AMBON WAR CEMETERY
Historical Information: The town of Ambon, situated on Laitimor Peninsula on the southern shore of Ambon Bay, was severely damaged during the war, first by the Japanese who bombed it heavily in January 1942 and later by the Allied forces who attacked it in 1943 and 1944. After the fall of Ambon in February 1942, a former Dutch army camp on the island was used to hold Australian, American and Dutch prisoners of war, captured during the invasion. The War Cemetery was constructed on the site of this camp (known as Tan Touy) after the war. The cemetery contains Australian soldiers who died during the Japanese invasion of Ambon and Timor, plus those who died in captivity in one of the many camps constructed by the Japanese on the Moluccas Islands, including many British prisoners who were transferred from Java to the islands in April 1943. Soon after the war, the remains of prisoners of war from Haruku and other camps on the island were removed to Ambon and in 1961, at the request of the Indonesian Government, the remains of 503 graves in Makassar War Cemetery on the island of Celebes were added to the cemetery. The total number of graves in the cemetery is over 2,000. Of this total over half are Australians, of whom about 350 belonged to the 2/21st Australian Infantry Battalion. Most of the 800 British casualties belonged to the Royal Navy and Royal Air Force; nearly all the naval dead were originally buried at Makassar. The cemetery is laid out in a series of terraces approached by short flights of steps on the central axis. The Ambon Memorial, which is in the form of a shelter, stands on the first terrace. It commemorates over 450 Australian soldiers and airmen who died in the region of Celebes and the Molucca Islands and have no known grave. The Cross of Sacrifice stands on the highest terrace in a wide expanse of lawn; the terrace below it contains most of the burials from Makassar. All the graves are marked with bronze plaques mounted on concrete pedestals and set in level turf. Tropical trees and shrubs are planted throughout the cemetery and around its boundaries. There are 1,956 Commonwealth burials of the 1939-1945 war here,357 of these are unidentified. There are 186 Dutch burials here, 15 being unidentified, and 1 American Airman. The American airman was killed with 7 Australian airmen in July 1945; all were buried in a collective grave in Plot 28. The non-war grave is that of a seaman of the Merchant Navy, whose death was not due to war service.
Penshurst War Memorial Soldiers that are remembered at Ambon War Cemetery.
Sapper Jack Christopher Baulch. Regimental No VX105192, He died age 22 on 26th July 1945. Grave/Memorial Reference: 28. D. 15.
OOSTELBEERS ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCHYARD
Historical Information: There are now a small number of 1939-1945 War casualties commemorated in this site.
Penshurst War Memorial Airman that are buried at Oostelbeers Roman Catholic Churchyard.
Flight Sergeant Robert John Dickie. No 430773, he died age 20 on 24th December 1944
SPRINGVALE WAR CEMETERY, MELBOURNE
Historical Information: During the early months of the Second World War this land was set apart for service burials in the Melbourne area. The cemetery holds the graves of many who died of wounds in the Heidelberg Military Hospital after return from operational areas, and of others who died from accident or sickness. SPRINGVALE WAR CEMETERY contains 607 Commonwealth burials of the Second World War and four Dutch war burials. In the Records Room at the entrance to the cemetery is a writing desk, the gift of the Government of the State of Victoria on behalf of the people of Victoria, which contains a register recording the names of those buried or commemorated in the cemetery and the visitors' book. The Cross of Sacrifice was unveiled on 5 December 1948, by His Excellency the Governor of Victoria, Major General Sir Winston Dugan, K.C.M.G., C.B., D.S.O., at a ceremony attended by representatives of the Federal and State Governments, Service Chiefs and leading citizens, with Guards of Honour from the Navy, Army and Air Force. Behind it stands a shelter containing the VICTORIA CREMATION MEMORIAL to 75 Australian servicemen who died in Victoria during the Second World War and whose remains were cremated. The war cemetery stands within the SPRINGVALE BOTANICAL CEMETERY, which itself contains around 50 First World War burials and almost 90 from the Second World War. Also within the necropolis is the SPRINGVALE CREMATORIUM, where over 60 Second World War servicemen whose remains were cremated are commemorated.
Penshurst War Memorial Air Force Personnel that are buried at Springvale War Cemetery.
Aircraftwoman 4th Class HENRY, Hazel Veronica Rose Service No: 90559. She died age 22 Years on the 3rd November 1943. Grave/Memorial Reference: 1.P.A.7.
Historical Information: The notorious Burma-Siam railway, built by Commonwealth, Dutch and American prisoners of war, was a Japanese project driven by the need for improved communications to support the large Japanese army in Burma. During its construction, approximately 13,000 prisoners of war died and were buried along the railway. An estimated 80,000 to 100,000 civilians also died in the course of the project, chiefly forced labour brought from Malaya and the Dutch East Indies, or conscripted in Siam (Thailand) and Burma (Myanmar). Two labour forces, one based in Siam and the other in Burma worked from opposite ends of the line towards the centre. The Japanese aimed at completing the railway in 14 months and work began in October 1942. The line, 424 kilometres long, was completed by December 1943. The graves of those who died during the construction and maintenance of the Burma-Siam railway (except for the Americans, whose remains were repatriated) were transferred from camp burial grounds and isolated sites along the railway into three cemeteries at Chungkai and Kanchanaburi in Thailand and Thanbyuzayat in Myanmar. Thanbyuzayat became a prisoner of war administration headquarters and base camp in September 1942 and in January 1943 a base hospital was organised for the sick. The camp was close to a railway marshalling yard and workshops, and heavy casualties were sustained among the prisoners during Allied bombing raids in March and June 1943. The camp was then evacuated and the prisoners, including the sick, were marched to camps further along the line where camp hospitals were set up. For some time, however, Thanbyuzayat continued to be used as a reception centre for the groups of prisoners arriving at frequent intervals to reinforce the parties working on the line up to the Burma-Siam border. Thanbyuzayat War Cemetery was created by the Army Graves Service who transferred to it all graves along the northern section of the railway, between Moulmein and Nieke. There are now 3,149 Commonwealth and 621 Dutch burials of the Second World War in the cemetery.
Penshurst War Memorial soldiers that are buried at Thanbyuzayat War cemetery.
Private Charles Henry Jewell. Regimental No VX18224, who died age 29 on 5th September 1943. Grave/Memorial Reference: A7. C. 12.
Driver Edwin Allen Lindsay Scott. Regimental No. VX40110, who died age 41 on 11th August 1943 Grave/Memorial Reference: A14. R. 9.
Historical Information: The ATHENS MEMORIAL stands within Phaleron War Cemetery and commemorates nearly 3,000 members of the land forces of the Commonwealth who lost their lives during the campaigns in Greece and Crete in 1941 and 1944-1945, in the Dodecanese Islands in 1943-1945 and in Yugoslavia in 1943-1945, and who have no known grave. The site of what is now PHALERON WAR CEMETERY was chosen originally by the 4th Division as a burial ground for Commonwealth casualties of the Greek Civil War (December 1944-February 1945). Subsequently, the military authorities, in conjunction with the Greek Government and the Army Graves Service, decided that it would be the most suitable site for a Second World War cemetery for the whole mainland of Greece. The 23rd and 24th Graves Registration Units and the 21st and 22nd Australian War Graves Units worked together to bring in graves of the 1941 campaign from the battlefields, temporary military cemeteries and from various civil cemeteries. There are now 2,028 Commonwealth servicemen of the Second World War buried or commemorated in this cemetery. 596 of the burials are unidentified. Special memorials commemorate casualties known to have been interred in certain groups of graves in the cemetery, but whose individual graves cannot be precisely located within these groups. Other special memorials commemorate casualties re-buried in the cemetery from original graves which, owing to the destruction of local records, could not be identified. Also within the cemetery is the PHALERON CREMATION MEMORIAL, commemorating 74 men of the army of undivided India who died during the campaigns in Greece and Crete during the Second World War and who were accorded the last rite required by their religion - committal to fire. In the north-east corner of the cemetery, a plot contains the graves of servicemen and civilians who after serving in the Crimean War, died in Greece, and were buried in the Anglo-French Crimean Cemetery, New Phaleron. The graves were moved in 1966 when that cemetery could no longer be maintained.
Penshurst War Memorial soldiers that are remembered at Athens Memorial.
Private Allan Keane. Regimental No VX6710, who died age 21 on 2nd April 1941. Grave/Memorial Reference: Face 11.
Private Henry Allen Quinlivian. Regimental No VX12860, who died age 24 on 19th April 1941. Grave/Memorial Reference: Face 11
Historical Information: The Labuan Memorial was primarily intended to commemorate the officers and men of the Australian Army and Air Force who died while prisoners of war in Borneo and the Philippines from 1942 to 1945 and during the 1945 operations for the recovery of Borneo, and have no known grave. Subsequently it was found that a number of men belonging to the local forces of North Borneo, Sarawak and Brunei who were killed on war service also have no known grave, and they too are honoured here. Men of the Royal Australian Navy who lost their lives in the south-western Pacific region, and have no grave but the sea, are commemorated on Plymouth Naval Memorial in England, along with many of their comrades of the Royal Navy and of other Commonwealth Naval Forces. This memorial consists of a colonnade forming a forecourt immediately inside the wrought iron gates of the main entrance to the cemetery. On the inner faces of the pillars are bronze panels on which are engraved the names of those whom it honours and the dedicatory inscription is on the frieze facing the entrance. Some of those whose names appear on the memorial are undoubtedly buried in unidentified graves in this cemetery.
Penshurst War Memorial soldiers that are remembered at Labuan Memorial.
Gunner Jack Ronald McLeod. Regimental No VX35983,who died age 24 on 9th March 1945. Grave/Memorial Reference: Panel 1.
SYDNEY WAR CEMETERY
Historical Information: This large war cemetery was established by the military authorities in 1942. It contains mainly the graves of those who died in the Concord Military Hospital, either of wounds received in operational areas, or through sickness or accident. The war cemetery was taken over by the Commission in December 1946. SYDNEY WAR CEMETERY contains 732 Commonwealth burials and commemorations of the Second World War. Those members of the United Kingdom Forces who are buried in the cemetery died while prisoners of war in Japanese hands and were cremated. After the war the Army Graves Service arranged for their ashes to be brought by H.M.A.S. NEWFOUNDLAND to Sydney for interment. Among the war graves is that of one civilian died while in the employment of the Admiralty during the war. There is also one French war grave. The NEW SOUTH WALES CREMATION MEMORIAL is within the building which forms the entrance to Sydney War Cemetery and commemorates by name men who died in New South Wales during the Second World War, and were accorded the last rite of cremation in various crematoria throughout the State. Their ashes were either scattered or are buried where proper commemoration is not possible. There are in all 199 names on the memorial. In the rear corner of the war cemetery is the SYDNEY MEMORIAL, which commemorates almost 750 men and women of the Australian Army, the Royal Australian Air Force and the Australian Merchant Navy who lost their lives during the Second World War in the eastern and southern regions of Australia, and in adjacent waters south of 20 degrees latitude, and have no known grave. Men of the Royal Australian Navy lost in these regions who have no grave but the sea are commemorated on the Plymouth Naval Memorial in England, along with many of their comrades of the Royal Navy and of other Commonwealth Naval Forces. The war cemetery is situated within the ROOKWOOD NECROPOLIS, which itself contains 393 First World War burials and 253 from the Second World War. Also within the necropolis is the ROOKWOOD CREMATORIUM, where 127 servicemen of the Second World War, whose remains were cremated, are commemorated. Adjacent to Sydney War Cemetery is the NEW SOUTH WALES GARDEN OF REMEMBRANCE. Over 3,000 of the Commonwealth's First World War dead are buried in Australia, most of them Australians. Many lie singly or in small groups in public cemeteries throughout the seven States, but over the years it has proved impossible to maintain some of these sites to an acceptable standard. To ensure the proper commemoration of those who died as a result of service in the First World War, and indeed subsequent campaigns, Gardens of Remembrance have been laid out in each State. The names of nearly 2,000 First World War casualties appear in these Gardens of Remembrance. The majority are still recorded by the CWGC under the name of the cemetery in which they are actually buried, but a few, the location of whose graves are not known, are commemorated only in the Gardens of Remembrance.
Penshurst War Memorial soldiers that are remembered at Sydney War Cemetery.
Driver John David O'Leary. Regimental No V18909. He died age 31 on 17th May 1945. Grave/Memorial Reference: 2W. C. 9.
KNIGHTSBRIDGE WAR CEMETERY, ACROMA
Historical Information: The defence against Rommel's drive across Cyrenaica towards Suez consisted of a number of irregularly spaced strong points or 'boxes' linked by deep minefields. Those nearest the Axis forces were held by infantry, while those further back served as reserve static positions and as bases from which the armour could operate. The chief 'box', known as Knightsbridge, was round a junction of tracks about 20 kilometres west of Tobruk and 16 kilometres south of Acroma, commanding all the tracks by which supplies came up to the front. The Eighth Army's advance fuelling stations and airfields were at Acroma, El Adem, El Duda, Sidi Rezegh and Gambut, while by February 1941, Gazala aerodrome, taken from the Italians early in the campaign, housed two Commonwealth squadrons. Knightsbridge was thus a key position, and the pivot on which the armour manoeuvred during the heavy fighting which commenced in late May 1942. Fierce actions were fought at all these places, and a battlefield cemetery was created at each for the burial of the dead. The graves of many of those who gave their lives during the campaign in Libya were later gathered into Knightsbridge War Cemetery from the battlefield burial grounds and from scattered desert sites. The men who fought and died with them, but have no known grave, are commemorated on The Alamein Memorial which stands in El Alamein War Cemetery, Egypt. There are now 3,651 Commonwealth servicemen of the Second World War buried or commemorated in Knightsbridge War Cemetery. 993 of the burials are unidentified and special memorials commemorate a number of casualties known or believed to be buried among them. There are 18 Non Commonwealth burials here, including 1 Polish soldier, and 1 non world war service burial.
Penshurst War Memorial soldiers that are remembered at Knightsbridge War Cemetery.
Private Arthur Bernard Schultz. Regimental No VX4897, who died age 37 on 21st January 1941 Grave/Memorial Reference: 7. B. 15.
PORT MORESBY (BOMANA) WAR CEMETERY
Country: Papua New Guinea
Historical Information: After the Japanese landed at Lae and Salamaua in March 1942, Port Moresby became their chief objective. They decided to attack by sea, and assembled an amphibious expedition for the purpose, which set out early in May, but they were intercepted and heavily defeated by American air and naval forces in the Coral Sea, and what remained of the Japanese expedition returned to Rabaul. After this defeat they decided to advance on Port Moresby overland and the attack was launched from Buna and Gona in September 1942. Early in 1942, and almost without resistance, the Japanese established a considerable force and developed a useful base on Bougainville, the largest and most northerly of the Solomon Islands. This they held until Americans and Australians began offensive operations towards the end of 1943, when Bougainville was the only one of these islands remaining in Japanese hands. By August 1945, when the Japanese surrendered, most of the island had been recovered. Those who died in the fighting in Papua and Bougainville are buried in PORT MORESBY (BOMANA) WAR CEMETERY, their graves brought in by the Australian Army Graves Service from burial grounds in the areas where the fighting had taken place. The unidentified soldiers of the United Kingdom forces were all from the Royal Artillery, captured by the Japanese at the fall of Singapore; they died in captivity and were buried on the island of Bailale in the Solomons. These men were later re-buried in a temporary war cemetery at Torokina on Bougainville Island before being transferred to their permanent resting place at Port Moresby. The cemetery contains 3,823 Commonwealth burials of the Second World War, 703 of them unidentified. There is also 1 Non war and 1 Dutch Foreign National burials here. The PORT MORESBY MEMORIAL stands behind the cemetery and commemorates almost 750 men of the Australian Army (including Papua and New Guinea local forces), the Australian Merchant Navy and the Royal Australian Air Force who lost their lives in the operations in Papua and who have no known graves. Men of the Royal Australian Navy who died in the south-west Pacific region, and have no known grave but the sea, are commemorated on the Plymouth Naval Memorial in England, along with many of their comrades of the Royal Navy and of other Commonwealth Naval Forces. Bougainville casualties who have no known graves are commemorated on a memorial at Suva, Fiji.
Penshurst War Memorial soldiers that are remembered at Port Moresby War Cemetery.
Driver Stanley Raymond Thomas. Regimental NoVX51336, who died age 25 on 5th September 1945. Grave/Memorial Reference: C1. B. 26.
Private Melsom Thomas Waller Regimental No.VX142319, who died age 41 on 12th April 1944 Grave/Memorial Reference: B2. F. 24.
Private William Whitehead. Regimental No V160237, who died age 21 on 12th April 1944. Grave/Memorial Reference: B6. E. 24.
Penshurst War Memorial soldier buried at Glenthompson Cemetery.
Leading Aircraftman Cyril Gage Wilson. No 40288, who died age 19 on 13th March 1942. Grave Reference: Presbyterian Plot. Row 4. Grave 82.
GAZA WAR CEMETERY
Historical Information: Gaza was bombarded by French warships in April 1915. At the end of March 1917, it was attacked and surrounded by the Egyptian Expeditionary Force in the First Battle of Gaza, but the attack was broken off when Turkish reinforcements appeared. The Second Battle of Gaza, 17-19 April, left the Turks in possession and the Third Battle of Gaza, begun on 27 October, ended with the capture of the ruined and deserted city on 7 November 1917. Casualty Clearing Stations arrived later that month and General and Stationary hospitals in 1918. Some of the earliest burials were made by the troops that captured the city. About two-thirds of the total were brought into the cemetery from the battlefields after the Armistice. The remainder were made by medical units after the Third Battle of Gaza, or, in some cases, represent reburials from the battlefields by the troops who captured the city. Of the British Soldiers, the great majority belong to the 52nd (Lowland), the 53rd (Welsh), the 54th (East Anglian) and the 74th (Yeomanry) Divisions. During the Second World War, Gaza was an Australian hospital base, and the AIF Headquarters were posted there. Among the military hospitals in Gaza were 2/1st Australian General Hospital, 2/6th Australian General Hospital, 8th Australian Special Hospital, and from July 1943 until May 1945, 91 British General Hospital. There was a Royal Air Force aerodrome at Gaza, which was considerably developed from 1941 onwards. Gaza War Cemetery contains 3,217 Commonwealth burials of the First World War, 781 of them unidentified. Second World War burials number 210. There are also 30 post war burials and 234 war graves of other nationalities.
Penshurst War Memorial soldiers that are buried at Gaza War Cemetery.
Private Charles Nicholson. Regimental No VX14590,who died age 26 on 11th February 1941. Grave/Memorial Reference: A. B. 10.
We have been unable to trace Private K B McLeod. If anyone has any information on this soldier could they please let us know.
We would also like to sincerely thank the Commonwealth War Graves Commission for use of their information on our war dead.
The CWGC can be contacted at http://www.cwgc.org/