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




KILLER SPEED: Coast drivers exceed limit by more than 40km/h

Police in the Maryborough district have caught hundreds of drivers behaving badly in the past two months.

Close to 700 drivers have been caught speeding

Distressed boatie gets helping hand as yacht hits strife

A Gold Coast boatie had to be rescued from his yacht off Arch Cliffs in the early hours of Thursday.

A distressed Gold Coast boatie had to be rescued from his yacht

COOL SNAP: Don't put the winter woolies away just yet

This pooch is warming up during the cool snap on the Fraser Coast.

We can expect a beautiful sunny weekend with chilly minimum temps

Latest deals and offers

Johnny Depp 'deeply respects' Amber Heard

Celebrity

Amber Heard gives away $7 million settlement to charity

The true cost of 60 Minutes debacle revealed

It's a bill that would make even a silk tied barrister blush

Maryborough's little link to Hollywood heart-throb Thor

STAR VISIT: Hollywood heartthrob Chris Hemsworth visits Craig Box and his daughter Violet Box at Lady Cilento Children's Hospital in Brisbane. Craig's family originate from Maryborough.

One little girl was lucky enough to meet the movie star

This year 4 schoolboy outscores Aussies at Pokémon champs

He's now a celebrity in the schoolyard.

Kirk Douglas is defiant, fierce and still standing

VETERAN ACTOR: Kirk Douglas has had a long and varied career.

Kirk Douglas has out-lived almost all his contemporaries

The Hard Word reviews Kyzer Soze

Kyzer Soze are playing Brisbane tomorrow at the Crowbar in Fortitude Valley. Photo Contributed

Kyzer Soze summon the evil for this mighty slab of death metal

The "correction we had to have" in Gladstone's rentals

UPWARD MARCH: The rental vacancy rate in Gladstone has improved for the first time in more than a year, providing a confidence boost in the market.

Vacancy rates improve with signs that things are getting betterF

ISLAND FOR SALE: Cheap Fraser Coast island drops price again

Suna Island in the Great Sandy Strait will be auctioned by Ray White Hervey Bay on Saturday morning.

This is the cheapest island you will find for sale in Australia

How a family home can fit on a 250sq m block

This is what you can build on 250m2.

Here's the floor plan of a home built on 250sq m

$100m plan for Curtis Island 'world class' luxury resort

$100 million resort: Top views at Turtle Street at Curtis Island.

"At the moment we think it meets all the town planning approvals.”

Coast building approvals at seven-year high: report

The the 2015/16 Development Indicators Annual Highlights Report documents local development activity that took place during the last financial year.

New report shows increasing development on the Sunshine Coast