• Date: 30/04/2019
  • Cemetery: GMCT Home

Anzac Day at GMCT was a chance to honour the thousands of Australians and New Zealanders who served and died during World War I, and all others past and present who have served their country.

An initiative of Friends of Williamstown Cemetery saw flags placed at hundreds of graves of local service men and women and a guided tour of the cemetery to share the area's local history.  

Members of Friends of Williamstown Cemetery placed flags at hundreds of graves of former service men and women from the Boer War, WW1 and WW2.

To mark April 25, below we share the stories of some service men and women interred at our cemeteries and memorial parks. Lest we forget. 

Arthur Poole Lawrence (1893-1966)

+ Map of Arthur's grave at Templestowe Cemetery

Arthur Poole Lawrence, born in 1893 to Alfred and Edith Marion Lawrence. He graduated from Melbourne University as a doctor in 1916 and enlisted with the rank of Captain that same year. Lawrence had a lucky escape travelling from Melbourne to England in 1917. He was on the ship HMAT Ballarat when it was torpedoed and sunk, but all 1752 people on board were rescued.

During the First World War, Lawrence served with the field ambulance and as medical officer to various battalions in France until he was struck down with trench fever and hospitalised. Trench fever was a relatively serious disease transmitted by body lice known to afflict many soldiers serving in the trenches during this period.

Captain Lawrence earned his Military Cross for his involvement in the Australian attack on Montbrehain in France in October 1918. He was in charge of the stretcher bearers and under heavy enemy shelling, he organised the rapid retrieval of wounded soldiers by devising the safest routes for stretcher bearers to work effectively. In 1920, he joined the Point Cook Flying School in Victoria and later moved across to the RAAF as a Flight Lieutenant, where he decided to specialise in ophthalmology.

He retired from the RAAF and set up a private practice in Collins Street in 1935. He was later recalled to the RAAF during the Second World War as a consultant.

Lawrence’s career was a unique in the sense that he spent such a large part of it in the armed forces, while also practicing as an ophthalmologist. His competence in logistics and planning was what had helped him earn his Military Cross, and it was his steady approach to his work that enabled him to succeed in private medical practice as well.

Lawrence and wife Amy Moxon Beck had five children and lived in Kew, where Lawrence passed away in 1966. Both are buried at Templestowe Cemetery.

James Henry ‘Jarlo’ Wandin (1896-1957)

+ Map of Jarlo's grave at Healesville Cemetery

James Henry 'Jarlo' Wandin, born to parents Robert and Jemima Wandin in 1896. Jarlo was a descendant of William Barak, a notable Aboriginal leader of the Kulin tribe. Jarlo’s father Robert was influential in the development of the Coranderrk Aboriginal Station at Healesville, fighting for the station after it was threatened with closure. Wife Jemima was one of five older Aboriginal people refusing to leave when others were transferred.

Jarlo married Elsie White, who unfortunately died before they had any children, however he remarried Olive Morgan and they had nine children together. Jarlo served in the First World War as a sapper in the 1st Australian Signal Corps. He was sent overseas in 1917 and served in France and England.

After falling sick, he returned to Australia and was discharged as medically unfit in 1919. Once back in Victoria, Jarlo worked as a linesman around Healesville for the Postmaster Generals Department. He died in 1957 and was buried at Healesville cemetery.

- Compiled with the assistance of the Healesville and District Historical Society.

Edward Renata ‘Tip’ Broughton (1884-1955)

+ Map of Tip's grave at Fawkner Memorial Park

Edward Renata ‘Tip’ Broughton was born in New Zealand in 1884 to a sheep farming family. Tip enlisted in 1915, served at Gallipoli, and went on to fight at the Western Front with the Maori (Pioneer) Battalion. He migrated to Australia after the war, arriving in Melbourne in 1926.

In 1940 he enlisted in the Australian Imperial Force. During World War II, Tip was the first commanding officer of the ‘Dunera Boys’. The 'Dunera Boys' were a group of German and Austrian Jewish refugees who were transported from Britain to Australia in 1940 and enlisted in the Australian armed forces. Tip was known for his devotion to the men he commanded, learning German phrases, respecting Jewish culture and helping to restore their faith as free men.

He was considered a humane leader: well-liked and intelligent, with a great sense of humour. Later in his life, Tip temporarily lived in Darwin before returning to Melbourne where he died in 1955. He was buried at Fawkner Memorial Park.

The RSL restored Tip’s grave in the early 2000s and erected a headstone, marking the occasion with a special ceremony.

Charles Joseph Killham (1897-1951)

+ Map of Charles' grave at Werribee Cemetery

Charles Joseph Killham was born in Newcastle on Tyne in England in 1897.

Killham came to Australia with his parents as a baby and fought in both World Wars, only to later lose his life in a tragic road accident. Killham was working in Swan Hill, Victoria as a labourer when he originally enlisted as a Private in the armed forces as part of the 6th Infantry Battalion - number 5420.

Surviving the war, Killham headed home to work at the railways in Geelong. In World War Two he served in the Middle East until he was discharged in 1944.

In 1951, Killham died in a hit and run accident near Werribee. He was travelling with his friend Robert McKean when a vehicle travelling on the wrong side of the road caused McKean’s car to swerve and overturn. The driver did not stop and police were unable to find the person responsible. Killham was a beloved member of the local Werribee community.

He had attended the Werribee RSL club for 10 years and his funeral service was attended by railway workers and members of the club, who formed a guard of honour for his cortege. Killham was buried at Werribee Cemetery.

May Dickson (1880-1917)

+ Map of May's grave at Coburg Cemetery

Sister May Dickson was the first Australian woman to be buried with full military honours. Dickson was born in Australia and educated as a nurse in Queensland. Not long after the First World War broke out, Dickson went to England and joined Queen Alexandra's Imperial Military Nursing Staff. She was 37 years of age when she died at Military Hospital in St. Kilda Road, Melbourne. She was en route to Sydney, where she was returning home after falling ill abroad.

A Daily Observer story described the scene at Dickson’s funeral in October 1917: “The scene was most impressive, and among the large crowd which witnessed the carrying out of the solemn rites many were deeply affected. As the cortege passed slowly from the Base Hospital along St. Kilda road, and up Elizabeth Street to the Coburg Cemetery, the strains of the Dead March in Saul caused women to weep unaffectedly and men to uncover their heads reverently.”