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Keith (aka Mickey) Riley Presbyterian Section 1 Row 7 Plot 21

10th January 1950


Bed Shortage, Says Doctor At Inquiry.

Although ill enough, a young man injured in an accident had not been taken to hospital because of the shortage of beds, according to a doctor at a Magisterial Inquiry at Gosford Court House on Saturday.

The inquiry was into the death on December 17 of Keith William Riley, of Booker Bay, who was injured in a motor-cycle accident early the previous morning.

Dr. George Craig Duncan, of Gosford, said at the inquiry that he had seen Riley at his surgery at about midday on December 16. He then appeared to be suffering from concussion.

Dr. Duncan said that he treated Riley and had told him to return home, go to bed, and lie flat. He had also told him to report his condition to him in several hours.

Later that afternoon relatives had reported by telephone that Riley was vomiting.

Dr. Duncan said he had ordered Riley’s admission to the Gosford District Hospital.


In reply to questions by the District Coroner, Mr. C. J. Staples, Dr. Duncan said:

‘When I first saw Riley, I thought he was ill enough to require admission to hospital for observation, but owing to the acute shortage of hospital beds, it was necessary to observe him at his home for several hours. ‘His people were instructed by me direct to observe certain symptoms, if present, and report them, at once to me. ‘They did so. ‘In my opinion, the cause of death was due to extensive subdural haematoma. There would be a fracture of the skull, in all probability.

‘An X-ray examination would have disclosed the fracture of the skull. I did not at first consider that there was a fracture present.

‘I consider that this boy had all the treatment that could have been given to him in the circumstances.’ The Coroner found that Riley had died at the Gosford District Hospital on December 17 from injuries accidentally received when he fell from his motor-cycle on the Pacific Highway at Niagara Park about 12.30 am on December 16.



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John Dillon Presbyterian Section 1 Row 4 Plot 11


John Dillon

23 August 1940


Whole Gang Struck by

Freight Train

Four Seriously Injured Three men were killed in an accident in the Woy Woy railway tunnel yesterday afternoon. Four others were seriously injured.


John Dillon, 37, married, of South Woy Woy.

Michael Shelley, 47, married, of Punchbowl.

Leonard Munce, 44, married, of Paddington.


Reginald L, Mason, 28, married, of Adamstown;

William Whitten, 31, married, of ‘ Cardiff;

 Andrew J. Blackie, 41, married, of West Maitland;

Angus Blakely, 43, married, of West Wallsend.

They were struck by a north bound freight train 30 chains (A chain is approx. the length of a cricket pitch) from the northern end of the tunnel.

Those killed received frightful injuries. The fireman and driver of the train did not know the

accident had occurred until they were informed by the stationmaster at Woy Woy who stopped the train following a telephone message from the tunnel.


A cap and a hat were found on the front of the engine. For months now, two hundred maintenance employees have been camped near the northern entrance to the Woy Woy tunnel. They have been engaged on laying new rails through the tunnel, which is a mile and 10 chains in length.

The men have been working under dangerous conditions every day in the tunnel and the constant strain shows clearly on their faces. They’re poor men, with wives and children, and they get an extra 6d. each day to compensate them for the danger of the work they do.

Yesterday, the seven members of the ‘muck’ gang ate an early lunch, shouldered their picks and shovels, picked up their acetylene lanterns and marched off into the inky depths of the tunnel.

Ganger Shelley, who was one of the men killed, set the men to work near the middle of the tunnel. A drain was being repaired, cement being mixed on a board. No one knows exactly what happened after that.

work 3

Shortly after 1 p.m. a gang under a man named Kennedy, entered the tunnel from the Woy Woy end. A flag-man stationed at the entrance blew his whistle to give warning of an approaching train, and the men hastened into the tiny alcoves that are spaced at about 2 -chain intervals along the walls of the tunnel. (First Train).

A train thundered by and they moved out. From the other end of the tunnel came another train. Again the men dived for their alcoves as it thundered by. (Second train).

Some minutes later the men again took to the alcoves as another train went thundering through. Thinking the way was clear, the men again emerged from the holes in the wall and followed on. (Third train).

Suddenly, from up ahead, they heard the rumble of another train. Someone yelled , ‘Go for your

lives! She’s broken in two and the end’s coming back towards us!’

Panic took -hold of the gang.

There was a terrific clatter of shovels and smashing wood and men’s cries.

One . man threw himself down in the slush of the gutter alongside the rails; another fought his way to an alcove; another dashed madly back towards the opening of the tunnel; another jumped across to the opposite set of rails only to be hurled clear as he was truck by the side of one of the trucks of the fourth train.


He fell back into the space between the rails, but was not injured.

As the roar of the receding train died away, the men heard moans and cries for help coming from further along the tunnel. Their lights had been smashed in the panic, with the exception of two small lanterns. In the beams of these they saw a gruesome scene.

Every member of the ‘muck’ gang had been struck by the engine of the fourth train. One of the

men was decapitated, another was  so dreadfully mangled as to be almost unrecognizable.

The injured men were lying about everywhere. One, with blood streaming down his face, was vainly attempting to claw his way along on his stomach; another 4 lay very still in the blue metal at the side of the. track; others were strewn around. None had escaped.

The Brisbane Water District Ambulance was summoned from Gosford by telephone. Two ambulance wagons raced to the nearest point to the tunnel. Woy Woy Police and Dr. Delepine, of Woy Woy, arrived at the same time.

Constable L. B. Browne, of the Woy Woy Police, led the rescuers into the tunnel where the four injured men’s mates were lifting the injured onto rail trolleys. They were quickly brought out and along the railway line to a point where the Woy Woy-Gosford Road crosses the creek. Here they were lifted on to stretchers and carried down the steep bank into a waiting ambulance which rushed them through to Gosford and thence to Newcastle Hospital.

The three bodies were recovered from the tunnel later and taken to the Woy Woy morgue where they were identified to the District Coroner by Thomas Abbotson, of Ryde, a member of one of the gangs.

Work in the tunnel was suspended for the day, with the exception of one small gang which went back to make sure that the permanent way was safe for other trains.

An inquest will be held when the injured men recover.








Bruce  Maitland Pryor Methodist Section 1 Row 5 Plot 8

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Newcastle Herald

28 January 1949

Murder Charge

At Bedside

SYDNEY, Thursday. – In a bedside court at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital late this afternoon, William Thomas, 19, who doctors say will never walk again, was charged with having murdered Bruce Maitland Pryor, 24, of Lisarow, near Gosford, on November 25.

Pryor, returning from a visit to his fiancee on the night of November 25, saw an intruder on the verandah of his father’s house. Pryor challenged – the man and pursued him when he ran. The man turned and shot Pryor in the chest.

Pryor died in hospital three days later-the day before he was to have been married.

The morning after the shooting, Thomas was found lying under the railway bridge at Ourimbah.. His back was broken and a rifle was lying nearby. He has been in Prince Alfred Hospital under police guard since. Doctors say he will never walk again. He is paralysed from the waist down.

Thomas was remanded till February 23rd 1943, when the inquest will be held. To-night he was taken to the infirmary at Long Bay Gaol.

 pryors store lisarow

Newcastle Herald

31 May, 1949

Fettler Unfit to Plead!

SYDNEY, Monday. -. Charged with murder, a l9-year-old fettler, whose spine was fractured, was ordered by Mr. Justice Dwyer, in the Central Criminal Court to-day, to be kept in strict custody till he had been dealt with under the      Lunacy Act. : Without leaving the box the jury found that the prisoner, Robert Mathew Thomas, was insane and not fit to plead.

Thomas was carried into Court on a stretcher.

A male nurse sat by him throughout the proceedings. Thomas been bedridden since his arrest: on November 26. Thomas was charged with having murdered Bruce ‘Maitland Pryor. The Crown said Pryor was shot at his home at Lisarow, near Gosford, on November 25, anti died in hospital on December 1; A few hours after Prior was found wounded, Thomas, according to. the Crown, was discovered some distance away, having apparently fallen from a railway viaduct, and had broken his back.


25th  February 1949

 Lisarow Murder: Youth Committed For Trial

 At Sydney Criminal Court Sessions

 Swathed In Plaster He Is Brought Into Court On A Stretcher

 Women Weep As Details Of ‘Felonious And Malicious’ Slaying Are Revealed By Witnesses

 Robert Matthew Thomas, a 19-year-old railway construction worker, will stand trial on March 7 at the Sydney Criminal Court on a charge of murdering Bruce Maitland Pryor, 24-year-old Wyong Shire Council employee and returned soldier, of Lisarow, who was found shot outside his father’s home on November 25 last.

 The City Coroner (Mr M. J. D. Austin) committed Thomas for trial at the conclusion of an inquiry on Wednesday when he found that Pryor had died from a wound1 in the abdomen arid that Thomas’ had ‘feloniously and  maliciously murdered him’.

 Thomas, swathed from head to foot in*plaster, was brought to the court in an ambulance from hospital where he has been since he was found with a broken back under a railway bridge the day after Pryor was shot.

 He listened to evidence from a special bed in court. When Thomas was being carried into court an elderly woman became hysterical and was led away by police officers. Throughout the hearing two women who sat beside Thomas wept frequently.

 Frank Maitland Pryor, store keeper, of Lisarow, father of the dead man, said that his son left home about 9.50 pm on November 25 to take his fiancee, Miss Gladys May Peck, home.

 Pryor said he went to bed and was reading when he heard his son cry out, ‘I have been shot’.

‘I jumped out of bed (and ran to the part of the house where the cry came from’ said Pryor.

He said he found his son lying on the front lawn with both bands across his chest. He was bleeding from a bullet wound in the chest, witness said.

 When he asked hid son who shot him ho replied ‘1 don’t know, dad, but ho went the station way. I’ve had it, dad’. In the hospital his son said, ‘You always look after Glad, won’t you, dad?’

Pryor said his son and Miss Peck were to have been married on Saturday, November 27.

In the ambulance on November 26 Pryor said to his son, ‘They have got the bird. Do you know a chap named Bobbie Thomas?’

His son said, ‘No’.

Pryor said he told his son Thomas was one of the men camped at the Ourimbah (Railway Construction camp but his son said he did not know any one from the camp.

Sgt Brownette (Police Prosecuting staff assisting the coroner) :

‘Do you know Thomas, the man  in court?’

 Pryor: ‘I have never seen him in my life and do not want to see him again’.

Gladys May Peck, machinist, of Pacific Highway, Niagara Park, said she had known the dead man all his life and had been keeping company with him since 1947.

She said she was engaged to him and they were to have been married two days after he was shot.

She said that her fiancée had never spoken to her about a fight with a footballer, or anyone. He was not of a quarrelsome nature.

 He was in good spirits when he left her the night he was shot. Glenda Merle Pryor, trainee nurse, at the Royal Alexander Hospital, Sydney, sister of the dead man, said she saw her brother when he was about to enter the operating theatre on November 26. She was present when he died at 4.25 am on December 1.

 John Henry Cooper, fettler, of Bailey’s Road, Ourimbah, said that at 7.10 am on November 26

he was walking alongside the railway line about half a mile from Ourimbah.

‘I heard a cry for help. I I looked down through the railway bridge but couldn’t see anyone so I sang out ‘Where are you?’

‘I heard another faint cry for help. I looked over the edge of the bridge and saw a rifle’, said Cooper.

 A man (Thomas) was lying  about 6ft away from the rifle, witness said.

winchester rifle

‘When I asked him if he was hurt, he said,  Yes, both my legs are broken and my back’ Cooper said. Thomas told him he had been there all night.

Det-Cons table William Allen  (Gosford I said that, at the Gosford District Hospital on November 25, Bruce Maitland Pryor told him, ‘I was coming home from Gladys’s place when I saw a man standing on the verandah in the darkness.  I thought it was dad but when he saw me he jumped over the verandah on to the lawn.

 ‘I realised then that it was not dad and I ran to the gate to cut him off. Then he let me have it’. Constable Allen said the dead man told him he saw the barrel of a rifle. He thought it was a .22 rifle.

Pryor had said he was shot at a couple of yards range and that he did not have a chance, Allen told the coroner. When asked if he could describe the man, Pryor said, ‘All I know is that he was the same build as dad. He was a stranger to me.

I don’t think I know him. I am feeling tired’.

 Constable Allen said that Pryor said he knew of no reason why any person would want to shoot him. About 7.20 am, Constable Allen said, he went to a railway viaduct about hall a mile south of the Ourimbah railway construction camp.

There he saw Thomas lying on his stomach with his right arm extended at right angles to his body. About 2ft from his out stretched arm was a .32 Winchester repeating rifle. Constable Allen said Thomas had a handkerchief tied around his neck and folded diagonally with the flap under his chin.

 Witness said that when he asked Thomas what he was doing under the bridge, Thomas said. ‘I shot a bloke at Lisarow last night He picked a fight with me a month ago and hit me. ‘I had a couple of plonks in me last night and I went to town to see if I could find him. I don’t know his name. I was out of my mind last night after a drink or two of wine.

 I shot him once. This is the rifle’. Thomas allegedly volunteered.

Allen said Thomas told him his name and said -he was 19 on October 26, 1948.

Thomas said ‘I can’t move my legs and I am stiff,I think they are broken.”

 He said he was wearing motor cycle gauntlets so as not to leave fingerprints on the rifle if he dropped it. Witness said, ‘What is the handkerchief around your neck for?’

Thomas replied, ‘I was using it or a mask’.

 Coroner: ‘Did you ask him how he came to be under the viaduct?’

Allen: ‘No’

Coroner: ‘Apparently no one asked him’.

Sgt E. A. Albury (Gosford) corroborated Constable Allen’s evidence.

  Ralph Anthony Walker, railway fettler stationed at Mount Colah, said that he lived with Thomas in a railway camp at Ourimbah at ‘the time of the shooting.

Between 8 pm and 10 pm on November 25, said Walker, he saw Thomas appearing to fix up his rifle and putting shells in it.

 Thomas went out at 10.50 pm and he went to sleep, said Walker. Walker said he was awakened next morning by a police officer. They went to Thomas’s tent, but he was missing.

Walker said he had been talking to Thomas between 6 and 7 pm. Thomas was then ‘perfectly sober’, said Walker.

 To Mr P. W. Vizzard (Public Defender’ for Thomas, Walker said that Thomas went out frequently at night for rabbits. He had brought some home, he said.

 Detective Sergeant George James Barnes, No. 1 Division of the Criminal Investigation Branch, said that he took possession of Thomas’s clothing at the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, Camperdown on November 26, at 4 pm. He told Thomas he wanted to ask him some questions and Thomas said he would help all he could.

 Thomas said: ‘Where is the other chap now?’

Detective Barnes said he told him Pryor was in the Mater Hospital with a bullet wound in the stomach. Thomas then said to him: ‘I am sorry about that. I am sorry I shot him’.

 When questioned, Thomas said, ‘I had a row with him at a dance some months ago and I went to his house to get square. I hope he gets all right!’

 On January 27, Barnes said, he told Thomas he was to be charged with the murder of Pryor, who died on December 1. When he asked him if he wanted to say anything Thomas said. ‘I can’t remember anything’.

Barnes said he told Thomas that the bail magistrate -Mr McMullen, JP- would be there in a few minutes and he intended  to ask him for a remand until February 23, the date of the coronial inquiry.

 Thomas replied: ‘I will not be there. I can’t walk’. Witness said he told him that the doctors said he was fit enough to attend and that he would be taken to court on a stretcher.

 When charged he again said he could not remember anything about it and burst into tears.

Detective Constable Leslie Arthur Monk, of North Sydney, said that on November 26 at 7.20 am he saw- Pryor being wheeled on a hospital trolley to the operating theatre. A nurse was giving him a blood transfusion.

 Pryor told him he understood that he might die and Monk asked him questions.

Monk said: ‘Thomas stated he I had an argument with you some months ago and he was going  to get even with you’. Pryor replied: ‘No, that is !not right. I do not know him I at all, I have not quarrelled with anyone’.

 Coroner : ‘Robert Matthew Thomas may give evidence if he desires. Mr Vizzard: ‘He does not wish to give evidence. On my advice he declines to answer any questions which may incriminate him. I have no evidence to offer’.

Coroner: ‘This inquiry is to ascertain how, when, where and by what means Bruce Maitland Pryor met his death. ‘It is clear that he received this bullet wound at Lisarow on November 25 and that he died in the Mater Misericordiae Hospital on December 1.

 ‘There is the evidence of the Government Medical Officer, Dr Percy, and Dr Joseph, superintendent of the hospital. They state that the cause of death was a bullet wound in the abdomen.

‘On the evidence before me there is only one finding I can come to, that the deceased met his death from a bullet wound inflicted by Thomas’.


And two years later Glays married someone else.

17 October 1950

Cessnock Eagle and Maitland Recorder



A very pretty wedding took place at St, John’s Church of England, Cessnock, between Gladys May, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Peck of Gosford, to Andrew, second youngest of Mrs. E. Carr and: the late Mr. A. Carr of Cessnock on September 30.

The bride entered the church on the. arm of her father. She was frocked in a satin dress trimmed with lace bodice /peplums and panels on skirt and train. She was attended , by Mrs. Nell Carr as Matron of Honour, and Miss Betty Grant arc bridesmaids. Their frocks were lace over taffeta in apple green and rose pink respectively, with matching picture hats.

The groom was attended by Mr. Carr’s best man and Mr. Allan Peck was the groomsman.

The bride wore a blue crepe beaded velvet the guests at the South Cessnock Hall, where a lovely supper was served. Dancing and singing went on till 10’o’clock when the happy, couple left. for Katoomba, where the honey moon was spent.


Point Clare Cemetery War Graves

two same numbers

Point Clare Cemetery War Graves

Until the mid 1950’s all returning servicemen and women could if requested by the family, receive the honour of a beautiful white marble or brown granite headstone courtesy of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission. There are in total 23 Official War Grave Headstones that are the traditional headstones, maintained by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (They maintain, weed and clean them annually).  After sometime in the 1950’s they ceased to issue the stone headstone and reverted to a brass plaque to commemorate the War dead.

The stone headstones are made of the white marble from South Ulam in Queensland and is used for Australian war graves throughout the world. South Ulam marble is a metamorphic rock that is created from limestone after it has been subjected to extreme heat and pressure. The size of the calcite crystals in South Ulam marble has been determined by the amount of metamorphism it had been exposed to.

Marble that has been exposed to higher levels of heat and pressure generally have larger calcite crystals than it would have otherwise. These over sized crystals is what makes these war graves sparkle the way that they do.


There are also brown stone war graves at Point Clare Cemetery, they are made from a stone called Trachyte, which is a fine grained form of granite from the Southern Highlands near Bowral NSW.

The Commonwealth War Graves Commission assures me that they do not make mistakes when it comes to the War Graves at this or any other cemetery and that their records are a true and correct reflection of what is at ground level at the site. I beg to differ. There are mistakes as to the number of stones/what they are made of, service numbers of the soldiers and the details on the stones (like the age when the soldier died).

For the number of mistakes in this cemetery alone, Point Clare is by no means one of the largest cemeteries in the country, one can only imagine how many other mistakes there are on stones in other cemeteries around Australia.


The Commonwealth War Graves Commission’s records reflect that there are seven white Marble stones and that the rest are of the brown trachyte granite. As you glance around Point Clare Cemetery you will see several of the white Ulam Marble  war grave stones and it will not take you long to count more than seven of the white ones. My estimate is there is thirteen of the white marble stones all up. But there is an even more curious mistake amongst these war graves but I will get to that a bit later. Including one that is not on their official list (P. J. Wells). It is to our benefit that there are more of the white marble stone than the brown trachyte one as the white stones just sparkle and gleam back at you.


Not all of the people in these graves made a name for themselves in the local paper, which is my primary source of information for all of this cemetery some of the following is information gleaned about these some returned soldiers from either the local paper or their war service records. I will in time add to this list and attempt to find information about all 23 of these returned service men. There is no particular reasoning as to why someone gets a white or a brown headstone, but there is an effort to conserve some of the white marble as it is a finite resource reserved for the Commonwealth War Graves in other countries.

There is only one stone that was erected during the wars (either WW1 or WW2) a brown trachyte stone. This is the grave of Reginald Thompson, a 16 year old Naval cadet who went AWOL and committed suicide in the bush up at Somesby in the summer of 1919.

Reginald Thomas enlisted 19 August, 1918, His service record is only 2 pages long, he had “Straw” coloured hair fair complexion and blue eyes. He was 5 foot 4 inches tall. He has a scar on his right  third finger on the inside. He died on or about 14 January, 1919. The navy approved an expenditure of £10 in respect for his funeral and that money was forwarded to the Next of Kin. That is the extent of his service record.

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Reginald Thompson       Aged 16                14/1/1919

Methodist Section 1       Row       1              Grave 9

Service number                6793                 Brown Trachyte Military Stone

20th February 1919

Sad Suicide Case.

Naval Trainee Strangles Himself.

About 6 p m. on Thursday last Ernest Gambling accidentally came across a body suspended from a dry tree limb at Somesby about 50 yards off the main road. His attention was drawn to the spot by a horse rug which was also hanging from the tree.

He immediately rang up the police, and Sergeant Morris proceeded to the spot. The body was dressed in a striped cotton shirt, dark tweed coat and black sailor trousers. A pair of heavy boots with cashmere socks was lying close by.

There was also a bundle of sailor clothes near the spot bearing the names ‘ H. M.  A..S. Tingara ” and  R. W. Thompson.

The body, which was badly decomposed, was suspended from the tree limb by a cord attached to the boy’s neck. It was not sufficiently long to permit of any drop, and the lower portion of the body was practically resting on the ground.

In the breast of the coat pocket the Sergeant found a leather purse containing 17s Id.

Subsequently the body was identified by Mr. Robert Parsons and Mr. Henry Clarke as that of a lad named Reginald William Thompson. Deceased spent a portion of his Christmas holidays at Mr. Parsons’ place, and towards the end of his stay Mr. Parsons stated that the lad became very despondent and did not wish to return to the H.M.A.S. Tingara, where he was a naval trainee.

On Saturday an inquest was held at the Courthouse by the District Coroner, Mr. R. J Baker.

Mr. John W. Thompson, of Camperdown, stated that deceased was his son, aged 16 years and 8 months, and had been a trainee on the Tingara about six months. The lad had been on a holiday, spent at Mr. Parsons’ place, Somersby, and returned home on the 5th January.

He was due to return to his ship on the 13th and left home that day with his kit all packed up, and the parents were under the impression that he had gone back to the boat. But instead, the boy took train to Gosford and walked to Somersby, where during the night he secured a couple of rugs and lantern from the residence of Mr. Parsons, and, going into the bush about 300 yards away, nailed one of the rugs (a horse rug) to a tree.

Later on, probably next day or night, he placed his sailor uniform cord around his neck, the end tied to the limb of a tree, and in this determined way strangled himself.

The body was not found till a month later. A verdict was returned that the deceased died fron suffocation wilfully caused by strangling himself on or about the 14th day of January, 1919.

The remains were interred in Point Clare cemetery

thompson stone

Service record for Reginald Thompson

scanlon map

Patrick Joseph Scanlon                  20th September, 1924,                   Aged 40 years

Service number                                3682                       Brown Trachyte Military Stone

Roman Catholic,                               Section 1             Row 3                    Plot 1

Enlisted in 1917, aged 33 years. Was 5 foot 6inches tall with a fair complexion and auburn/red hair. His record notes his above the knee amputation (right leg) that happened after his term of service. He had been wounded in action, shot in the heel (again right leg) whilst serving. That injury to his heel and any further medical attention required for that heel was under the auspices of Veteran Affairs. Veteran Affairs appear to have paid for the false leg even though the heel injury was no more.

scanlon stone

25th September, 1924


On Saturday morning last, the death, occurred at the residence of his mother, Mrs. McCarthy, Gertrude Street, Gosford, of Mr. Patrick Joseph Scanlon, aged 40. He was a native of Quirindi, but had resided for some time in this district, and enlisted from Gosford for the A.I.F.

He served in the 33rd Battalion, and was wounded at the front in the ankle, and also gassed.

After his return to Australia he was thrown from a train while in charge of some horses returning from Canterbury Races; and a train passing on the next line severed one leg. He was a well-known figure about Gosford of late years, and many friends regret death, and express sympathy with relatives.

 Mr. Scanlon (who was generally known as McCarthy, his mother having married a second time) leaves a widow and a son nine years of age. Another son died at the age of five months while Mr. Scanlon was away with the A.I.F. The deceased ex-soldier had been ill for some time, and during –last week became much worse. Medical attention was given, but death came from heart failure. The funeral moved to Point Clare Cemetery on Sunday and was very largely attended.

The Rev. Father Donovan performed the last rites; and a number of wreaths were laid on the casket. Returned soldiers attended in uniform, and six of their number acted as pall-bearers.
25th September, 1924


SCANLON.— September 20th, 1924, at the residence of his mother, Gertrude Street, Gosford, Patrick Joseph Scanlon, aged 40 years.


Service record for Scanlon

Henry Doggrell

Henry Doggrell                 10/11/1949         Aged 60

Service number                4681                    White Marble Military Stone

C of E                                  Section 8             Row 7    Plot  M3

Henry Doggrell enlisted in July 1915, He was an Englishman born in Dorsett, near the town of Shaftsbury.  He was 26 years and 10 months. He had a fresh complexion, blue eyes, and brown hair. He was 5 foot seven inches tall. He was Church of England. He arrived in England by August 1916. He was wounded in action by March 1917 with a gunshot wound to the left leg/thigh. He returned to Australia by April1917. He was Medically Discharged August 1917. Awarded a pension of £3 per fortnight.

doggrell stone

11th November 1949

Man Collapses and Dies In Garden –
Henry Doggrell, 60, collapsed and died in his garden at his home at 75 Hill Street, Gosford, yesterday afternoon about 5 o’clock. Brisbane Water Ambulance officials were told that Doggrell was chipping grass when he collapsed. Doggrell, who was a returned soldier, was a member of the Gosford Buffalo Lodge, of which he was a K.O.M. (Second highest rank)

Mr R. H. Creighton, of Gosford, will conduct the funeral to Point Clare Cemetery today.

The Royal Antediluvian Order of Buffaloes (RAOB) is a fraternal organisation which assists members, their families and charities. It has a tiered structure, with a Grand Lodge, Provincial Grand Lodges and Minor Lodges. Originating in Drury Lane, London, in 1822 when a group of actors set up various lodges as they toured the country, it is now active globally, particularly in former parts of the British Empire. In Sydney the first recorded meetings date from 1882.

45th battalion                                  

Service record for Henry Doggrell

wo both rave

Haines and Kissell

Both Service Number 2624

Both these men are returned servicemen from the First World War. Both of these men survived the ordeals of what the war threw at them. Both of these men received the honour of receiving a beautiful white marble headstone courtesy of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.

John Albert Haines                                         27/3/1947            Aged 75

Service number                2624                       White Marble Military Stone

 C of E    Section 5             Row 2    Plot 32

He enlisted in May 1916, aged 44 and 5 months… He was 5 foot 6 inches tall… 13 stone…Dark hair eyes grey with a dark complexion… He embarked August 1916 and served in France for 18 months…He caught the flu which turned into Bronchitis, was unable to train and was a medical discharge 23/12/19  He was a Bootmaker by trade… Ran the Blackwall Post Office he played cricket… was good friends of the Singleton and Buttwell Families… he took Gosford Council to court over the appointment of a staff member without applying the correct procedures… and was the first Secretary of the Woy Woy Branch of the RSL.

There are three mistakes about this stone, one is his age at death… if you do the maths based on his war service record he was 75 not 80 when he died. The cut off age for the Army Service was 45 years, maybe Haines shaved off 5 years when he joined and the family put forward the correct details (?).

The other two mistake are possibly his service number as stated on the stone and that the War graves Commission has it listed as a trachyte stone not white marble.

haines stone type

The following article from the local paper is about his son.

13th February 1930


Mr. and Mrs. J. A. Haines, of the Blackwall Post Office, have every reason to feel proud of their son John Haines junior, who is employed at the Standard Weighgoods Works at Clyde, was successful in the fitting and machinery section of the recent technical examinations, and shows good promise of making big strides in the engineering world.

Haines’ War Service Record

kissell stone

George Henry Kissell     22/5/1951            Aged 60

Service number                2624                    White Marble Military Stone

 C of E    Section 8             Row 12               Plot 18

Enlisted 30 June, 1915… He was living in Bathurst NSW… He was aged 25 years 1 month… He was a labourer. He was 5 foot 4 inches tall… He had a fair complexion, grey eyes and brown hair… He was Church of England He embarked from Australia 9/8/15… He had trouble with his teeth that required medical intervention… He reported to the venereal diseases hospital four times… Was transferred to the cycle Corps and went AWOL four times… was sent to France in January 1916… Sent to London in October 1917 went AWOL again four times… was sent to France in November 1916… wounded in Action January 1917… He went AWOL five times… wounded in Action a second time in October 1917… he kept up his AWOL ways and was finally charged with desertion, he was court marshalled and sentenced to 3 years at Pentonville Prison in Greater London on the 4th November 1918 (one week before the war was declared over 11/11/1918.) he was released from gaol on 21/7/19 and deported to Australia on7/9/19… there is a big stamp on his war service record “Not Eligible For Medals”.

Kisssell’s War Service Record

This is where these two returned service men have a historical crossing over by having the same identical service numbers. Service numbers are to be allocated to each individual and are generally not supposed to be reused. But during WW1, this pre computer/non centralised data based era, it was common for multiple servicemen to have the same number.

These incidences of multiple men having the same service number happened once someone with the number died during the war, the service number was reissued. Usually they would add a ‘A’ before the number to denote that it was a reissued number however sometimes they did not.

two same numbers

In the case of Haines and Kissell, in this instance, it looks like a mistake of some sort of administrative type. Haines died in 1947 and Kissell in 1950 (or 1951), both servicemen well after the Wars (both of them WW1 and WW2). Also what are the odds of someone being buried within 50 meters of the other out of the 160,000 who enlisted in WW1, with the same service number.

digger 2

By having a good look at the service records using the links provided Haines has some red pen adding as number 2624 on the front of his file, but my money is on Kissell being the true 2624 although in 1936 on page 7 of Kissell’s record it is noted in handwritten scrawl “No record of 2624 Kissell G. E., 4th Battalion – Is this the man?”. (Note the red pen on Haines records page 5…the service number looks like a later addition) So even at the time of the records being written there was some degree of confusion about these men.


James Lawrence Popplewell      23/11/1941         Aged 63

Service number                5760                       Brown Trachyte Military Stone

RC but buried C of E        Section 5             Row 1    Plot 18

James Lawrence Popplewell was born in New Zealand and Enlisted February 1916… He was 36 years and five months old and married… a cook and baker by trade… he was Roman Catholic, he has a vaccination scar and it is noted “that he is giving no trouble”. Embarked for Europe in June 1916, was in England with Bronchitis in Dec 1916. He was transferred to France, October 1917 and very quickley wounded in action in October 1917 by a shell wound to the Left shoulder and buttocks and repatriated to England. He was medically discharged in October, 1918.

popplewell stone

Popplewell’s War Service Record


C.E. McIntosh 16/7/1947            Aged 61

Service number                1639                       White Marble Military Stone

RC but buried C of E        Section 3             Row 3    Plot 75

C. E, McIntosh 29 years and 1 Months of age when he enlisted in June 1915… he was 5 foot 3 inches tall, ruddy complexion with blue eyes and dark brown hair… He had a scar below both knees and a mole between the shoulders… He was a Baker/ Cook by trade… There is a wife noted, but then a further note states that she is dead…Arrived December 1915 ANZAC… sent to VD Hospital in Suez January 1916… in September 1916 Invalided to Australia medically unfit due to VD… In 1957 his son and lost contact with his father and was in Callan Park Mental Institution. The army had to inform the son that his father had died some 5 years earlier.

ce mac

McIntosh’s War Service Record

And just when you think the Commonwealth War Graves Commission has made a further mistake there actually is another McIntosh C. in the graveyard.


macintosh 2

C. McIntosh                 16/7/1940            Aged 65

Service number                956                         Brown Trachyte Military Stone

Presbyterian                      Section 1             Row 4                    Plot 28

Charles McIntosh enlisted in February 1915 and has a very low service number with only three digits was 39 years and 7 months of age… he puts his trade as Steel Smithing… he had previously seen battle action with the South African Volunteers… he was 5 foot 10 inches tall, dark complexion, dark eyes and dark hair… He was Presbyterian… In September 1917 he had a gunshot wound to the chest… He was discharged in March 1918… In 1940 there seemed to be a hitch with his estate. There is a letter requesting  the locations of the witness’s to his Will, that he wrote whilst in the Army. The Army had to write back to inform them that both of the witness’s to his Will had been killed in Action.

c mac

C.McIntosh’s War Service Record


ellison map

Alexander William Ellison                           28/6/1943            Aged 64

Service number                252                         White Marble Military Stone

Church of England                                           Section  5            Row 3    Plot  72

Alexander William Ellison enlisted just one month after the beginning of World War 1 in August 1914, hence is extra low, three figured service number.

He was born in Adelaide and was 36 years 3 months of age… He was 5 foot 5inches tall with brown hair brown eyes… He was a horse Groom… He was a Trooper with the 6th Light Horse He was Church of England… Enlisted august 1914… Went to Malta… Caught Dysentery at Gallipoli…  August 1915… December 1915… Medically discharged June 1916 Suffering from nervousness, very weak, loss of flesh, diarrhoea and recommended for further treatment. 2 months convalesce. He was married to Agnes Ellison who applied for a Widow’s badge in March 1945 to be told that they did not make them anymore.

Commonwealth War Graves commission has this stone in their records as a trachyte granite stone.  

ellison stone

Ellison’s War Service Record

12th July 1917
Language of the Trenches.
The following is a list of words or phrases used in the trenches in Flanders :—
Aussie ( “Ozzy”):                     An Australian soldier.
Tommy or Choom :                An English soldier.
Jock :                                           A Scotch soldier.
Zealand :                                   A New Zealand soldier. (Call him Pig Island if you would make him wild.)
Fritz :                                          A German soldier.
Savee :                                        Do you know.
Compree :                                  Do you understand.
Imshi :                                        Clear out.
Backshee :                                 Something for nothing.
Chatty :                                       Affected with trench vermin, known as chats.
Clink :                                         Gaol
Bird :                                           Prisoner.
Quack :                                       The army doctor.
Swinging the Lead :                Evading service ; malingering.
The Heads :                              Those in authority.
Dead Meat Tickets :               Identification
Tray Bong :                               Very good.
Hickory :                                    Be off.
Barometer                                Gas helmet.
Tin Hat :                                     Steel helmet.
Shooting Stick :                        Rifle.
Ham and Chicken :                 Ammunition.
Mills’ Pills :                               Mills’ hand grenades.
No. 9 :                                          Pills ordered by the army doctor.
Freak Villa :                              The cook-house.
Babbling Brook :                      The cook.
Iodine Villa :                             Where the doctor rests his patients.
Army Nervous Corps :           Service Corps. ,3V
Dinkum Oil :                             Straight information.
Napooh Mafeesh :                   The finish.
Dopey :                                       Silly.
One-star Artist :                      A second lieutenant.
Tanks or Oases :                      Army boots.
Mad Mick and Banjo:             Pick and shovel.
Knocked :                                  Wounded.
Skittled :                                    Killed.
To get a Blighty :                     To be wounded and sent back to England.
Home and Dried :                   Safe and sound.
Hop Over                                  To go over the trenches towards the enemy.
Iron Rations for Fritz :          Shells for the enemy
Comfort                                     Funds Shells.
Fags :                                           Cigarette.
Step the Gutter :                      Pass the butter.
Jack Scratch                             Got a match
Wandering Jew :                     Stew.
Dodger :                                     Bread.
Possie :                                       Position.
Digger :                                      A West Australian.
Jack, Charlie, Mac. :              A handy name for anyone.
Dag :                                           A character, a ‘ hard case.
Windbag :                                A talker out of his turn.