RSA plots memorial for Baillie brothers
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.’’
Resting place, above: Rachel Burriss at the unmarked grave of the Baillie family at Waikumete Cemetery.