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Gray W.J. PDF Print E-mail
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Name: Gray W.J.
Service No: VX93025
Rank: Tpr
Unit: 10

Brief History

Injured in a grenade accident on return from patrol Karawop N.G.

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 INFORMATION COPIED FROM AWM WWII NOMINAL ROLL

Name GRAY, WILLIAM JAMES 
Service Australian Army 
Service Number VX93025 
Date of Birth 15 Jan 1925
Place of Birth BAIRNSDALE, VIC 
Date of Enlistment 29 Jul 1943 
Locality on Enlistment LAKES ENTRANCE, VIC 
Place of Enlistment ROYAL PARK, VIC 
Next of Kin GRAY, J 
Date of Discharge 1 Aug 1946
Rank Trooper 
Posting at Discharge 2/10 AUSTRALIAN COMMANDO SQUADRON

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BILL GRAY is still carrying the shrapnel that took his sight.  But the WWII veteran, who was blinded and partially paralysed by a Japanese hand grenade, had never regretted joining the army.  "I'd so the same thing again.  I might have kept my head down a bit longer the second time," he laughed.

He was only 20 when he lost his sight in July, 1945, as the war dragged to an end in the steamy New Guinea jungle.  But his total acceptance of the horrific injuries that changed his life has developed into a positive, no-nonsense attitude.  "It's no use fighting against it", he said.  "It's happened and you have to do the best you can with what you have got."

For more than 40 years, he and his wife, Boni, have worked tirelessly for the Blinded Soldiers Association of Victoria.  The Minister for Veterans' Affairs, Mr Humphries, presented the Grays with certificates in recognition of their dedicated work last month.  The Association has always played an important part in their lives.

Mrs Gray, whose father was blinded during World War I, met Mr Gray at the Blinded Soldiers Club on April 16, 1948.  They were married less than two months later.  Their house in Gilarth St, Highett has been home for almost 40 years.

Although he has never seen his wife and their two children, Mr Gray has created his own pictures in his mind, based on the sighted memories of his youth and childhood.

(Newspaper clipping an article from Cavalry News 46,November 1990)

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