Governor honours Australians buried at Harefield Hospital
During the First World War, Australian expatriates Charles and Letitia Billyard Leake offered their manor house, Harefield Park, as a hospital to the Australian Ministry of Defence.
Many of the wounded died and were buried with military honours at nearby St Mary’s Church.
On Friday, 17th March 2017, the Govenror and Mrs de Jersey visited Harefield (St Mary's) Churchyard laying a wreath in memory of the 111 Australian soldiers and one nurse buried in the Churchyard, before laying memorials at the graves of Queenslanders Private Oscar Jones and Gunner William Lingley.
Born in Oxley, Oscar Harold Jones studied at Brisbane Grammar School and joined the staff of the Railway Department before enlisting in 1915.
He saw service in Egypt and was sent to England before being transferred to the 13th Field Ambulance. He was sent to France late in 1916.
He was gassed in February 1917.
In 1918 he was admitted to London General Hospital suffering from nephritis. He was transferred to the 1st Auxiliary Hospital in Harefield, where he died on June 23rd, 1918, and was laid to rest in the churchyard at St Mary’s with full military honours.
William Lingley was working as a wool classer when he enlisted in Roma in September 1916.
He served as a Gunner with the Australian Field Artillery, 2nd Division Ammunition Column.
His parents were William and Alice Lingley, of Muckadilla.
Gunner Lingley survived the war only to die from the influenza epidemic that swept through Europe in 1918.
In October/November 1918, Harefield Hospital suffered its largest monthly number of deaths, all of them due to influenza. Gunner Lingley died on the 5th of November, 1918 aged 27.
The inscription on his headstone reads:
Too far away
For touch or speech
Not too far
For thoughts to reach
Lest we Forget.
The Office of the Governor thanks the State Library of Queensland for their assistance in researching this blog post.