The Gunners’ Cottages were once home to soldiers who operated Fremantle’s guns, housing defence members and their families for almost 90 years before closing.
Defence Housing Australia (DHA) purchased the 10 dilapidated cottages in 2013, giving them a much-needed renovation and constructing six new buildings so the site could again house defence members.
At the official opening, it was revealed each of the 10 cottages were to be named after Fremantle men who fought in World War I, including Lawrence Ingvarson’s father, Jens ‘Jack’ Edvard Valdemar Karl Ingvarson.
“He was a very popular and brave soldier, and frequently wounded, but he quickly rose to sergeant and was awarded the Distinguished Conduct medal twice and was recommended for a Victoria Cross,” Mr Ingvarson said.
Mr Ingvarson said he was sure his father would be both pleased and surprised to have a cottage named in his honour.
“He must have known these old barracks well,” he said.
“Young people and every generation need models of people who have put the interests of others first.
“These buildings will let you people know that our society values such people highly and does not forget what they have done.”
DHA chairman Sandy Macdonald said when it purchased the run-down, graffiti-covered cottages, the local community was horrified such an important part of Fremantle had been left to ruin.
“When we acquired this site we knew we had an obligation to the City of Fremantle, and to the people of Fremantle,” he said,
“Fremantle is renowned for its architecturally rich landscape, and we are honoured to be unveiling a restored piece of that landscape.
“This project was all about creating a legacy for Fremantle.”
The Soldiers Honoured
– Ernest Aberle (South Fremantle)
– Stanley Grant Carter (Fremantle)
– Albert Cobb (Fremantle)
– Ralph Wheeler (South Fremantle)
– Malvern Folland (East Fremantle)
– Jens Edvard Valdemar Karl Ingvarson (South Fremantle)
– Benno Lehmann (East Fremantle)
– Walter Binning (North Fremantle)
– Arthur Loveday (Fremantle)
– Walter and Harold Crellin (East Fremantle)