New headstones honour unmarked war graves
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