Alexander Thomson Coubrough

by Myrna Coubrough

Born 25 May 1895 in Fitzroy, Victoria, Alexander Thomson Coubrough was the youngest of five children of Charles Purvis Coubrough and his wife, Ruth Ellen Roberts. Alex and his oldest brother, Victor John Thomas, born 1889, were the only two of their parents' children to live past their second birthdays. They were both in the ANAZACs, which I am sure must have been a sore trial for their widowed mother.

Suffering from several shrapnel wounds, Alex was invalided out, home to Australia in December 1915, when Gallipoli was evacuated. His brother, apparently uninjured, was sent to a rest camp in Egypt, before being shipped off to the Somme, where he was killed 19 July 1916. His family never saw him again.

Alex's wounds eventually healed, but he was left without the use of his right arm, and all his life walked with a limp from a mangled right leg.

He never gave up, though. He learned to write again, using his left hand, and before the war was over, he was in the United States on a speaking tour, travelling all over the eastern US to raise funds for the Dardanelles campaign. Back in home Australia after the war, Alex continued his travels, this time on the temperance circuits, where he seems to have been a popular speaker.

How hard it must have been on Alex's mother, raising only two of her five children, then losing one of them to the Somme after not having seen him for more than two years, and having her youngest son so seriously disabled.

Alex was married in 1924, to Hilda Thorn, and had one daughter, June. He died in Launceton, Tasmania, in 1972.

We can never repay the sacrifices of these men and their families.