OUR PEOPLE

Busselton man Frank Mouritz passes away aged 98

Flying officer Mouritz F.A, London September 1944.

Flying officer Mouritz F.A, London September 1944.

Frank (Francis) Arthur Mouritz 1923-2021

Frank Mouritz has left a long and interesting legacy after he passed away surrounded by family at Busselton's Capecare.

Frank was born in Gnowangerup and grew up in Katanning and Perth.

Aged 18 Frank was enlisted into the Royal Australian Air Force where he trained in WA before going to England and flying for the Royal Air Force.

As a Lancaster pilot, Frank Flew in Mickey the Moocher for 34 missions where there was a one in five chance of survival.

His son Barry said when each of Frank's boys and male grandchildren turned 21, Frank would tell them "I was bombing Germany on my 21st birthday."

It was something that stuck with all of them as Frank would not speak much about his experience in World War II until he and his crew wrote a book in 2005 about their experiences.

However, during the war while on leave, his navigator Laurie invited Frank to the family home in London. There Frank met his younger sister Kathleen and they fell in love.

Kath came to WA as a 'war bride' after waiting two years to be able to get onto a ship from England and they married in 1948.

When Frank returned to Perth after the war he went back to studying and became a mechanical engineer, a profession that took him to Scotland, Mount Isa, Tasmania and Kalgoorlie.

Frank and Kath have six children, Lorelie, Barry, Carolyn, Michael (Mike), Neil and Jennifer (Jenny).

A Mouritz family photo from 2016.

A Mouritz family photo from 2016.

Frank retired at the young age of 55 and in the 1980s he and Kath moved to Busselton where two of their children were already living.

They immersed themselves into the community including being heavily involved in the Butter Factory Museum, Probus Club, Naturaliste Club and Frank helped develop the Cape to Cape Track.

Carolyn and Barry said Frank loved bushwalking and organised many trips with friends to try new trails.

In 1999 Frank celebrated the opening of a bridge he designed and organised funding for which went on a section of the Cape to Cape Track at Boodjidup.

Kath and Frank Mouritz at the opening of the Cape to Cape bridge.

Kath and Frank Mouritz at the opening of the Cape to Cape bridge.

Barry said it was a massive effort because they had to take the bridge to the location in pieces by hand and then put it together on site.

Barry said there was a running joke for a while when Frank would "always be in the paper promoting one of his groups."

We would see people in the street, and they would say 'Frank was in the paper again!'

Frank and Kath loved travelling and had many overseas trips, they would often take a campervan over the Nullarbor for holidays.

A particular highlight for Frank was in 2018 when he went with Kath back to England to see the opening of the Bomber Command Memorial in Lincoln.

Barry said it was a privilege to go with his father on this trip which recognised the 50,000 air servicemen that died in the war.

Frank was able to see a fellow pilot's name written on the plaque and placed a poppy there.

Just one month ago, a group of RAAF fighter pilots visited the Busselton airport to commemorate 100 years of the RAAF and Frank was able to see and talk to them.

One of the pilots mentioned that they were "talking to living history".

Frank and Kath lived in Novacare for many years before moving into Capecare where until a few months ago were still in the same room.

Frank's funeral will be on December 17 and he will be remembered by Kath his wife of 73 years, six children, 13 grandchildren, 13 great grandchildren and one great great grandchild.