Lance Coporol Phillip Kwatra

Phillip Kwatra was a strange one from the beginning, an Indian with an anglicised name serving with the ANZACs. He had in fact joined up in Adelaide, while working as a shop clerk for one of his father’s contacts. He didn’t take well to army life at first, he was quite happy to kill his fellow man, but he suffered afterwards, in relatively security, fretting over killing his fellow Muslims. Perhaps it didn’t help that his friends kept getting killed. Gradually things changed, perhaps he became desensitised to it all, and perhaps he just finally gave up and snapped. Whatever happened he seemed to accept his predicament cheerfully.

It was a quiet night when he mistook Dr Bell Raine for a nurse, and soon guarded respect became a fearful adoration. Fortunately for him Dr Raine was somewhat more sensible and eventually managed to sort him out and coax him into an agreement. Meanwhile Kwatra had been promoted to Lance Corporal through the merit of survival.

Once he had left Gallipoli he enjoyed a fairly uneventful campaign in the Sinai and Palestine, gaining no further promotions or medals. He left the army after the war had ended to retire to Bell’s country home. Where he spent a large amount of time gardening, and managing to live a normal, if secluded life. He gradually fell out of touch with his fellow veterans as they either died or their correspondence fallowed. He still had his episodes, sometimes it was worry over what he had done during the war, sometimes grief, rarely it would be a crisis of acceptability regarding his relationship with Bell, though he grew used to that eventually. He outlived Bell, though not by long. He was found in his garden; half starved, b turbaned and exhausted two days after she passed away. The garden was a strange affair. At its very end was a hillock, crested with tall grasses and plain wildflowers, stubbornly nurtured in the sandy soil. A written note requesting that they both be buried at that spot was left in the house, written in his hand.

It is perhaps worth noting that he neither killed a living being nor touched beef of any sort in the years between the end of the war and his death.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.5 License.