ONE OF THE LAST!
The legend of the Rats of Tobruk is embedded as part of Australian military folklore. On Sunday 21 November one of the last survivors of this incredible 242-day siege that held off Rommel’s elite Afrika Corps, Frederick John Rose, breathed his last at the ripe old age of 102.
The President of the Rats of Tobruk, Graham Gibson, said he believed Fred was the last Rat of Tobruk from Western Australia.
When he passed on Sunday, 21 November 2021 Fred was living in Eaton, a north-eastern suburb of Bunbury in Western Australia, and came from a family of nine boys and one girl who grew up on a farm called Shenton Vale at Roelands WA. He never married or had children.
He was in partnership with three of his brothers’ dairy farming and growing potatoes. When the partnership split up Fred retired to Australind and played bowls at Brunswick Bowling Club where there is a green named after him. He moved to Bethanie Nursing home at Eaton when he was 99.
Five of the Brothers served overseas and Charles was killed in Palestine.
RSLWA extends sincere condolences to all of Fred’s family and relatives.