Remembrance Day: The Gray brothers


Remembrance Day: The Gray brothers

John and Sarah Gray raised ten children, building the family home at Gundamaian in the National Park where John was employed as a ranger. Three of the seven Gray sons enlisted in WWI and spent their early years in the National Park, attending Audley Public School.

Allan was 21 years old when he enlisted, sailing in November 1917 with his younger brother John. Soon after arriving in Egypt he fell ill and for most of the following year was in and out of hospital.

He returned to service in January 1919 joining the 2nd Light Horse Regiment, however the unit was disbanded. In March he sailed home and was medically discharged.

George was the last of the three Gray brothers to enlist, giving his age as 18 when he was actually two weeks short of his 17th birthday. He embarked for overseas service in May 1918 but only five months later, while on the Somme, received the ‘grand news’ that the armistice was signed. George returned
to Australia in October 1919 and was discharged the following month. He also served in WWII with the RAAF in New Guinea and at his passing aged 92, was one of the state’s oldest WWI veterans.

Like George, John gave his age as 18 years, although only 15 years at the time he enlisted. He was the first of the Gray brothers to enlist and departed with his brother Allan in June 1917. Shortly after arriving in Egypt he contracted mumps, but by the end of July 1918, had joined the 12th Light Horse Regiment. After a short period of training, he fell ill again with influenza, re-joining his unit at the end of the year and spending the following months training in sword and rifle exercises. He fell ill again but was able to return home with his unit in July 1919.

The Gray family