New head­stones hon­our un­marked war graves

The Free Press (Corowa) - - FRONT PAGE - BY SI­MON GINNS

The un­marked graves of five WWI veter­ans who lie in Car­lyle Ceme­tery in the Ruther­glen dis­trict have been hon­oured with new head­stones.

They were un­veiled as part of a special Re­mem­brance Day ser­vice held on Satur­day, November 11.

The new head­stones are the cul­mi­na­tion of two years of work by the Ruther­glen RSL Sub-Branch, Ruther­glen His­tor­i­cal So­ci­ety and the Com­mon­wealth War Graves Com­mis­sion.

Per­son­nel from the Army School of elec­tri­cal and Me­chan­i­cal en­gi­neer­ing (ASeMe), Latch­ford Bar­racks and stu­dents from Ruther­glen Pri­mary School paired up dur­ing the ser­vice to con­duct a sim­ple cer­e­mony at each grave­side.

As the red and gold shroud was re­moved from each head­stone, a sin­gle red poppy was placed on the grave.

The shrouds were then care­fully folded and car­ried to a cen­tral ta­ble for the ded­i­ca­tion.

The wartime ex­pe­ri­ences of the five men hon­oured are ex­tra­or­di­nary.

Sap­per Wil­liam John Hutchi­son Al­lan served with 1 Field Squadron in Egypt from Au­gust 1918 to Au­gust 1919.

His unit sup­ported the Moas­car camp which acted as a stag­ing post for the fa­mous Light Horse Reg­i­ments. He re­turned to Aus­tralia in 1919. Mean­while, Pri­vate John Collins en­listed in July 1915.

He stated his age as 44 years and 5 months but later med­i­cal records show that he was 51. Collins Served with the 8th Bat­tal­ion in Gal­lipoli.

He joined 60th Bat­tal­ion and en­tered France via Mar­seilles in June of 2016.

Pte Collins was se­verely wounded in July of 1916 at Ar­men­tieres dur­ing the Bat­tle of Fromelles.

He was hospitalised for al­most four months and re­turned to Aus­tralia in 1917.

Then there is Pri­vate Martin Pas­coe who en­listed in Oc­to­ber 1914 at the age of 27.

He served with the 7th Light Horse Reg­i­ment at Gal­lipoli in May 1915.

Pte Pas­coe was se­verely wounded in Au­gust 1915 when he re­ceived a gun­shot wound to his left heal.

Af­ter re­turn­ing to his unit he was wounded again in Oc­to­ber 1915.

Af­ter serv­ing in Pales­tine, Egypt and Gaza he re­turned home in November 1918.

The fourth grave was of Pri­vate John Ayns­ley Sul­li­van En­listed in Fe­bru­ary 1916 at the age of 20. He joined the 5th Bat­tal­ion in France. Dur­ing the Au­tumn of 1916, Pte Sul­li­van fought at Ypres in Flan­ders and the Somme val­ley. In May 1917, Sul­li­van was di­ag­nosed with Trench Fever (a pain­ful, re­cur­ring dis­ease car­ried by lice) and was hospitalised in Eng­land.

John Collins at­tended the week­end’s special ser­vice where his great un­cle was buried in an un­marked grave that has now been hon­oured with a new head­stone. He is pic­tured with Ruther­glen RSL Sub-Branch Se­nior Vice Pres­i­dent Craig Wil­liams. Photo: Si­mon Ginns

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