RSA plots me­mo­rial for Bail­lie broth­ers

Central Leader - - NEWS - By SHEL­LEY GRECO

The RSA is ap­peal­ing for Bail­lie fam­ily de­scen­dants to come for­ward to ap­prove the in­stal­la­tion of a me­mo­rial plaque for an un­marked grave.

The plot at Waikumete Ceme­tery is the rest­ing place for mem­bers of the Bail­lie fam­ily, with many dy­ing trag­i­cally.

Hen­der­son RSA sec­re­tary man­ager Rachel Bur­riss says it wants to mark the grave to hon­our the fam­ily.

‘‘We are com­ing into the 100-year cen­te­nary and are look­ing at ways of hon­our­ing our re­turned soldiers,’’ she says.

The Hen­der­son RSA will pay for a plaque to mark the fam­ily grave and will in­clude any rel­a­tives in the plan­ning of its in­stal­la­tion.

A small ser­vice also be held.

Be­fore that, how­ever, per­mis­sion is needed from rel­a­tives of the Bail­lie fam­ily.

The Bail­lies made their home on Te Atatu Penin­sula where Craw­ford and his wife were early set­tlers.

On Oc­to­ber 19, 1893, four mem­bers of the fam­ily drowned in a boat­ing ac­ci­dent on the Whau River.

Mr Bail­lie lost his wife

will Ann, 60, their daugh­ter Ann, 17, and sons John, 33, and James, 21.

John drowned af­ter launch­ing an im­pos­si­ble res­cue at­tempt in a small dinghy.

He left be­hind his wife, Agnes and eight chil­dren, in­clud­ing three­week-old twins John and David. Agnes and her chil­dren even­tu­ally moved to Dar­gav­ille where she re­mar­ried in 1899.

But tragedy struck again when the twins were killed dur­ing World War I – David, in 1915 at the Dar­danelles and John 14 months later in France.

Nei­ther of the Bail­lie broth­ers was re­turned to New Zealand for burial.

Craw­ford Bail­lie moved to Te Awa­mutu with his sur­viv­ing son Robert but was brought back to Auck­land for burial at Waikumete when he died in 1914.

Agnes died in 1933, aged 78, and is buried at Waikumete Ceme­tery.

Mrs Bur­riss says people may not be aware of their own fam­ily his­tory and en­cour­ages

‘‘It’s nice to look back and re­mem­ber the sac­ri­fice these people made, not just our soldiers but their fam­i­lies as well.’’

Photo: SHEL­LEY GRECO

Rest­ing place, above: Rachel Bur­riss at the un­marked grave of the Bail­lie fam­ily at Waikumete Ceme­tery.

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