‘Gunner Cottages’ come back to life with a special touch

Today I attended the official unveiling of the wonderfully upgraded ‘Gunner Cottages’ at the Artillery Barracks. After remaining empty and semi-derelict for more than 20 years it was fantastic to see them brought back to life. In addition to their restoration, new dwellings were built at the rear.

An especially nice touch was that each of the ten original Cottages are being named after a Fremantle soldier of the Great War.

City of Fremantle archivist Andrew Pittaway who also wrote the amazing book “Fremantle Voices of the Great War” worked with Defence Housing Australia (DHA) to come up with the most appropriate names for the ten cottages:

  • Aberle Cottage (named after Ernie Aberle MM BEM 4th Field Ambulance – lived Wray Ave);
  • Binning Cottage (Named after Walter Binning 4th Light Trench Mortars Killed March 1918 lived Mary St North Freo);
  • Carter Cottage (Named after Gunner Stan Carter, killed at Gallipoli – lived Queen Victoria St);
  • Crellin Cottage (Named after Walter Crellin 44th Bn – lived Hope St WGV);
  • Cobb Cottage (Named after Albert Cobb 10th Light Horse – killed at the Nek Gallipoli – lived Queen Vic St);
  • Folland Cottage (Named after Malvern Folland Imperial camel Corps died April 1918 – lived East Freo);
  • Ingvarson Cottage (Named after Karl Ingvarson DCM & Bar 44th Bn – lived Stokes St WGV);
  • Lehmann Cottage (Named after Benno Lehmann MC 11th Bn & 3rd Machine Gun Company – killed September 1917-lived Allen St East Freo)
  • Loveday Cottage (Named after Lieutenant Arthur Loveday 28th Bn – killed August 1918– lived Henderson Street Freo);
  • Wheeler Cottage (Named after Rex Wheeler 16th Battalion – 6 Wheeler brothers served in the war – lived South Tce).

Andrew full speech and further info on service men is below.

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Speech by Andrew Pittaway

March 16th is a very relevant date to have this event as the first soldier of the Australian Imperial Force to die on the Western Front was Sergeant Henry Robinson. He was a permanent soldier from North Fremantle who had trained at these Barracks prior to his embarkation and he was killed on the 16th March 1916.

Naming the cottages after local Fremantle soldiers was a great initiative by DHA and the Army Museum.

I initially supplied over thirty names to the Museum and DHA and they were a mix of units as well as being the names of soldiers who died and those who returned. This number was then whittled down to those names being unveiled today.

We have two who died at Gallipoli, one in the Desert war and others who served in France/Belgium on the Western Front.

Ernie Aberle from Alexandra Rd South Fremantle (Wray Avenue) served from Gallipoli to the Western Front and was decorated for bravery. As part of a Field Ambulance unit he saw more action at Pozieres than the infantry soldiers. Ernie survived the war and contributed much to his community after his return. His two sons Doug and Andy served in WW2 with unfortunately Doug being killed.

Walter Binning was born in Albany though the family later moved to Mary Street North Fremantle. Walter was a Carpenter and Joiner prior to enlistment. Walter originally served in the 16th Battalion and was then transferred to the 4th Light Trench Mortar battery and was promoted to Lance Corporal. On the 30th March 1918 Walter was killed with two others of his trench mortar crew in the defence of the French Village of Hebuterne. Walter was buried at Gommecourt Cemetery France.

Stanley Carter was born in Invercargill NZ. The Carters then moved to the UK for a short time and then to WA where they resided in Queen Victoria Street. The Carters operated a Drapery business in Market Street. Stan and his brother Geoff enlisted in the war. Stan served with the 8th Battery 3rd Field Artillery Brigade and was mortally wounded at Gallipoli. His is buried in Shell Green Cemetery. His brother Geoff was severely wounded in the war and made it back to WA but soon died of his injuries.

The Crellin Brothers – Three of the Crellin Brothers served in WW1. They initially lived in Hope Street White Gum Valley. In the space of a few weeks Harold Crellin died while serving with the 28th Battalion at Lagnicourt on the 26th March 1917 and Walter Crellin was killed on the 11th April 1917 at Bullecourt while serving in the 16th battalion. Neither has a known grave and they are commemorated on the Villers-Bretonneux memorial. The third son Edward, served in the 44th Battalion and arrived home in 1918 after a special plea by his mother to General Birdwood.

Albert Cobb – Albert was born in Victoria but the family moved to WA where they resided in Kurrawong and Fremantle. Albert was one of the early enlistees into the 10th Light Horse Regiment, being assigned to A Squadron. The 10th LH arrived at Gallipoli in May 1915 and Albert served until the infamous charge at the Nek, made famous by the movie Gallipoli. Albert is commemorated on the Lone Pine Memorial.

Malvern Folland – Malvern was born in East Fremantle and he had his early years here before moving to Williams. Malvern was assigned to the Imperial Camel Corps which had been serving in Egypt and Sinai-Palestine. On the 11th April 1918 Malvern was killed in the Jordan Valley near a town called Es Salt. Malvern is buried at Jerusalem War Cemetery. Malverns brother served in the 48th Battalion and was one of WA’s last surviving WW1 veterans.

Jens Edvard Valdemar Karl Ingvarson DCM and Bar – He was born in Denmark and arrived in WA in 1913. He took up dairy farming near Bibra Lake and took up service in the local militia Fremantle unit. He enlisted in 1916 and served in the 44th Battalion. A decorated Great War soldier, Karl had the nickname ‘Yak’ in his unit and was promoted to Sergeant in 1917. He was decorated for bravery in the war being awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal for bravery twice, though on the latter occasion his CO had recommended him for the Victoria Cross. After the war he returned to WA and also served again in WW2. He died in 1992.

Benno Lehmann MC – benno was born in SA but later moved to WA for employment and he secured work with the Fremantle Harbour Trust as a Marine Engineer. He and his wife Eliza lived in Allen St East Fremantle. Benno embarked with 11th battalion reinforcements but was transferred as a Lieutenant to the 3rd Machine Gun Company. He was awarded the Military Cross for bravery at Bullecourt though unfortunately he was killed a few months later near Ypres.

Arthur Loveday – Arthur was born in Fremantle and the family initially lived in Henderson Street and later Victoria Road East Fremantle. Arthur was a Clerk in the Union Stores when he enlisted into the AIF. He was assigned as a Private to the 28th battalion and rose through the ranks and was commissioned a Lieutenant. In August 1918 Arthur was leading an attack on a machine gun post when he was hit by enemy fire. He died of his wounds soon after. His mother and sisters were able to travel to France in the 1920’s to visit Arthurs grave near Villers-Bretonneux France.

Ralph Wheeler – Mandurah Rd South Fremantle. There were 6 Wheeler brothers who served in the Great War. Two died on the same day at Gallipoli while the other four survived the war. Ralph had served in the 16th Battalion through Gallipoli and the Western Front. In the attack on Bullecourt on the 11th April 1917 Ralph was captured by the Germans and spent the remaining years of the war as a prisoner in Germany. He returned home to WA in 1919 and died in Coolgardie in 1945.

About Mayor of Fremantle Brad Pettitt's blog
City of Fremantle Mayor

5 Responses to ‘Gunner Cottages’ come back to life with a special touch

  1. Humusbeings says:

    Excellent to see. Who gets to live in them now then?

  2. Will they be rented to anyone with good references or only defence housing?

  3. Cathy Hall says:

    Good to see this great project moving forward to occupancy and activation. Especially love the window view on the cranes Brad 🙂

  4. Astrid says:

    As always grateful for your support and your arrival on bike !! thankyou Brad

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