Servicemen to finally be honoured

BUNBURY military historian Jeff Peirce has launched a campaign to honour 11 World War I servicemen buried in unmarked sites in the Bunbury Cemetery.

Mr Peirce and the Bunbury Cemetery have located the sites where Sven Erick Gustaf Carlsson, Edward Patrick Delaney, Phillip Hay, William Henry Jones, James Patrick McNamara, William Morgan, John Haigh Moughtin, Bertie Davey Old, Geodfrid Paulson, Edward Robinson, and Felix Leonard Simons were laid to rest.

Mr Peirce said he, the Bunbury Returned and Services League, and the cemetery board have planned to hold official ceremonies for the 11 on December 5, and have called upon each servicemen’s descendants to attend. The ceremonies will see family members formally unveiling the headstones.

Mr Peirce said the ceremonies would give people the chance to acknowledge the sacrifices made by the servicemen.

“I was always aware, while building the Bunbury War Heroes website, that the last link in the chain would be to examine the vacant grave sites,” Mr Peirce said.

“We are looking to alert the community that these servicemen are there. “It’s imperative that anyone who signs up, wears a uniform, and represents our nation is acknowledged in some way.” Three of the soldiers will be granted official Australian War Graves.

The other eight will receive headstones reminiscent of those standing in France and Belgium, all featuring bronze war service plaques with the Rising Sun emblem. The plaques have been donated by Bunbury Cemetery board manager Pieter DenBoer. Mr Peirce presented the idea to Western Australian Premier Mark McGowan in August, who pledged his support for the initiative.

Federal Member for Forrest Nola Marino recently provided grants to South West projects acknowledging the 100th Anniversary of the Armistice. The Tenth Light Horse Bunbury Troop received $4,364 to preserve their uniforms while the Bunbury Historical Society was given $3,475 for a public event.

For more information, contact Mr Peirce on 0407440497.

Source: Bunbury Mail