Gunners Cottages: last digger finally honoured at historic site


A ceremony was held on Wednesday to name Cottage 10 after Ernest Aberle. Pictured are Brad Pettitt (far left), Ernest’s son Andy Aberle (front row, second from left) DHA senior development manager Cade Taylor (back right) and historian Andrew Pittaway (back left) with other members of the Aberle family.
A ceremony was held on Wednesday to name Cottage 10 after Ernest Aberle. Pictured are Brad Pettitt (far left), Ernest’s son Andy Aberle (front row, second from left) DHA senior development manager Cade Taylor (back right) and historian Andrew Pittaway (back left) with other members of the Aberle family.

IT has been a few months in the making, but the last digger has finally been honoured at the historic Gunners Cottages.

Defence Housing Australia (DHA) celebrated the end of the rejuvenation project in March, with nine cottages restored and six new ones built, however the restoration of the final cottage was delayed because of structural damage.

Now finished, cottage 10 will honour former Fremantle and Beaconsfield digger Ernest Aberle.

Private Aberle left Fremantle as part of the 4th Field Ambulance aboard the HMAT Benalla on November 1, 1915 bound for Gallipoli.

DHA chair Sandy Macdonald said all 10 restored cottages were named after Fremantle’s diggers to honour their legacy.

“This project was all about restoring these historical cottages to their former glory, creating a legacy for Fremantle and the many Defence members and their families who lived here over a period of almost 90 years,” he said.

“Our core purpose is to provide housing for Defence members.

“Occasionally have the opportunity to do things that are quite remarkable, and this project is one of those occasions.”

The cottages will be used to house defence members and their families.