Commonwealth War Graves Commission records list seventeen First World War servicemen that were interred in the Warringal (or Heidelberg) Cemetery.
With just two exceptions of men who died in camp, all died in 1919 or later and after returning from the Western Front – the lateness of the deaths coincided with the establishment of a Military Ward (later Ward 12) at the Austin Hospital post-war to assist with the repatriation of wounded or sick soldiers.
ALMEIDA, Henry Aged 33, died 25 November, 1920. He had been a professional soldier at the Queenscliff Barracks for seven years on enlisting, serving initially as Gunner with Siege Artillery Brigade and returned in December, 1916 with pleurisy and was discharged as medically unfit. Despite this, he managed in October, 1917 and served as 1169, Corporal, 36 Heavy Artillery Brigade.. He was hospitalised in England with bronchitis and admitted 5 Australian General Hospital in St. Kilda Road with bronchitis after his return in May, 1919. The Australian War Memorial does not record the location of Almeida’s demise, but a family Death Notice reveals it was at the Military Ward of the Austin Hospital. A brother in Ballarat was noted as next of kin.
“ALMEIDA-On the 25th November, at the Austin Hospital Heidelberg (military ward), Henry (Lob) the beloved husband of Amy Harriett, brother of Florence (Mrs Young, Dunolly),William (Ballarat), Thomas (Deniliquin), and and stepfather of Charles Lacey, late of Royal Australian Artillery and 36th Battery, Heavy Siege Artillery, A.I.F. Queensland papers please copy”. The Argus, 26 November, 1920
ANDREWS, Edward Mariner Aged 26, died 19 April, 1921. Served as 3005, Private, 58 Infantry. The circumstances of his demise are not clear as died after the official disbandment of the A.I.F. and is thus not included in the official casualties. The only report of an illness on his archives was an admission with trench feet In January, 1917 and he returned to Australia as part of the normal repatriation process. Commonwealth War Graves record confirm his burial in Warringal Cemetery. Born London, he nominated an aunt in England as next of kin and was living at Horsham when he enlisted.
ARMSTRONG, Joseph Michael Aged 22, died 11 May, 1915. He was a Private at the A.I.F. Base Depot at Broadmeadows and died in the camp hospital from meningitis. His mother Annie was at 74 Yarra Street, Heidelberg and enquiries by the Repatriation Department post-war as to his father revealed Armstrong was an illegitimate child and his father had never contributed to either the child or his mother upkeep. His internment in Warringal was probably because of his mother’s local residence; most that died in either the Broadmeadows or Seymour camps were buried in the Pine Ridge Cemetery, Coburg – the CWGC lists around 175 such graves. (See Heidelberg Honour Roll).
BARNES, Herbert Alexander Aged 29, died 3 July, 1920. Served as BARNES, William James (his father’s name) , 6135, Private, 14 Infantry. He contracted tuberculosis while in France and died of the disease after his return. (See Heidelberg Honour Roll). He was single and in Geelong when ne enlisted, but by the time of his death, he was married with his widow in Heidelberg
BISHOP, Franklin Hepburn Aged 39, died 17 September, 1919. 2645, Trooper, 13 Australian Light Horse. He was returned to Australia from Egypt early in 1918 suffering from tuberculosis, suggesting it was probably Macleod Sanatorium where he died. He was buried in Warringal Cemetery and his widow was in Barker’s Road, Kew
BUCKLEY, Herbert Aged 42, died 24 May, 1920. 15180, Sapper, 3 Division Signals Company, Australian Engineers. Noted as dying at the Austin Hospital for Incurables, but no indication of the cause of death. He suffered a gunshot wound to the scalp in October, 1917 but returned to depot duty in England before arriving home in July, 1919. He was in Malvern on enlisting.
FLYNN, Lawrence Aged 39, died 24 November 1919. 2579, Private, 46 Infantry. He was in and nominated his next of kin in Ireland . He served at Gallipoli for around a month before being returned to Egypt suffering from dysentery and colitis. He re-joined his unit in March, 1916 but was hospitalised on two more occasions; with septic sores to the left hand, and then with boils to the knee and was returned to Australia and discharged in October as medically unfit due to general debility. Flynn died from consumption in the Austin Hospital. He enlisted as a labourer from Heywood.
GIDDENS, Charles Frederick Aged 37, died 29 March, 1920. Served as 1162, Private, 14 Infantry. Giddens was admitted to hospital in Cairo in January, 1916 diagnosed with pulmonary tuberculosis and returned to Australia in March. He was noted as dying in the Austin Hospital and is included on the AWM Honour Roll, but again there is no record of treatment in Australia. His parents in Kew were listed on embarkation.
GRASS, Forrest Harold (served as GLASS, Jack) Aged 27, died 7 September, 1919. Served as 3032, Driver, 5 Engineers, Enlisted July, 1915 after previously been rejected because of poor eyesight. He returned in April, 1919 after being hospitalised in England for several months with enteritis and influenza. His death is noted on his archive, but not the location. His parents were in nearby Templestowe.
HAMILTON, James Gibson Aged 46, died 17 March, 1921. 4227, Private, 8 Infantry, returned to Australia in September, 1916 and admitted to 11 AGH in Caulfield suffering from neurasthenia (what we think of today as chronic fatigue syndrome (there is a vague allusion to the complaint triggering an ageing process and causing a functional derangement of the nervous system. His mother in Moonee Ponds was listed as next of kin.
HOWE, Francis Martin Aged 40, died 22 November, 1919. He served as 244, Private with the Australian Naval and Military Expeditionary Force in the islands to the north of Australia. He returned from Rabaul in September, 1919 and died at 11 AGH in Kooyong Road just on two months later, the cause not stated, but is noted that he suffered an attack of malaria in August before returning. His mother in Gore Street, Fitzroy was listed as next of kin
OSBORNE Eric Claude Aged 20, died 20 July, 1915. Private, A.I.F. Force Training Depot. He was in training just 14 days before dying of cerebro-spinal meningitis at the Seymour Camp. It was noted he died just 24 hours after being diagnosed with the disease and he was one of 256 serviceman that died locally of the disease between the middle of 1915 and the following year. His parents were at Lower Templestowe.
PORTER, William Stanley Aged 27, died 16 April, 1921. 2652, Private, 60 Infantry. He was noted as seriously ill with a gunshot wound to the left hip and leg in July, 1916. The leg was subsequently amputated and he arrived back in Australia in September, 1917, but again nothing is recorded after his return other than the standard “died after discharge”. His parents were in Abbotsford when he enlisted.
SCHULZ, John Pritchard Aged 32, died 3 December, 1920. Served as 12411, Driver, Australian Army Service Corps Motor Transport. He was noted as suffering from influenza when he returned in March, 1919 and died at the Mont Park Military Hospital. While Mont Park concentrated on patients with psychological disorders, there was a general purpose wing added during the war years.
TIERNEY, Joseph Aged 38, 15 June, 1919. He served as 1989, Private, with the Australian Army Medical Corps at 2 Australian Auxiliary Hospital in England. He was somewhat unusual in that he was South Australian, but enlisted in Melbourne. He died in the Austin Hospital from tuberculosis after being treated in England for the disease. His was one of the few circulars returned for the group that were interred in Warringal and his mother suggested he had served in the Boer War, but there is no record of a Joseph Tierney in Australian records.
WILLIAMS, Stanley Joseph Aged 20, died 20 November, 1915. From Alphington, he is included in both the Heidelberg and Darebin Honour Rolls and he may be the untraced entry of “J. S. Williams” on the Ivanhoe Memorial. Williams was attached to 4 Field Artillery Brigade Reinforcements, but died in the 5th Australian General Hospital in St. Kilda Road after contracting peritonitis and appendicitis whilst in training at the Albert Park camp. He was admitted to hospital on 18 November, 1915 and died two days later.
The remains of one other local serviceman of some fame, Cedric Ernest Howell also rest in Warringal Cemetery.
He was killed in air crash whilst on a flight from England to Australia in 1919 and originally buried in India, but at the request of the Australia Government, Howell’s remains were later exhumed and brought to Melbourne on the s.s. Brescia, which arrived on 19 April, 1920.
Captain Cecil Howell was buried the following day with full military honours at the Warringal Cemetery, Heidelberg, the cortège attended by a firing party and gun carriage. His death, however, was not attributed to war service and he does not appear either on the AWM Honour Roll or in Commonwealth War Graves Commission records.
While the seventeen services at Warringal were obviously significant for the families, the Cemetery was a relatively minor compared to the Coburg General Cemetery some three miles along Bell Street to the west.
In War Graves Commission terms, this was known as the Coburg Pine Ridge Cemetery and some 174 servicemen were interred there. Many of these were men in training at the Broadmeadows or Seymour Camps who succumbed to diseases (especially spino-cerebral meningitis) or died as a result of accidents before embarking for overseas.
A Roll is being prepared with an abbreviated background of these men and should be posted by mid-October.