A century on from the end of World War I we acknowledge their service …
Lest we forget.
Private Thomas Ernest Gregory Mortimer
Born: 27 May 1896 Longwarry. Died: 4 November 1980 Geelong.
Enlisted: 1 August 1917 aged 21.
Served: Western Front.
Thomas, also known as Gregory, was the son of George Mortimer and his wife Sophia Georgiana Snell, who moved from Longwarry to Nar Nar Goon, where they had a property called “The Oaks”. Mortimer Road is named in their honour.
Thomas attended the Nar Nar Goon State School and Warragul Continuation School before being appointed as the Third Class junior teacher at Pakenham State School (No 1359) in 1916.
Thomas fought at Hamel, Mont St Quentin and the Hindenburg Line as the German Army was pushed back in the final Allied offensives of the War.
It was hoped that Thomas would be able to “renew his labours” at the Pakenham State School when he returned. This was not to be, and during his subsequent career, Thomas taught in country schools across the state, including at Nambrok, Patho (near Echuca), Goorong (near Bendigo), Morwell, Winchelsea and Drysdale.
In January 1924, he married Janet Murray at Sale Presbyterian Church.
After retiring from teaching, Gregory remained in the Geelong district, where he died in 1980.
This is an extract from Patrick Ferry’s book A Century After The Guns Fell Silent – Remembering the Pakenham District’s WWI Diggers 1914-18.
For more details on this and other profiles in the book, head to the website www.pakenhamww1.com