FREMANTLE councillor Rob Fittock will travel to France next week as part of a Western Front trek that’ll see him lay an Anzac Day wreath for North Freo footballer ‘Billy’ Thomas, who was killed in action in Villers-Bretonneux in 1918.
The wreath, made from merino wool flowers, was created by local artist Louise Snook and pupils from North Fremantle Primary School.
“If you look over to Gilbert Fraser oval now, you’ll see young people running around playing football,” Cr Fittock told the pupils. \“Cast your mind back 100 years and that’s exactly what Billy Thomas was doing.”
North Fremantle’s once-mighty football club lost so many players to the Great War it had to forfeit the last five games of 1915 and was eventually kicked out of the WAFL altogether.
Cr Fittock’s grandfather was wounded in Larch Wood, Belgium in 1917, and he says his trip to Europe is a bit of a pilgrimage. The kids have also made a wreath for his grandfather and the upcoming ANZAC ceremony at the Fallen Soldier Memorial at the corner of Queen Victoria Street and Harvest Road in North Fremantle.
by ALICE ANGELONI