Wondai resident Noel Selway at the grave of Ferdinand Henry Burow and his wife … the gravestone also records the death of their son Heinrich Burow who anglicised his name to Henry Burrows to fight in the Great War. Henry died of his wounds on March 31, 1918, and lies in the Godewaersvelde British Cemetery in France where he is recorded as a “native of Memerambi, Queensland”
A studio portrait of Private Henry (Harry) Burrows taken circa June 1917 … his grave is overseas but his death is remembered at Memerambi Cemetery (Photo: AWM)

April 18, 2016

“Thank you for your service. Lest We Forget”

With these words another red poppy was solemnly placed on a serviceman’s grave at Memerambi Cemetery.

Wondai resident Noel Selway is making certain the next generation doesn’t forget the sacrifices made by Australian soldiers, sailors and air force personnel, and the children from Wooroolin State School seem keen to assist.

Noel has a great interest in local and military history. He has organised the annual Reserve Forces Day Parade in Wondai every year since 2006.

He is also bandmaster for the Wooroolin State School bugle band, which plays an important role at Anzac Day commemorations.

This combination led to the special excursion by Years 4-6 students from Wooroolin State School to Memerambi Cemetery on Friday.

Noel has been researching the cemetery and has located the graves, or commemoration plaques, for at least 44 World War I and World War II service personnel – a large number for such a small cemetery.

He admits there may be even more service graves, especially veterans from other conflicts, so his research is continuing.

The Wooroolin students were each handed a folder containing the names and service records of two or three veterans.

They then searched through the cemetery until they located the correct grave, solemnly thanked the veteran and placed a red poppy on the headstone.

Noel said this was the first time students from Wooroolin State School had taken part in a poppy ceremony at the cemetery and they “did well” for their first go at it.

His research into local history is continuing … he says there are eight military graves at Tingoora Cemetery and 165 at Wondai.

Year 5 student Caleb Thomas, 10, placed a poppy on the grave of former World War II serviceman William Frederick  Schloss, formerly of the 2/12 Infantry Battalion
Year 4 student Blake Thomas, 9, at  the grave of  World War I returned serviceman Henry William Blythman who served with the 39th Infantry Battalion
Students from Wooroolin State School search for military graves amongst the peaceful setting of Memerambi Cemetery

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