Denzel Roy (Roy) Fletcher
From Our Contribution
Wadi Auja where Roy rejoined the 10th LHR
|Date of Birth||c1897|
|Place of Birth||Adelaide, South Australia|
|Death||14 October 1987, aged 89|
|Place of Death||Ferndale, Western Australia|
|Age at Enlistment||19 Years, 3 months|
|Description||5'10" (1.78 m)tall; weight 121 lbs (54.9kg); fresh complexion, light brown eyes, light brown hair.|
|Address||'Broadview Farm', Dangin, Western Australia|
|Next of Kin||Father Mr James Fletcher|
|Date of Enlistment||8 Apr 1916|
|Unit/Formation||10th Light Horse Regiment, 24th Reinforcement|
|Date of Embarkation||13 Feb 1917 - 12 Mar 1917|
|Ship Embarked On||HMAT A6 Clan MacCorquodale|
|Date of Return||1 - 27 Jan 1919|
|Ship Returned On||HMAT A60 Aeneas|
Wounded in Action 20 Sep 1918 at Jenin (Battle of Megiddo)|
Returned to Australia
British War Medal|
Four weeks after entering camp, Roy was earmarked as a member of the 15th Reinforcement draft for the 28th Battalion, but on 15 Aug 1916 this changed to the 22nd draft for the 10th Light Horse. A month later he was again reallocated, this time to the 24th reinforcement draft for the 10th Light Horse.
On arrival in Port Suez Roy proceeded to the 'Details Camp' at Moascar where two weeks later he was sent to join the 10th Light Horse Regiment's base camp. On 24 Apr 1917 he joined the Regiment in the field along with 26 other reinforcements at Belah on the ocean, about 14 km south of Gaza, and was with them until he was taken to hospital sick on 4 Jul 1917.
On 6 Jul 1917 he was placed in isolation, before transferring on 23 July to the Abbassia Hospital, where his isolation continued. On 4 Aug 1917 he was discharged to the 3rd Light Horse Brigade base from the Moascar Convalescent Depot in Abbassia. In the absence of other entries it appears that he remains with them until 9 Jan 1918 when he rejoins the 10th Light Horse regiment in the field.
Ill again with diarrhoea in May he was again bundled of to the 31st General Hospital in Abbassia followed by time in the convalescent depot before rejoining his unit on 21 Jun 1918. Another brief period of illness before he rejoined the 10th Light Horse Regiment on 20 Jul 1918, along with 20 other reinforcements, at Wadi Auja in the Jordan Valley north of Jerico.
On 20 Sep 1918 the 10th Light Horse were involved in a mounted attack on Jenin as they exploited a crumbling Turkish defence. By nightfall 8,000 Turks had surrendered, and it was at some point in this action that Roy was wounded with a gunshot wound to the left hip, described as severe.
Admitted to the 24th Stationary Hospital on 26 Sep 1918, he was passed on the same day to the 14th Australian General Hospital in Port Said before he embarked in Port Suez on the Aeneas for the trip home.
Discharged 5th Military District 28 Mar 1919, but not before he has a brief period AWOL (9pm 3 Mar 1919 to 10:30pm 4 Mar 1919) which results in him being admonished and forfeiting the day's pay.
Following Roy's war service, he became intimately involved in several aspects of Armadale's history, including serving as sole police force, and stints at the Armadale Post Office, hospital and the State Brickworks.
Roy met Sheila Katherine McLachlan in York in 1924, after leaving the family farm in Dangin. Roy joined the WA Police Force at this time, where he became one of the first two policemen appointed to police speeding drivers, hence his nickname 'Speed' Fletcher. He married Sheila in August 1925, and proceeded to have children Denzel Dale (1926), Robin Roy (1928), David James (1930), and Kim Francis (1937). Roy was appointed constable at Cottesloe Police Station, before being transferred to Roebourne from 1929-1932. He then returned to Cottesloe Police Station (in 1938 living in Johnson parade Mosman Park) before being transferred to Armadale in May 1939. Roy was the sole police officer for the greater Armadale district, which included Byford, Bedfordale and Forrestdale.
In 1941 with the support of his wife, Roy was instrumental in establishing the Armadale Women's Emergency Corps (AWEC), formed in response to the worsening war situation. The group consisted mainly of 16 - 20 year old young women who met regularly to be trained in the skills which could be put to good use in the event of the conflict extending to Australia. Over the four years of its existence, more than 60 joined the AWEC, many of whom subsequently serve don't e Women's Armed Services. Members were recruited from not only Armadale, but also Kelmscott, Byford, Gosnells and Bedfordale.
He resigned from the police force in February 1948, and moved to Garden Island where he took up the position of general tradesman for the island's holiday resort.
In 1949 Roy and his family returned to Armadale, and in 1954 took up residence on a smallholding in Forrest Road, now in the locality of Haynes. He became a telegraph linesman with the Post Master General's Department operating out of Armadale, and later took up work at the Armadale State Brickworks. His next move was working as a general handyman at the Armadale-Kelmscott Memorial hospital where he remembered fond interactions with Matron Galliers.
A passionate inventor, Roy could turn his hand to many skills, and had many patented inventions in his time. Working from his workshop in his residence at William Street, Armadale, he and his son Dale joined together in 1955 to form 'Denzel Products'. The pinnacle of Roy's works, they produced the 'Denzel Sheep Brand', an indelible fluid-filled fountain mechanism, as an alternative to single-use brands.
Sheila died in Armadale 20 Nov 1961, almost reaching 55, and Roy passed away in October 1987, at almost 91 years of age.
Residential movements - 1920 farmer at Dangin, being allocated a Returned Soldier's lot; 1931 police constable with wife Sheila Katherine in Roebourne; 1936 - at 17 Hill Terrace Claremont; 1937 at 16 Bay View Terrace, Buckland Hill (Mosman Park); 1949 Police Station Armadale; 1954 Forrest Road, Armadale, Engineer; 1958 - 1980 at 10 William Street, Armadale, manufacturer.
Time served with unit: 24 Apr - 3 Jul 1917; 10 Jan - 9 May 1918; 21 Jul - 20 Sep 1918