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Remembered Today:

'Grave in Blighty'


Andrew P
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Found the following article in 'Reveille' The publication of the New South Wales Returned & Services League from 1935.

1st Battalion Original Grave in "Blighty"

'A number of articles describing the graves erected in memory of Australian soldiers who died on active service have appeared in "Reveille" from time to time, and the series furnished by the State President (Mr L.A.Robb) were of intense interest.

However a type of grave which does not appear to have been mentioned is that subscribed for by the Diggers during the war in memory of a particular pal. Such a grave is that shown in the appended photo, and as the inscription states, was created in 1917, to the memory of 325 Alan N (Monty) Andrews, C.Q.M.S; 53rd Battalion, AIF, by the Sergeants of the 14th Training Battalion. The grave is in the St. Edith's Church Cemetery Baverstock, near Hurdcott, England, and about 30 graves of Australians surround it.

CQMS Monty Andrews enlisted in August 1914 at the age of 19, and was No.325 in C Coy of the 1st Battalion, being a Corporal in the Platoon of which the late E.R. (Paddy) Larkin, ex-M.L.A, was Sergeant. He took part in the Landing, and although badly shaken at the Lone Pine battle by an explosion, came through the full Gallipoli campaign to the evacuation without being wounded. Upon the formation of the 5th Division he was posted to 53rd Battalion as C.Q.M.S.

The headstone, which is of beautiful white marble, stands four feet high. The grave has a border of marble, and is covered with marble chips. Artificial wreaths were placed on it in 1917 by the members of the band, by the officers and men of the 14th Training Battalion, and by his brother, Keith, of the 20th Battalion AIF.'

Unfortunately the photo in the article is very small and the details on the grave can't be picked out very well. If anyone lives nearby or is going to the cemetery in the future it would be interesting to know if the original headstone described is still in place.

Here's a photo of Monty from the Australian War Memorial

post-43-1155702983.jpg

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  • 2 weeks later...
A photo of Monty's Headstone is held by Matthew Smith of the Australian War Graves Photographic Archive, I will write to him for a copy and post it on this thread.

http://www.australianwargraves.org/

Peter Bennett

UK Coordinator AWGPA

Here is Monty's Headstone, courtesy of the AWGPA. Sadly it has deteriorated from the original description.

post-7183-1157005083.jpg

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  • 7 months later...

The headstone appears to have had a clean-up since Peter's photo was taken. I visited a Pal in Fovant yesterday for a guided tour of the WWI sites and I had specifically asked to go to Baverstock churchyard; the day before she emailed to say that a member of Monty Williams' family was also in the locality, so we all met up; the headstone is now immaculately white.

He also noted that another grave's headstone had been replaced, and the new one bore the legend "Australian Imperial Force" rather than "Australian Imperial Forces" as on older ones.

We had a great day, viewing the Fovant camp-sites from the top of Compton Down. One field has never been ploughed because of obstructions left over from the camps, and one could make out where the huts (removed in the early 1920s) had been. We also visited one hut that had been removed to a private site; it didn't seem in bad shape, its wood being better than that on my 31-year-old house! The owner said that sooner or later he would have to dispose of it, rather than keep patching it up, so if anyone wants a restoration project...

A few seconds in a field where the hospital had been yielded several "likely-looking" bottles. And a couple of sleepers from the camp railway have recently come to light.

post-6017-1178023578.jpg

All in all, a great day.

Moonraker

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Moonraker, is it possible that you took a close-up of Monty's refurbished headstone, as the AWGPA would be very grateful for an update.

Thanks

Peter

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Moonraker, is it possible that you took a close-up of Monty's refurbished headstone, as the AWGPA would be very grateful for an update.

Thanks

Peter

Ah, Peter: you catch me out; the photo was not taken by me (not that I claimed it was) but by Monty's relative, who is currently in the UK but based in Australia. The Forum was recommended to him, so he may pick up this thread in due course. However I'll try to get a email to him (indirectly) to see if he can help with a close-up.

Moonraker

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Moonraker, is it possible that you took a close-up of Monty's refurbished headstone, as the AWGPA would be very grateful for an update.

Thanks

Peter

Peter: Another Pal has sent me this, which looks pretty good.

Moonraker

post-6017-1178212777.jpg

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Here's a scan of the original article. The photo of the original grave is small but some details can be made out.

post-43-1178251082.jpg

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Peter: Another Pal has sent me this, which looks pretty good.

Moonraker

Thanks Pal

Peter

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