from the Strate­gic and De­fence Stud­ies Cen­tre at Aus­tralian Na­tional Univer­sity - who will talk on Op­er­a­tion Oboe, the last bat­tle the 2/24 were in, as well as a lit­tle bit about the 75th an­niver­sary.

“The bat­tal­ion of course is known as Wan­garatta’s Own be­cause it was formed in Wan­garatta,” Mr Dav­i­son said.

Hautrie en­listed on Au­gust 4 in 1940 and was cho­sen to join the 2/24 Bat­tal­ion while they were at Bonegilla to in­crease num­bers.

He cleaned and helped un­load the RMS Strath­more after he trav­elled aboard it to the Mid­dle East.

The bat­tal­ion trained in Pales­tine and trav­elled through To­bruk to Tocra for fur­ther train­ing as they re­lieved the 6th Divi­sion.

Hautrie was given the job of rid­ing a mo­tor­bike to Alexan­dria, which he nom­i­nated as the most en­joy­able event dur­ing the war, when the 9th Divi­sion moved back to fight at El Alamein.

He was in­structed to go to Bat­tal­ion head­quar­ters where his duty was to be a run­ner to take mes­sages out to field com­mand posts.

The bat­tal­ion re­turned to Pales­tine after leav­ing To­bruk.

Hautrie re­called the Se­cond Bat­tle of Alamein, which fol­lowed his five day re­con­nais­sance pa­trol up to the Turk­ish bor­der, as “sheer hell”.

The bat­tle started with a bar­rage of 8000 guns and a 500 pound bomb ex­ploded near Hautrie, after which he could not hear for sev­eral days.

After Alamein the bat­tal­ion re­turned to Aus­tralia and trav­elled to Ather­ton Table­land for jun­gle train­ing.

The bat­tal­ion went to Tarakan for its next op­er­a­tion in 1945 where it was met with ex­treme re­sis­tance from the Ja­panese.

Hautrie was dis­charged on De­cem­ber 17, 1945.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.