Ernie Walker, one of the last ‘Rats of Tobruk’ battle veterans from Australia has died at the age of 106. Let’s see how did WWII veteran die and Ernie Walker cause of death in detail.
How did Ernie Walker die?
Ernie Walker, a veteran of World War II, passed away peacefully last week at his Southern Highlands residence in Penrose.
Only a few Australian soldiers survived the historic eight-month siege of the Libyan port in 1941. Australian soldiers gave an unmatched effort in that combat. They endured daily tank and bomb strikes from Italian and German soldiers in the Tobruk stronghold for eight months.
Robert Ridge, the president of Five Dock RSL, paid tribute to the deceased soldier on Facebook. ‘Ernie passed away Wednesday peacefully at his home on the south coast, 106 yo. Ernie was the last Rat from NSW… Lest We Forget.’ Mr. Walker will “always be remembered by those who knew him,” Mr. Ridge said.
“He was a beloved member of the RSL sub-branch at Five Dock, considered as the spiritual home of the ‘Rats of Tobruk’, he added.
Ernie Walker cause of death:
Ernie Walker cause of death was natural. He died at the age of 106. He died peacefully at his home. Sally Sitou, a member of parliament for Reid, also paid homage to the military hero on social media. ‘I’m saddened to hear of the passing of Ernie Walker OAM, aged 106,’ she wrote.
“He was a former Rat of Tobruk and a veteran of the Kokoda campaign. It was a privilege to meet Ernie along with other veterans at the Kokoda Track Memorial Walkway earlier this year. Thank you for your selfless service, Ernie. May he rest in peace. And may we never forget the sacrifices of our veterans.”
His funeral will be held at Bundanoon on Thursday, December 1. Ernie’s funeral will take place at the Anglican church in Bundanoon, followed by a wake at Moss Vale Services club, where he was named a patron.
Who was Ernie Walker?
Ernie was one of the last three Rats of Tobruk who left stranded. He was from New South Wales, who valiantly defended the Libyan port of Tobruk against the German Afrika Corps in 1941. Mr. Walker additionally participated in the fatal Kokoda Trail campaign, which resulted in the deaths of over 600 Australian soldiers.
In 1940, Ernie joined the Australian Army and spent 241 days in Tobruk under siege. He was dispatched to Kokoda three days after arriving in Australia, and he also fought in New Guinea. He declared that he was celebrating “life itself” and that “everyday is a bonus” on the occasion of his 105th birthday. Bev and Ernie were best friends for for over 45 years before getting married in 2001.
Rats of Tobruk:
The soldiers ultimately stopped German Field Marshal Erwin Rommel from retaking the harbor, earning them the moniker “the Rats of Tobruk.”
The Australian War Memorial claims that despite sheltered in the dugouts under “hellish dust storms” and extreme heat, the Tobruk veterans never surrendered or withdrew.
According to the memorial’s official records, “their resolve, bravery, and humour, along with the aggressive tactics of their commanders, became a source of inspiration throughout some of the war’s worst days.”
The Rats of Tobruk moniker was something Mr. Walker and his fellow troops carried as a badge of honour as he spoke about his wartime adventures in 2021. He claimed that the German propagandist Lord Haw Haw gave us the moniker “Rats of Tobruk.”
“The moniker was meant to be a jab about us being imprisoned like rats and living in holes, but the Australians immediately adopted it as a badge of honour,” says Australian people.
Only few soldiers from the “Rats of Tobruk,” who survived the siege at the Libyan port city, are still alive today.
Tributes to Ernie Walker:
niloc1406195 Colin President Elect tweeted,
Australian hero Ernie Walker, who survived ‘hell on earth during World War II, has passed away at the incredible age of 106— the last remaining veteran of the incredible Tobruk siege in 1941.
Peter FitzSimons tweeted,
Vale, Ernie Walker OAM. One of the last three Rats of Tobruk left standing. I’ve just heard he passed away peacefully last week, aged 106. Just two Rats left. A mighty generation! Ernie also served on the Kokoda Track.
𝙎𝙩𝙧𝙖𝙞𝙜𝙝𝙩𝙨𝙝𝙤𝙩 𝙏𝙧𝙖𝙣𝙨𝙥𝙤𝙧𝙩 tweeted,
#LestWeForget It’s time to remember what our soldiers put on the line as the last of the 𝙍𝙖𝙩𝙨 𝙤𝙛 𝙏𝙤𝙗𝙧𝙪𝙠 passes away Vale Ernie Walker Very grateful for our past, present & future soldiers.
Rose Denim tweeted,
Replying to @Peter_Fitz and@Qldaah
Knew a Rat. His wife was allowed back to teach, while he was at Tobruk, due to teacher shortages. Mum adored her. Very quiet gentleman who even though he returned, died far too young. May the Rats always be remembered. Vale Ernie Walker.
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