1. Gration, Harold Victor Godfrey (2nd Lieutenant, b.? - d.1916); 2. Gration, Jonathan William, DCM (Lieutenant, b.1891 - d.?)

Accession Number 1DRL/0317
Collection type Private Record
Record type Collection
Measurement 1 wallet: 4 cm
Object type Letter
Maker Gration, Harold Victor Godfrey
Gration, Jonathan William
Place made Australia: Victoria, Ballarat, Australia: Victoria, Seymour, Belgium, Egypt: Cairo, France, United Kingdom: England, Greater London, London
Date made 1915-1920
Access Open
Related File This file can be copied or viewed via the Memorial’s Reading Room. AWM93 12/11/765
Conflict First World War, 1914-1918

Collection relating to service of 2646 2nd Lieutenant Harold Victor Godfrey Gration, 23 & 58 Battalions, AIF and 120 Lieutenant Jonathan William Gration, DCM, 39 Battalion, AIF, Australia, Egypt, France, Belgium, England. Collection includes letters written by the Gration brothers to their family in North Fitzroy, Melbourne between September 1915 and February 1920 and a letter written in July 1918, by a young French woman to their father.

History / Summary

This extensive collection of letters gives an excellent insight into the attitudes of each of the Gration brothers to their military service, to the war in general and to their family. 2nd Lieutenant Harold Victor Godfrey Gration, killed in action 18 September 1916, demonstrated a touching affection for his family, expressing his gratitude to his mother for "what you have done for us", sending gifts and personal messages to his young sisters, (making a special effort to maintain a relationship with his baby sister Olwyn). He was clearly an enthusiastic supporter of Australia's involvement in the conflict, proud of his service and keen to "do his bit". Letters of condolence to the Gration family following his death reveal him to have been genuinely liked and respected by men and officers alike, although considered to be "too game". Letters from Lieutenant Jonathan William Gration, DCM, are almost exclusively addressed to his father, for whom he displayed a deep affection. He wrote of his brother Harold with immense pride - "he proved himself a hero...I only hope I shall have the courage, and prove myself a brother worthy of him" and was loving and protective towards his young sisters. Lieutenant Jonathan Gration was an ambitious soldier who made the most of any opportunity which presented itself, and also took advantage of post-war repatriation training. He described himself as a pessimist, but his letters show a great deal of good-humoured stoicism, an appreciation of the small pleasures of army life and a likeable, confident nature. Lieutenant Jonathan Gration included numerous photographs with his letters, mostly of men he served with. [These photographs are not held by the AWM].

Biographical note: Lieutenant Harold Victor Gration, 58 Battalion, AIF, who on 18 September 1916 was killed in action in the Fleurbaix sector. Other biographical details concerning him are: cutter, of North Fitzroy, Vic., born Clifton Hill, Victoria. Educated at a state school, was a boy scout and a member of the Citizen Forces, joined the AIF on 2 August 1915, age at time of death 19.

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