Remembrance Day: The Whipp brothers

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Remembrance Day: The Whipp brothers

The Whipp family in 1907 purchased two blocks of land on the main street of Cronulla village, just north of Surf Road, where they built a house and a shop. They were active community members, playing a key role in the formation of Cronulla SLSC.

Albert, the eldest son, embarked with his unit on HMAT Beltana in November 1915 and eight months later experienced the reality of trench warfare at Fromelles. He was later promoted to Lieutenant and in December 1917 while in Messines, was wounded but remained on duty. He was part of the Allied successes at Mont St Quentin, Peronne and Montbrehain and returned to Australia on May 1919.

John, known as ‘Les’, was the first of the brothers to enlist along with fellow surf-club member Harold Beer. He joined the Light Horse Regiment and during a training period in Egypt, was treated in hospital for a deformed elbow because of an earlier training accident in Australia. He recovered and was promoted to Lieutenant serving in France and England. In mid-1918 he again sailed to France,
joining his battalion on the Somme and returning to Australia in June 1919.

Rupert was the youngest Whipp brother, and enlisted after his brothers who were already serving in France. His brigade moved from Ypres to the Somme, and on 25 April 1918 participated in the successful surprise attack at Villers-Bretonneux. By mid-June as they were preparing to move towards Amiens, Rupert was evacuated to England suffering from trench fever. He returned to Australia in April 1919 and worked with his brothers in real-estate in Burwood.