Ev­ery name tells a story of war

Western Suburbs Weekly - - Western Suburbs Weekly - By JON BAS­SETT

HIS­TO­RIAN and Cottes­loe RSL pres­i­dent Neville Green says it is forgotten just how many Cottes­loe, Pep­per­mint Grove and Mos­man Park teach­ers en­listed for the Aus­tralian Im­pe­rial Force (AIF) of World War I.

“We had a very small pop­u­la­tion in 1914, and most of the teach­ers who went from WA were all from Clare­mont Teach­ers Col­lege,” Mr Green said.

The sto­ries of the 997 peo­ple whose names are on the sub­urbs’ World War I hon­our boards, in­clud­ing three women who served in the army, navy, nurs­ing and fly­ing corps in the four-year con­flict are in Mr Green’s book NotJus­taName.19141918Ser­vice­me­nand­women launched at Cottes­loe Coun­cil re­cently.

The names were gath­ered us­ing boards in churches, coun­cils, schools, busi­nesses and forgotten dusty hid­ing places in re­search spon­sored by Cottes­loe, Pep­per­mint Grove and Mos­man Park coun­cils in the past 15 months.

At the An­zac Cove land­ings, three Cottes­loe Surf Life Sav­ing mem­bers were killed, in­clud­ing re­cent Mal­tese mi­grant Charles Bon­avia, whose bat­tle­field pos­ses­sions in­cluded his life­sav­ing bronze medal­lion.

Mr Green said through­out the war whole com­mu­nity groups would en­list, in­clud­ing the Mos­man Park-based Ocean Beach 29th Troop Boy Scouts, from which seven were killed.

The youngest to en­list from the three sub­urbs was Pep­per­mint Grove school­boy Earnest Water­house, aged 15 years 11 months, who wrote to his mother while serv­ing with 11th Bat­tal­ion at Villeret, north­ern France on Septem­ber 18, 1918.

“Life is worth noth­ing now, so if I go un­der, you know I have done my duty. Do not grieve as we will meet in the new world. Love to all,” he wrote.

Earnest re­turned, mar­ried, had five chil­dren and be­came the Shire of Gooma­lling’s first pres­i­dent.

Cottes­loe staff nurse Ellen But­ter­ley (then 32) served with the AIF in Egypt, hos­pi­tal ships and an Aus­tralian mil­i­tary hos­pi­tal in the UK be­fore be­ing dis­charged in 1918.

About 47 per cent of those who en­listed lo­cally were ei­ther killed or phys­i­cally in­jured. “The sad­ness of it in­cludes teacher Hugh Cannal, an AIF sap­per who be­came a Royal Fly­ing Corps pi­lot and was shot down and killed in what is now Iraq on Oc­to­ber 31, 1918 – 11 days be­fore the end of the war,” Mr Green said.

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