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War Veterans of Other Nations


Over the years war veterans from other nations have settled in Australia and were buried in Lutwyche cemetery. Usually buried in the Monumental sections there is no record of their passing except in the Brisbane Courier and the Courier Mail. Newspaper searches are the main method of finding these persons; a Brisbane City Council grave search then locates the graves.

The ex-Imperials Association

The ex-Imperials Enclosure from the north. It is surrounded by a solid border of stone with small vertical stones at intervals. The five marked graves are at this end.

Enclosure Location: Monumental - Portion COE2
- Section 1A

The members were British or Empire soldiers, sailors and airmen who served in the armies of the Empire in the Great War 1914-18.

All of them migrated to Australia after the war and the association was formed to act in their interests in much the same way as the Australian RSL.

One of these services was to ensure a dignified funeral and burial for those who 'had fallen on hard times' and would otherwise be buried in a paupers grave.

The ex-Imperials Enclosure from the south. This section has no visible graves only the lawn.

In 1934 the association was granted, by the Brisbane City Council, a section of Lutwyche Cemetery where burials could be carried out. The area is curbed and I estimate that there is room for 30 grave plots based on the length of 60 feet by 16 feet wide for the size of the enclosure and a standard grave plot size of 4 foot wide and 8 foot long.

The enclosure, which is located in Portion COE2 in the south east part of the cemetery near Lutwyche Road, was opened and the cenotah unveiled on the 3rd March 1935.

At present there are only five marked graves in the enclosure dating from about 1937 to about 1942.

The ex-Imperial Monument was intended to be a replica of the cenotaph in Whitehall, London but there must have been a change of plan. It contains a roll of the names of ex-Imperials nominated by the donors to the memorial.

The Cenotaph is a minature of the one at Whitehall in London. It measures 3 ft x 3.5 ft x 2.5 ft high.

The marble plaque has the following inscribed in brass letters:

Erected by the Ex-Imperial Services Association

In Memory of Departed Comrades

We Will Remember Them

The Association went to a lot of trouble, including a misunderstanding with the RSL, to establish this small alcove. It is intriguing as to why there are only five graves marked. It is very unlikely that there are unmarked graves because the Association would pay for the marking if the occupant's family or estate could not do so.

All the graves are from the World War I era so it is possible that those who were buried after about 1942 were buried in the Lawn Cemetery. This could have made the enclosure redudant.

United States Service Personnel

The probable site of the temporary burial of U S servicemen in World War II. The Brisbane City Council minutes state that the burial section was to have a Gympie Road frontage and be contiguous with the ex-Imperial reservation. Portion COE2.

During the early part of World War II a small section of the cemetery was set aside for the burial of U S servicemen killed in the war. It was located in the extreme south east corner of the cemetery beside Gympie Road, Portion COE2.

There is no trace of the 11 graves which were used for a short time between July 1941 and June 1942. They were exhumed and the bodies taken to Ipswich where they were again interred at today's Manson Park, only to be re-exhumed at the end of World War II and taken for final burial in the United States.

US Armed Forces Military Cemetery, Ipswich

A lady visiting the graves of the US service personnel in the World War II temporary cemetery at Ipswich. (Photo courtesy of Margaret Waddel-Wood of Roma)

During World War II, many American servicemen died or were killed in action in Australia or the surrounding area. It was not possible to return their bodies to America for burial so a war cemetery was set up in Ipswich.

At the end of World War II there were 1,409 such graves in the USAF Military Cemetey at Ipswich.

Most burials were documented but some were unknown and there were three burials for members of the Javanese Dutch Army.

Margaret Waddell-Wood who supplied these photos was a child at the time and used to help her mother tend the graves.

Taps - A burial party at the wartime cemetery, Ipswich. On the left a bugler is blowing Taps while the burial party on the right is saluting. (Courtesy Margaret Waddell-Wood of Roma)

Proper US Army protocol was observed in burying the bodies, they were treated with the upmost respect and tenderly carried. Every soldier present knew what had to be done and carried out their part respectfully; a comrade was being buried.

Taps is the US Armed Forces bugle call for 'lights out' each night. It is also sounded at funerals of service personnel; everyone stands, the military salute and civilians place their right hand over their heart.

Like all cemeteries this one was a small part of the USA even if only temporarily.

Manson Park, Ipswich

Flag at Manson Park, Ipswich around which the graves of US service personnell were grouped in World War II. (Courtesy of Margaret Waddell-Wood of Roma)

Manson Park, pays tribute to the work of a local resident Mrs Rose Manson who, with others, cared for the graves during the war and wrote to the families in America.

A simple white monument is in the centre and a plaque was placed there in 1971 by Major J. Watson of the United States Air Force "to honour the American Servicemen who paid the supreme sacrifice during World War II".(Ipswich City Council website)

The monument was once the base of a flag pole which flew the American flag in the United States Armed Forces (USAF) Military Cemetery.

Ex-Imperial Enclosure and US Temporary Site

The US Temporary site to the left and the Ex-Imperial enclosure to the right. They are separated by a double row of graves Section 1B in Portion COE2.

The minutes of the Brisbane City Council say that the US World War II Burial site of 16ft x 60ft had a Gympie Road frontage and to be contiguous with the Ex-Imperial enclosure. But there happened to be graves already in the section east of the ex-Imperial enclosure so the US plots would have to have been in the vacant land nearer Gympie Road, Portion COE2.

Caveat lector Re US Civil War Veteran

We based the A F Ross website material on two sources:
The advice of a member of the William Kenyon Australian Confederates Camp 2160. Sons of Confederate Veterans, Inc. Australia. American Civil War Round Table of Queensland.
An article from the Courier Mail 30th April 1935

However upon receipt of further information from members of the American Civil War Round Table of Queensland we have to qualify the information on A F Ross. It seems the latter body has researched Ross' details and cannot verify them in regard to any US Civil War Service.

Judging from the newspaper report of his death it seems that the family believed that Ross was a genuine veteran and the press printed what they were told. It is not unknown for people to claim veteran status in wars without actually serving, so until further notice we will have to put A F Ross on hold.

U S Civil War Veteran (Under Investigation)

The headstone of Alexander Fergus Ross died 27-4-1935 Aged 93 years and Mary Ross died 7-8-1942 Aged 82 years. The tablet can be easily read but needs cleaning.

The research on A F Ross started with an email from:
James M. Gray
William Kenyon Australian Confederates Camp 2160
Sons of Confederate Veterans, Inc.

James alerted us to the existence of the Ross grave and, with his help, we researched this article.

Grave Location: Monumental - Portion COE3 - Section 23A - Grave No. 79.

Alexander Fergus Ross was born in Tain, Rosshire, Scotland in 1842, his father was a shipowner. Alexander went to the Tain Royal Academy and then into the Royal Navy about the age of 10. He rose to commissioned rank and then worked with private shipping companies.

His last employer was the Hudson Bay Company and that may have brought him to Canada and then into the U S Civil War on the Confederate side. His age would have been somewhere between 19 and 25 years over the period. There is no record of his service but there are 93,400,000 websites on the war and one of them may contain information about him.

He arrived in Australia and spent time working on an unknown Western Queensland Cattle property. While there he met and married Mary Baker in 1880 when he was about 38 years old and they had five children. They stayed there till the drought of 1893 when he joined the Queensland Government Service (Railways?) for he appears as Station Master at Mitchell in 1893 at age 51. Seems a very dramatic rise, but there are gaps in the record.

Another report mentions Alexander being on the Mitchell School Committee in 1895.

Further appointments followed with Esk in 1903 at age 61 years, Ascot in 1913 at 71 years and finally retirement in 1916 at 74 years.

Their retirement for the next 19 years was spent at Tresyllian, 35 Rigby Street, Wooloowin.

The Ross Family plot contains the remains of five members. The grave on the right contains three of the children.

The earliest born of the children in the grave is Isabella Mary Gwendoline B. 1883 D. 16-4-1964 Aged 81 years.

Murdock Mackay B. 1892 D. 18-5-1957 Aged 65

Mackay B. 1895 D. 20-7-1988 Age 93 years

It seems that these three stayed at home and maybe never married; there are another two mentioned in newspaper records.

The birth of Isabella (Bella) in 1883 adds credance to the marriage date of 1880.