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Commonwealth War Grave commemoration held for late Brunswick Junction WWI veteran William Arthur

Headshot of Sean Van Der Wielen
Sean Van Der WielenSouth Western Times
Harvey RSL's Laurie Fraser pays tribute to WWI veteran William Arthur at the Commonwealth War Grave commemoration service.
Camera IconHarvey RSL's Laurie Fraser pays tribute to WWI veteran William Arthur at the Commonwealth War Grave commemoration service. Credit: Sean Van Der Wielen/Harvey-Waroona Reporter

A late Brunswick Junction World War I veteran has been honoured after his burial site was upgraded to a Commonwealth War Grave.

About a dozen people attended Old Harvey Cemetery on Saturday for the commemoration of William Arthur.

Harvey RSL member Allan Ward described Mr Arthur’s story as “amazing”.

“Sadly, like so many that came back from that war, it was obvious in their life stories that they were affected by what happened,” he said.

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Enlisting in Perth in October 1915 as a 44-year-old, he joined the 13th reinforcement of the 10th Light Horse Regiment, heading to Egypt in January 1916.

He served in several other units during WWI, before being discharged after he returned to Australia in October 1919.

It is believed he then worked as a civil servant for several years before later moving to Brunswick Junction where he became a life member of the Brunswick RSL.

Mr Arthur lived in a small dwelling near the Brunswick River on Wellesley Road, taking his daily bath near a bridge on the road.

He died in Perth in 1942 but was buried in an unmarked grave at Old Harvey Cemetery.

Simplicity was the hallmark of the service, with fanfare kept to a minimum.

Forrest MHR Nola Marino noted her and her sister used to go down to near Bill Arthur’s Bridge when they were children and swim in the river.

“Bill Arthur’s Bridge is synonymous in Brunswick and well known by Brunswick people,” she said.

“To actually see his grave here now that was unmarked when he passed away . . . how fantastic it is that all of you here in Harvey have done so much to make sure that his service and his name is remembered in this way.”

Event organiser and 10th Light Horse Harvey Troop member Brian Bevans thanked Mrs Marino and the Harvey RSL following the commemoration for assisting with a grant application which has seen the troop obtain replica military saddles and rifles.

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