Curlewis brothers who landed on Gallipoli

 

The Curlewis family was well-represented at the Battle of the Landing when four brothers landed on 25 April 1915. Two of them died during the early battles. Another died from wounds received during the August Offensive. Only one brother returned to Australia as a Gallipoli veteran in November 1915.

Western Australian family

George and Lilla Curlewis, farmers from Brookton, had a daughter and four sons. All four sons enlisted in the Australian Imperial Force (AIF) in 1914:

  • Captain Gordon Curlewis of the 16th Battalion, age 29 at enlistment
  • Lance Corporal Selwyn Curlewis of the 16th Battalion, age 27 at enlistment
  • Corporal George Curlewis of the 16th Battalion, age 23 at enlistment
  • Corporal Arthur Curlewis of the 12th Battalion, age 22 at enlistment

While their sons were away, George and Lilla moved to the Cottesloe district of Perth. They waited for their sons to return from the war.

All four brothers landed at Anzac on 25 April 1915.

Selwyn Curlewis was killed at Quinn's Post on the night of 2 May. With no known grave, he is commemorated on the Lone Pine Memorial.

Lance Corporal Selwyn Curlewis of the 16th Battalion AIF AWM H06123

Gordon Curlewis was killed at Quinn's Post a week after Selwyn, on 9 May. He was buried in the field, then reburied at Beach Cemetery, Anzac.

Captain Gordon Curlewis of the 16th Battalion AIF, killed in action at Gallipoli on 2 May 1915 AWM H06122

In August 1915, Arthur Curlewis was seriously wounded at Lone Pine and evacuated from Gallipoli. He died in Egypt on 15 August 1915 and was buried in the Alexandria (Chatby) Cemetery.

Corporal Arthur Curlewis of the 12th Battalion AIF AWM H06121

George Curlewis was reported ill on 28 August 1915 and evacuated from Gallipoli. After recovery time in Egypt and England, he returned to Australia in November 1915. Back home in Perth, George married Elsie Pike in 1916. He died in 1982.

George Curlewis on his wedding day to Elsie Pike in Perth, 1916 (Curlewis.net)

Recognition of service and sacrifice

The four Curlewis brothers are commemorated on the honour board at the Brookton Memorial Hall. Trees were also planted in King's Park, Perth, in memory of the three who died in service.

Gordon, Selwyn and Arthur are also commemorated in Point Lonsdale cemetery in Victoria. Six grandsons of Septimus and Maria Curlewis had died in World War I and the names were added to their grandparents' headstone.

Family memorial on gravestone at Point Lonsdale, Victoria. Image: Curlewis.net

The eldest daughter of Septimus and Maria, Ellen Moller (nee Curlweis) of Glengarry, had five sons who served in World War I:

  • Private Carl Ernest Moller of the 59th Battalion AIF died of wounds received in action in France in late September 1918. He is buried at Tincourt New British Cemetery.
  • Private Einart Moller of the 21st Battalion AIF and the 3rd Artillery Field Brigade survived the war. He married a munitions worker in Glasgow while still in service in May 1919.
  • Private Carl Christian Moller of the 3rd Field Artillery Brigade returned to Australia in 1919.
  • Private Frederick Moller of the 7th Battery Field Artillery returned to Australia in October 1918 after being accidentally wounded.
  • Able Seaman Alfred Moller served in the Royal Australian Navy on board the HMA Ships Cerberus and Australia.

Their cousin, Lieutenant Kenneth Curlewis, an electrical engineer from Malvern, Victoria, was the only child of Alfred and Frances Curlewis. He served with the 14th Battalion AIF and was killed in action on 8 August 1915 at Gallipoli.


Last updated: 28 October 2020

Cite this page

DVA (Department of Veterans' Affairs) (2020), Curlewis brothers who landed on Gallipoli, DVA Anzac Portal, accessed 9 December 2021, https://anzacportal.dva.gov.au/wars-and-missions/ww1/where-australians-served/gallipoli/landing-anzac-cove/curlewis-brothers
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