Gunner Ivan PEREL QX22561

Ivan PERELPatriotTruth

Larger than life, a keen follower of rugby union & horse racing, Jack named his home in Albion 'Patria' but he didn't live to see 3 of his sons serve for their county, he died at his home in 1929.

Ivan was accepted into the AIF in July 1941 and began his training at Grovely Camp, Enoggera Barracks. He left Sydney in November bound for the Middle East with the 15th Reinforcements for the 2/1st Tank Attack Regiment of the Royal Australian Artillery.

After the bombing of Pearl Harbour Australian troops were ordered to return to Australia to make preparations to meet the threat posed by Japanese advances in the Pacific. Many units on their way back were diverted to Singapore and Malaya and subsequently became prisoners of war or died at the hands of the Japanese.

Ulupu, New Guinea July 1945

Identity Tag Ivan Perel

Identity tag found with service record, NAA

Twelve months later the 2/1st TAR returned to Australia when and the division was re-organised. Perel underwent training in Toowoomba and gained certification as a 'Gunlayer' before being deployed to the Aitape-Wewak area in northern New Guinea.

Gunner Perel wrote to his brother Louis in May 1945:

This regiment is certainly making up for all the easy times it has been having … we never expected to be infantry but there it is. There has been plenty of scraps and everything has turned up tops …

Letter from Ivan Perel to his brother Louis, 1945

Ivan's brothers Louis and Dair also served during WW2, Private Dair Perel, General Details Depot, and Staff Sergeant Louis Perel, 114 Convalescent Depot, neither were deployed overseas.

The State Library of Queensland holds the letter written by Gunner Perel to his brother Louis in 1945, just one week before he was killed in action.

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Marg Powell

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