b. 28/03/1918 Barmedman, NSW, Australia. d. 10/01/1986 West Wyalong, NSW, Australia.
Reginald Roy Rattey, born on 28 March 1917, at Barmedman, a small rural community midway between Wyalong and Temora, 457 kilometres south-west of Sydney, was the third of seven children of a Lutheran couple, Johannes Albert Rattey a Springton, South Australia, born, share farmer and his Munyabla New South Wales born wife Anna Elisabeth (nee Damschke) who were married at Pleasant Hills on 26 February 1914.
As an eighteen year old Johannes had undertaken the six week journey travelling from the Eden Valley in South Australia to Temora, New South Wales with an uncle in a horse drawn wagon. Then with only a bicycle for transport and a tent for accommodation he set about earning his living fencing, clearing land, harvesting wheat, shearing sheep and trapping rabbits.
At the time of Reg’s birth the then thirty one year old Johannes was share-farming for a solicitor Mr. M T Farrell, three years later he purchased "Pine Lodge" near Wargin, on the Barmedman to Rankins Springs Railway line, to which he later added "Bon Accord", these two properties totalling 1672 acres.
Reg and his siblings attended the small one teacher school at Bellarwi travelling the six and a half km to and from school in a sulky pulled by the family’s pony ‘Podge’. After school and at weekends he helped with the work on the family farm and for recreation regularly played tennis. During the depression it became necessary for Reg and his elder brothers to find work away from the family property.
Reg was working at the Gibsonvale Open Cut Tin Mine at Kikoira and was a member of the part time Citizens Forces the 21st Light Horse Regiment at Wagga Wagga, under the command of Lieutenant Alexander when war broke out.
On 26th July 1945, Rattey was awarded the VCfor his actions at Buin Road in South Bougainville on 22nd March 1945. The 25th Battalion were ordered to capture a Japanese stronghold following an Allied air raid and artillery attack. After determining that an attack by his section would likely incur many casualties, he single-handedly attacked three Japanese weapons bunkers with his Bren gun. After eliminating one of the bunkers with a grenade, he returned to his section through enemy fire to ontain two more grenades and returned to destroy two more enemy bunkers.
Shortly after this, his section advanced and encountered Japanese macnine gun fire. Rattey again launched a solo attack on an enemy gun position, killing one, injuring another and causing the remaining gun crew to retreat. The section captured the Japanese machine gun with 2000 ammunition rounds before advancing further.
LOCATION OF MEDAL: AUSTRALIAN WAR MEMORIAL, CANBERRA, ACT.
BURIAL LOCATION: WEST WYALONG LAWN CEMETERY, WEST WYALONG, NSW, AUSTRALIA.
Reginald Rattey VC's daughter, grand-daughter and twin great-grand-daughters with his medals including VC on Anzac Day. The picture is from the West Wyalong Daily Telegraph.
Anzac Memorial Park, Townsville, Queensland
West Wyalong Memorial, New South Wales