Private Gerard Bunce – WX28368
Gerard Bunce enlisted into the Citizen Military Forces at Kellerberrin, Western Australia. Aged just 17 at the time, Gerard lied about his age, changing his birth date so he could join the forces.
Gerard undertook training between 15th December 1941 and 8th July 1942.
Gerard joined the Australian Imperial Forces, 2/28th Infantry Battalion, to serve overseas between 9th July 1942 and 9th April 1946.
Gerard served in New Guinea until he was wounded in June 1945. He was shot in the right leg. Once he recovered ‘Gerry’ was sent onto North Borneo where he was wounded again, this time being shot in the left arm.
Gerard was sent back to Australia to recover from his wounds but due to the damage to his arm he was not able to hold a rifle. He did not return to North Borneo as the war ended in August 1945. Gerry was discharged from the Forces on 9th April 1946.
Gerard met his wife Winifred Pearman, a nurse from Koorda, while convalescing at Lady Lawley Cottage, a Returned Soldiers Nursing Facility in Cottesloe.
Gerard had to learn to become right-handed after the bullet wounds to his left arm affected its use for a number of years. This ultimately proved to be to his advantage as he became ambidextrous. Gerry was exceptional at using both hands in sport and in his farm work in later years. He was a talented sportsman, being adept at football, rugby, cricket and tennis. But working hard in the mining industry and later clearing a new farm at North Cleary left little time to play sport.
Gerard worked with his family on their farm at North Cleary from 1965 -2000.
He died on the 20th June 2000 at the age of 76.