Murgon State High School's 2014 school captains Geoffrey Kinsella and Kirsten Upton at the Murgon Mermorial ... the pair flew out to Europe today with a delegation from the South Burnett (Photo: Liz Caffery)

April 27, 2014

The South Burnett contingent heading to the Netherlands to mark the 70th anniversary of the death of Murgon World War II hero Flight Sergeant Patrick Tiernan flew out from Brisbane today.

The group, led by South Burnett mayor Wayne Kratzmann and including members of the Tiernan family, Murgon students, RSL representatives and historian Liz Caffery, will visit several war cemeteries in Belgium before heading to Dodewaard for Dutch Remembrance Day on May 4.

Every year of May 4, Dodewaard locals visit the graves of Tiernan and fellow airman Alfred Burns who died when their Halifax bomber exploded mid-air while returning to England after a raid on a Ruhr fuel factory.

South Burnett Deputy Mayor Keith Campbell told the Kingaroy Anzac Day service on Friday the bodies of Tiernan and Burns were only located after a nine-year-old boy in Dodewaard saw the plane come down.

That boy is still alive and will meet with the South Burnett delegation at the Remembrance Day ceremony.

* * *

On May 1, just prior to the Tiernan Memorial Day, the group will travel to the Menin Gate at Ypres, the Buttes New British Cemetery at Polygon Wood and the Tyne Cot Cemetery and Memorial where they will place red poppies beside the names or graves of the fallen who have South Burnett connections.

These soldiers have remained in silent repose – in marked or unmarked graves or acknowledged only by names inscribed on a memorial wall – for almost a century.

Julie Foley, from the South Burnett Regional Council, has been collecting names and details from local residents who have relatives in one of these three locations in Belgium.

As well, research has been carried out concerning the names on each World War 1 Roll of Honour listed on local war monuments.

Most of the men and women from the South Burnett died at Gallipoli, the Somme in France or in Flanders Fields in Belgium.

Approximately 30 names from the South Burnett are listed on the Menin Gate which means they perished in the appalling battles around Ypres and Passchendaele and their bodies were never found or identified.

* * *

Some of the local soldiers the delegation will be honouring with red poppies:

BLACKBUTT

  • Edward Felix Tardent – Private 42nd Battalion. Died Belgium. July 31, 1917 (18 years)

BROOKLANDS

  • Wesley Buttsworth  – Private 17th Battalion. Died October 9, 1917 (32 years)

GAYNDAH

  • Frank Lacey Sweet – Private 15th Bn Infantry. Died Belgium. September 27, 1917  (25 years)
  • William Clarence Turnbull – Private 25th Bn. Died Belgium, October 4, 1917 (26 years)
KINGAROY

  • Jens Christiansen – Corporal 26th Bn Infantry. Died Belgium. October 9, 1917
  • Lawrence Cross – Private 25th Company Australian Machine Gun Corps. Died Belgium. October 5, 1917 (22 years)
  • Augustine Morrissey – Private 28 Bn. Died Belgium, September 20, 1917

KUMBIA

  • Walter William Andrews, Private 41st Bn. Died Belgium. July 31, 1917 (26 years)

KUNIOON

  • Daniel Potter – Private 9th Bn. Died Belgium. September 20, 1917

MURGON

  • William George Armstrong – Private 47th Bn Infantry. Died Belgium June 8, 1917  (43 years)
  • Arthur Frank (Alf) Caswell – Private 9th Bn. Died Belgium October 7, 1917 (22 years)
  • Philip Ted Kluck – Private 52nd Bn Infantry. Died Belgium. September 26, 1917
  • Luke Pringle – Lance Corporal 52nd Bn Infantry. Died Belgium. June 7, 1917 (28 years)
  • Charles Harold Raistrick – Private 11th Company Australian Machine Gun Corps. Died Belgium October 14, 1917 (33 years)

NANANGO

  • Francis Delta Atkinson – Private 41st Bn. Died Belgium. October 5, 1917 (19 years)
  • Ernest (G) Hosier – Private 42nd Bn Infantry. Died Belgium. October 4, 1917
  • Harold Fortunatus Hoult – Private 47th Battalion. Died Belgium, September 30, 1917 (25 years)
  • John Hunter – 49th Battalion. Died September 26, 1917 (21 years)
  • William McMonagle – Private 16th Battalion. Died Belgium. September 27, 1917 (21 years)
  • George Sealey – Private 26th Battalion. Died October 4, 1917 (26 years)

WONDAI

  • James Henry Mason – Private 42nd Bn. Died Belgium
  • Charles McCormack – Private 42nd Bn. Died Belgium. July 31, 1917
  • Frank Slade – Private 49th Bn. Died Belgium. June 7, 1917
  • George Theodore Stuckey – Private 26th Bn. Died Belgium

WOOROOLIN

  • Christian Johannsen Jessen – Private 47th Bn Infantry. Died Belgium. June 7, 1917 (25 years)

YARRAMAN

  • James William Thompson – Private 41st Bn. Died Belgium. October 10, 1917

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