El Arish North Queensland

Places, Faces and Events of an Historical Soldier Settlement town

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El Arish Salutes our WW2 Soldiers

El Arish Roll of Honour 1939 - 1945

 Lest we forget ... for those who never came home.

 WWI had a profound impact on Australian communities. So many family members, friends and co-workers did not come home, and of those who did, many were injured physically or psychologically. Life would never be the same. Across the nation, local war memorials and monuments were erected to remember the fallen. Honour boards were created by groups such asschools, businesses, trade unions and local councils. These boards publicly acknowledged those who had ‘answered the call’ and commemorated the fallen from these communities.  This is our Honour Board.

Lance Corporal William Adam Furlong


Lance Corporal William ("Bill") Adam Furlong

AIF QX31394

2/15th Australian Infantry Battalion

 William was known as Bill and was born at Home Hill, Queensland.

Bill was enrolled in the El Arish State School on the 18th May 1925. His father was an original soldier settler and cane farmer in El Arish. 

Bill was a miner at Charters Towers before enlisting on the 9th April 1942. He was killed in battle on the 19th December 1943 in New Guinea, after disembarking at Milne Bay and is buried in the Finschharfen War Cemetery, Grave Number K.D.2.       

Arthur Wildsoet

Private Arthur Andreacen Wildsoet, QX15305

2/12 Battalion (Infantry)

Arthur was born in Innisfail.

He enlisted on the 23rd January 1941 and trained at Redbank, Brisbane.  In 1941, he embarked for Egypt, arriving on the 1st August 1941, and went on to Palestine.  The Battalion returned to Australia and commenced training in preparation for New Guinea.

 Arthur later served in Milne Bay and died of wounds at Giropa Point on the 2nd January 1943, during the final assault on Buna.  He was originally buried at Soputa War Cemetery and then later buried at the Bomana War Cemetery, Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea.

His Grave Number is Plot U, Row D, Grave 13 and he is located on Panel 36 at the Australian War Memorial.


George Hay

 Pilot Officer George Leslie Lachlan Hay

RAAF 404617

Attached to 5 & 680 Squadrons RAF

George was born in Maryborough, Queensland and enlisted from Chippendale, New South Wales.

He lived with his family, the Dears, for a while in El Arish before the war, and operated movies in the El Arish RSL Memorial Hall from 1934 to 1936.

George was attached to the RAF and he flew Hurricanes and Spitfires.  On the 24th October 1943, he was detailed to carry out photographic reconnaissance of the Dodecanese Islands in spitfire BR414.  He was airborne at 0700 hours from Nicosia, Cyprus and was killed in a flying battle near  Bodrum, Turkey .  He is buried in the Haider Pasha Cemetery in Turkey.  His medal entitlements were the 1939 – 1945 Star, African Star and Clasp, Italy Star, Defence Medal, War Medal 1939 – 1945, and Australia Service Medal 1939 – 1945


Roy Parker


Private Roy Parker

AIF QX 7712

2nd /15th Battalion (Infantry)

 Roy was born on the 11th August 1903 at Charters Towers. In El Arish, he owned and operated a cane farm on Jackson Road.

He was a popular amateur boxing instructor in El Arish before the war.

Roy disembarked in the Middle East on the 3rd of February  1941, having sailed from Sydney on the 26th December 1940.

Roy died of wounds after the battle of El Alamein, Egypt on the 24th October 1942. His grave is located in Plot 10, Row A - Grave 2 in the El Alamein War Cemetery.

Edith Sharpe

Corporal Edith Tansley Sharpe

WAAAF 94089

Unit 3 Aircraft Depot WAAF

Edith was born at Allora on the 19th June 1920, and her father became a Soldier Settler at El Arish.

Edith was enrolled as student number 73 at the El Arish State School on the 27th January 1926. Before the war, her parents owned the Regent Picture Theatre in Innisfail and Edith worked there as an usherette.

Edith was flying on a Liberator A72-306, out of RAAF Station, Amberley, near Brisbane, on the 16th of August 1946, as part of the Victory Parade for the VD Day celebrations at the end of the war. The aeroplane crashed just after takeoff. There were seven injured and three killed. Sadly, she had been discharged from the WAAAF that morning.

Edith is buried at the Ipswich General Cemetery and is located on Panel 117 at the Commemorative Area at the Australian War Memorial, Canberra.