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



Our six art gallery picks for a creative day out

YOU may not associate Brisbane with a burgeoning art scene, but you’d be mistaken.

Six hideaway bars to escape winter chill

The Gresham's charm will win you over before your first sip.

THESE are the perfect places to hang this winter.

Brisbane's arts and culture events centre stage

You loved the film, now you're about to love the musical. Don't miss The Bodyguard The Musical in Brisbane this July.

THE arts and culture events you don't want to miss.

Homewares stores to fulfil your Instagram dreams

No Caption

You too can become an Insta-star with these fab stores.

Date nights under $50

Nothing is more romantic than a picnic with a cracking view.

NOT every date has to cost you a bomb.

Top 10 Brisbane experiences to cross off your bucket list

Do yourself a favour and get amongst the food truck scene. Eat Street is a great place to start.

A GOOD bucket list doesn’t have to span continents or cost millions.

Six mega sporting events you need to be at this year

Don't miss all the action trackside this season.

IF THERE is one thing Brisbane does damn well, it’s play host.

Fraser Coast leads the women's revolution

ONE STEP CLOSER: AFL Wide Bay hopes to start a women's competition in 2018.

Three Fraser Coast teams could feature in the first women's comp.

Woman treated for burns to hands after cooking fire

Queensland Fire and Rescue. Photo: Alistair Brightman / Fraser Coast Chronicle

Crews were called to the fire just before noon on Monday.

'Mower man' Claude returns to Hervey Bay

Claude Harvey - "The Mower Man" - will be in Hervey Bay tomorrow.

The iconic Bravehearts and child safety activist will be in the Bay.

Local Partners

Karl Stefanovic's rant about Schapelle Corby 'a bit rich'

The fact is Stefanovic is paid extremely well by a television network that lives and dies by ratings.

Could Schapelle be heading for Gladstone?

Australian Schapelle Corby is escorted by Bali Police at the parole office in Denpasar, Bali, Indonesia, 27 May 2017.

Schapelle's mother teases her free daughter could be Gladstone bound

Six things you never knew about Men in Black

Mushu the pug

It's been 20 years since Men in Black first hit cinemas

10 strange stories behind famous sex scenes

Khaleesi and Khal Drogo in a steamy moment.

Every set has their own way of filming sex scenes

HBO spills new details on Game of Thrones’ final season

Game of Thrones’ eighth and final season will only have six episodes.

New details about what to expect from the eighth, final instalment.

Karl’s rant on Corby: ‘Made to look like idiots’

Karl Stefanovic is sick of hearing about Schapelle Corby.

Today co-host launched a tirade against Schapelle Corby media circus

Big Pineapple festival safety concerns as 100s walk home

LONG WALK HOME: Many festival goers opted to take a dangerous walk home due to transport difficulty following the Big Pineapple Festival in Woombye on Saturday.

Big Pineapple festival-goers have braved dangerous walks home

New $46.7m counter-terrorism facility to be built in Wacol

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk, pictured with Police Commisioner Ian Stewart, has announced plans to build a new counter-terrorism facility in Wacol.

The facility will be built over three years.

Home to a sex worker: Sordid history of iconic Coast shed

Milojevic Djordjevic's daughter Linda at the derelict shed on Yandina-Coolum Road.

The shed was once a liveable 'barrack'.

This is real estate's billion-dollar man

Bob Wolff at AREC with John McGrath of McGrath Real Estate.

They don’t call him the “Billion dollar man” for nothing

Man's amazing comeback from monster crisis

Pat O'Driscoll agents Penny Keating and Doug Webber sold 56 Agnes St, The Range at auction over the weekend.

NOT long ago, he sold his possessions to pay staff. Now he's back.

Report reveals progress on $319m airport upgrade

Aerials of the Sunshine Coast.Jetstar plane in front of the Susnhine Coast terminal, Sunshine Coast Airport.

Over two dozen government approvals needed for airport expansion

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!