Biography

Birth date: 19 October 1902
Birth place: Australia: Western Australia, Katanning
Death date: 26 October 1942
Death place: North Africa: Western Desert, Western Desert (Egypt), El Alamein
Final rank: Private
Service number: WX10426 - Second World War, 1939-1945
Unit: 2/48th Australian Infantry Battalion

Percy Gratwick (1902-1942) was a 38-year-old former gold prospector from Western Australia. In an attack at Miteiriya Ridge, Gratwick's company suffered heavy casualties and was held up by intense enemy fire; his platoon lost its commander, its sergeant, and most of the men. Seeing the seriousness of the situation, Gratwick launched a single-handed attack with grenades, rifle, and bayonet on the German posts. He finally fell to a burst of machine-gun fire. His lone efforts had a big impact, inspiring all those around him and enabling the company to advance.

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Rolls and Awards

  • Rank: Private
  • Date of Death: 26 October 1942
  • Unit: 2/48th Australian Infantry Battalion
  • Recommended for: Victoria Cross
  • Conflict: Second World War, 1939-1945
  • Awarded: Victoria Cross
  • Unit: 2/48th Australian Infantry Battalion
  • Conflict: Second World War, 1939-1945

Collection Items

Timeline

Date of birth 1902-10-19
Date of honour or award 1942-10-25 - 1942-10-26 Awarded the Victoria Cross for action at El Alamein, Egypt whilst serving with 2/48 Battalion, 26 Brigade, 9 Division as a Private.
Date of death 1942-10-26