Lieutenant Walter Tertius Morrice
1st Australian Light Horse
Walter Tertius Morrice was born in Moss Vale in 1881 into a prominent local family of farmers and graziers. One of Walter and Elizabeth Morrice’s nine children, he grew up on the family property, Browley, at Sutton Forest and educated at Lee Pulling’s School at Bong Bong. Val, as he was known to his family and friends, was working as the station overseer on Barwon Vale, Walgett when he enlisted in September 1914.
By October Val was on the high seas heading for the Middle East on the troopship Star of Victoria. After training in Egypt, he landed at Anzac Cove on 12th May 1915, described vividly in notes he later made of his experiences on the Gallipoli Peninsula. Wounded in July, he was evacuated to Lemnos and later admitted to the Australian General Hospital in Heliopolis. He returned to Gallipoli at the end of September where he remained until the evacuation. Val gradually worked his way up the ranks until promoted Lieutenant in August 1917. He was wounded on four occasions before he was shot during an assault on a Turkish convoy at Amman in September 1918. Waiting to be taken to hospital he told his comrades “It is bad luck boys, this is the fifth time I have been wounded”.
He died three days later and was buried in the Jericho Military Cemetery. Jerusalem War Cemetery was later enlarged to take the graves from smaller cemeteries nearby and it is here where Walter Tertius Morrice was finally laid to rest.
He was a fine man and much liked by everyone in the regiment. I never heard a bad word said about him (Private William McTaggett 4213)
Three of Val’s brothers also served in World War I - Osborne and Arnold in the AIF and Julius in the Royal Field Artillery in England.