Premier Mark McGowan and Transport Minister Rita Saffioti joined representatives from the Throssell family and the Returned Services League (RSL) today to officially announce the State’s newest bridge has been named the Hugo Throssell VC bridge.
Situated along Armadale Road and over Nicholson Road, the bridge is part of $145 million Armadale Road duplication project, which will help traffic flow more freely and reduce accidents and crashes at the notorious intersection.
Hugo Throssell was a Victoria Cross recipient and World War 1 hero, born in Northam on October 26, 1884.
He was the son of the second Premier of Western Australia, George Throssell and upon the outbreak of World War 1, joined the 10th Light Horse Regiment as a second Lieutenant.
Hugo landed at Gallipoli in August 1915 and was awarded the Victoria Cross for action on August 29-30 at Hill 60. Despite being wounded twice he refused medical aid and continued to shout encouragement to his men.
He was the first Western Australian to be awarded a Victoria Cross during World War 1 and to this day is the only recipient from the 10th Light Horse regiment.
After returning home from the war he married writer Katharine Susannah Prichard and had one son, Ric Throssell.
Hugo Throssell took his own life at home in Greenmount on 19 November 1933 and was buried in Perth.
His Victoria Cross citation reads:
For most conspicuous bravery and devotion to duty during operations on the Kaiakij Aghala (Hill 60) in the Gallipoli Peninsula on 29th and 30th August 1915.
Although severely wounded in several places during a counter-attack, he refused to leave his post or to obtain medical assistance till all danger was passed, when he had his wounds dressed and returned to the firing-line until ordered out of action by the Medical Officer.
By his personal courage and example he kept up the spirits of his party, and was largely instrumental in saving the situation at a critical period.
As stated by Premier Mark McGowan:
“Hugo Throssell is one of Western Australia’s greatest heroes. His selfless actions, despite his wounds, during World War 1 boosted the morale of his troops and helped them through the action on Hill 60.
“I have always wanted to commemorate Hugo in some way and I knew the new Nicholson Road bridge was perfect – it is a unique, impressive piece of infrastructure that deserves a unique and impressive name.
“Now the next generation of Western Australians have the opportunity to learn and remember Hugo and his selfless actions.”
As stated by Transport Minister Rita Saffioti:
“The new Nicholson Road and Armadale Road bridge has been built by local WA workers and it’s fitting that it now has a name that commemorates a selfless Western Australian.
“Thousands of local motorists will use this bridge and it will be a daily reminder of one of Western Australia’s most decorated war heroes.”
As stated by Veterans Issues Minister Peter Tinley:
“Hugo Throssell, an iconic figure, was the first Western Australian to be awarded the Victoria Cross in World War 1.
“On his return home from the front, he married Katharine Susannah Prichard, a prominent socialist, and ignited controversy in following years with his outspoken criticism of the war.
“He claimed the suffering he had witnessed in war prompted his own, later conversion to socialism and there is evidence he was suffering from PTSD when he eventually took his own life in 1933.
“This new bridge is a fitting tribute to a true blue West Aussie hero.”