Herbert Peace Gray

Posted by Marg P on
Three teenagers in school uniform. Two boys standing and a girl seated between them.

L to R: James Hinds, Elizabeth Hinds, Herbert Gray

The Boyne Valley branch of the QCWA donated two trees to the children of Ubobo State School to plant on Victory Day, 15th August, 1946. One was planted in memory of Herbert Gray, a local lad who was killed in action in World War 2. It stands today a tall hoop pine that reminds us of the young Australians like Herbie , all volunteers, who were prepared “to go to the other side of the World to fight for freedom and for the right of other people in other lands to enjoy the freedom which we Australians value so very highly.”

Being born in Many Peaks on the 14th November, 1914 just three days after World War One ended, he was named Herbert Peace Gray. When their shop in Many Peaks burnt down in 1926, the Gray family moved to Ubobo and opened the Ubobo Post Office Store. Ubobo State School opened in 1927 and Herbie was enrolled as one of the original 17 pupils.  He was honoured in the community for being one of the first three students to pass scholarship from the school.

He attended Secondary School in Brisbane completing Junior at the Brisbane Grammar, Senior at the Brisbane State High School then enrolled at the Kelvin Grove Teachers College.  He became a teacher and on 29th March 1941, while teaching in Dalby, he enlisted in the Royal Australian Air Force.  By June he was on his way to undertake flight training with the Royal Canadian Air Force.  After 132 air training hours, he was transferred to the United Kingdom.  In April 1942 he joined Bomber Command, 460 Squadron and rose to the position of Flight Sergeant.

He was killed in action on 4th January, 1943 when  Lancaster bomber W4274 was undertaking a night raid on Essen, Germany .  Post war investigations found Bomber, W 4274, with its six crew members including Flight Sergeant Herbert Gray, bomb aimer, had been shot down over the Netherlands by a German night fighter during the raid.

A white cross at the entrance to Uden Cemetery

Entrance to Uden War Cemetery

His is one of nineteen Australian graves in the Uden War Cemetery in the Netherlands.  Site 4G9 marks where his body lies – a long way from his native Boyne Valley.

 

 

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