News

From a slab hut in Traveston to the war front

BORN in Traveston (now Burrum Heads) in 1891 to an indigenous mother and English father, Joseph Fletcher was proud to serve his country.

Growing up in Traveston with his mum and dad and nine siblings, the family later moved to Takura where they owned a cane farm, address known as the Takura/Pialba Line, which today is opposite the Volunteer Bush Fire Brigade.

The slab hut in Takura where Joseph and his family lived was later donated to the Hervey Bay Historical Society in Zephyr St and now forms part of the Blacksmith Shop.

Joseph Fletcher died at the age of 72.
Joseph Fletcher died at the age of 72. CONTRIBUTED

Records show he embarked from Melbourne on board the HMAT A40 Ceramic on December 22, 1914.

He saw action in Gallipoli and later in France, where he was gassed. He also attended training in various other places.

Looking at his service records he served in Gallipoli, and he also travelled to various other places with the Australian Army, including Egypt, France and Italy.

His great-niece Gayle Byrne says Joseph was gassed while serving in France, and she also shared other anecdotes such as the time he had to forfeit a day's pay for travelling on a train without a leave pass in Maadi, Egypt.

"When I was growing up my mother told me the story about a bag of coins from various countries that Uncle Joe brought back with him to Australia," Ms Byrne said.

"When the war had finished and they were travelling in the back of a truck to Italy to catch the ship back to Australia, one of his mates, who was collecting the coins in a white bag, got killed.

"Apparently they went under a bridge and his mate was decapitated and therefore my Great Uncle Joseph brought the coins back with him to Australia in the original bloodstained bag."

Ms Byrne said she was proud of her great uncle serving his country in The First World War.

"Going to war for him would have been so overwhelming, coming from a small place like Takura," she said.

"It would not have been easy for him being indigenous and I am sure he would have encountered some difficulties along his journey in life."

Joseph returned to Australia as a WW1 Returned Soldier on September 14, 1918 embarking from Taranto in Italy, arriving in Australia and was discharged from the Army on January 24, 1919.

In later years he moved to the Gladstone/Yarwun area, where he started up a small fruit farm in the Targinnie area, east of Yarwun.

In 1954 Joseph Fletcher, Col Wilson and Ben de Ruiter (all fruit farmers) discovered Uranium in the Mt Larcom foothills.

Joseph Fletcher died in the Gladstone District Hospital on July 9, 1964 at the age of 72.

His grave is a Registered War Grave at the Gladstone Cemetery.

Topics:  anzac, anzac-centenary, anzac day, burrum heads, takura, war



Nine-year-old sets fire to family's yard

Fire Station, Fire stock photo, 
Photo: Daniel Perrin / Daily News

Small rubbish fire could have had more severe consequences.

Woman's celebration dance lands her in hospital

Lake McKenzie on Fraser Island.Photo: Alistair Brightman / Fraser Coast Chronicle

Two people transported from Fraser Island yesterday.

What JB Hi-Fi's Good Guys purchase means for Hervey Bay

Fraser Coast locals are excited about the opening of the new entertainment store.

JB Hi-Fi acquired The Good Guys for $870 million.

Local Partners

'Highly unlikely' Brad Pitt will face prosecution

It is highly unlikely that Brad Pitt will be prosecuted

WATCH: Justin Bieber grabbed in Germany

A video has emerged of singer Justin Bieber being attacked

Why The Wrong Girl is right for Jessica Marais

Jessica Marais and Ian Meadows in a scene from the TV series The Wrong Girl.

ACTOR makes the sometimes awkward character her own in new comedy.

What's on the small screen this week

Jessica Marais in a scene from the TV series The Wrong Girl.

A NEW romantic comedy debuts while footy codes ramp up for finals.

Airbourne talk drop bears, beer and taxes

Airbourne have a new album coming out and a new tour on the way.  Photo Contributed

Airbourne release album for the aussie battler

Pippa Middleton had 3000 private photos stolen

Author Pippa Middleton

Author's account hacked to access 3000 private photos

Property leader says Fraser Coast market is looking up

Positivity is the buzz word in the Fraser Coast housing market

Property 200m from ocean selling for just over $100K

BEACHCOMBER PARK: Work has started on a new $19.2 million development at Toogoom.

The estate's developer is offering huge discounts for early buyers.

UPDATE: Former rodeo champ's sale rained out, now back on

Larkhill local Ken Consiglio is having an auction of most of the things on his property.

'People kept showing up and we had to turn them away'

First stages of $25 million housing development underway

New development on Madsen Rd - The Springs.

The blocks of land are much bigger than usual

Couple build their own 'tiny house' for $45k

Holly Bowen and Oli Bucher built their "tiny house" themselves, only hiring a plumber and an electrician. Photo/supplied

The house, which is built on a trailer and can be towed.

Rocky proves prime real estate in latest REIQ report

Kas Woch sold this Wood St home in Depot Hill for $107,000 in August.

A new investor's market as Rocky house prices hit lowest in state