b. 19/10/1902 Katanning, Western Australia. d. 26/10/1942 Miteiriya Ridge, Egypt.
Gratwick, who was born in Katanning, Western Australia and had worked as a prospector in the Pilbara region, was a private in the 2/48th Battalion (a South Australian unit) of the Australian Army during the World War II when the following actions, for which he was awarded the VC, took place.
On the night of 25/26 October 1942 during the attack at Miteiriya Ridge, Egypt, the platoon to which Gratwick belonged suffered considerable casualties, including the platoon commander and sergeant. Gratwick, realising the seriousness of the situation, charged a German machine-gun position by himself, and killed the crew with hand grenades. He also killed a mortar crew. Under heavy machine-gun fire Gratwick then charged a second post, using his rifle and bayonet. In inflicting further casualties he was killed by machine-gun fire, but his brave and determined action enabled his company to capture the final objective.
LOCATION OF MEDAL: ARMY MUSEUM, FREMANTLE, AUSTRALIA.
BURIAL PLACE: EL ALAMEIN WAR CEMETERY, EL ALAMEIN, EGYPT.
Percival Gratwick is buried in PLOT XXII, ROW A GRAVE 6
Port Hedland, Western Australia
Medal image courtesy of Michael C Madden and Gordon Traill