Australians in the Boer War
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Hint: This site is intended as a search aid - not a definitive source. It is essentially an index to documents that seem to relate to this person plus a very brief precis of relevant elements. Sources often conflict and I also flag things with a ? when I am unsure. So if the information below is important to you, then please check the original sources to see what else they contain (and in case I have inadvertantly introduced transcription and/or precising errors). There can be additional information that was not included in the database for both space and copyright reasons.


 

Surname MORRISBY
Given Name(s) or Initial(s) Frank Edward
Regimental Number 1184
RankCoy. QM Sergeant
Unit Name 1st Australian Commonwealth Horse (Tas)
StateTas
Extracts and Comments
(from Sources as shown)

Murray: 'E'Coy. died disease 25.6.1902.
Watson: 1TMI died Klerksdorp Queen's South Africa medal and 3 clasps.
Robertson: born 1874 Glenorchy Tas. clerk Hobart Gaol Private 1TMI died on service 25.6.1902 Klerksdorp War Memorial Bellerive.
Robertson: photos, kicked by horse just after peace declared, died of hepatic ulcer.
URL3: MORRISBY FW war memorial Launceston Tas.
URL3: war memorial Hobart Tas.
B4418: clerk & accountant aged 27 from Bellerive Tas., born in Gelnorchy next of kin father in Bellerive, 1st Tas. Contingent 26.10.1899 - 8.12.1900.
URL6: Boer War Victims. TASMANIAN SOLDIERS' GRAVES. The Guild of Loyal Women of South Africa have forwarded to the Tasmanian branch of the Victoria League a detailed statement of the attention shown to the graves of Tasmanian soldiers who fell in the South African war. It may be noted that the aim of the Victoria League is to attend to the graves of the soldiers who succumbed, to injury or disease in the South African campaign, and also to supply the State schools of Tasmania with libraries tending to create and foster an Imperial spirit. According to the list forwarded, the graves of Captain SALE and Lieut. WALTER, in Petersburg cemetery in the Transvaal are provided with suitable stone monuments. Privates LETTE and WADLEY are interred at Pretoria, their graves being distinguishd by a guild cross. Private MCLAREN lies in Balmoral, with a granite stone and slab railing to mark the spot. Private WEBER's grave in Johannesburg has a marble monument, enclosed by a handsome fence. QMS MORRISBY's interment at Klerksdorp is remembered by means of a marble monument, and Lance-Corporal ORR is buried at Retport. In Cape Colony are the graves of Privates PHEGAN and DOOLIN at Dordrecht. Some confusion has arisen over the first-named, as the name has been spelt FAGAH; but in a despatch at the time the commanding officer reported that Private PHEGAN, whose relatives live at Zeehan, but formerly resided at Forth, was buried with full military honors at Dordrecht. Private DM LYNE is buried at Norval's Pont, where his name appears on the monument and grave, and the last resting place of Private PITT in the same ground is marked by a small marble slab and guild cross. Private HUTTLEY's grave at East London has a small marble slab to mark the spot, and a guild cross is the distinctive mark over the graves of Private COWELL (Delfontein) and Private WARBURTON (Cradock). The last in the record is that of Private TW BARKER, from Penguin, a guild iron cross denoting the place of his long sleep at Delfontein. It must be a comforting thought to the relatives of the deceased that sympathetic friends are preserving their graves from being neglected.
URL7: Major MORRISBY was then [5.6.1905] decorated with the [Queen's South Africa] medal by Lady Edeline STRICKLAND, and the other medals were distributed as follows - Lieutenants CRA CHALMERS, HA SHAW, RHT STOURTON (The latter of the 1st Scottish Horse had five bars to his medal.) QMS JL WHITHAM, Corporal C SMITH, Lance-Corporals AE PAGE, CM RAPP, GS MITCHELL. Troopers JJ AITCHESON, W AITCHESON, A BELLETTE, GL CLARKE, BC FOX, CV FERGUSON, FT GILL, L HUSBAND, WG HAINES, AV HAMILTON, A LEWIS, B LEWIS, GB LAMB, T MORTYN, HW MANNING, WL ROGERS, TW REYNOLDS. Clasps for "E" Company 1st Battalion Australian Commonwealth Horse. Lieutenant WR BARWISE 1901 and 1902 South African clasps. Lieutenant H RIGGALL (1 medal, Transvaal and 1902 clasps). CSM T BRYANT, 1902 clasp. QSM FE MORRISBY 1902 clasp*, Sergeant G LADE 1902 clasp. Fr.-Sergeant AJ LETTE, 1901 and 1902 clasps. Corporal CR STOREY, * 1901 and 1902 clasps. Lance-Corporal RV LAWSON, 1901 and 1902 clasps. Troopers AE COSTELLO, 1901 and 1902 clasps; MJ CORRIGAN 1901 and 1902 clasps; LA BARNES, Transvaal and 1902 clasps; TJ JOHNSON, 1901 and 1902 clasps; G MORLEY, 1901 and 1902 clasps. * Deceased.
URL8: THE SOLDIERS' MEMORIAL, an imposing ceremony. For the first time in its history Launceston yesterday [10.11.1902] witnessed the ceremony of laying the foundation of a memorial to soldiers, who were its citizens, and had fallen by wounds or disease on the battlefield. Yesterday was the first anniversary of the reigning monarch since he was crowned, and the first celebration of the kind since South Africa became British territory, hence the occasion was very appropriate for laying the stone to the honor of some of those men who gave their lives in the struggle, which has assured British supremacy in what has long been known as the 'Dark Continent', but may now look reasonably for a peaceful future. The names of the northern Tasmanians who died in fighting for the present peace are to be engraved on a worthy monument in the City Park. The corner stone of the structure was laid yesterday in the presence of a large and deeply interested crowd, and with a duly impressive ceremony. The intended monument has already been described. It is to be executed mainly in Tasmanian brown stone, and besides containing effigies of men in khaki will be surmounted by a winged figure, probably in white marble, representing the Commonwealth, in the consolidation of which the sending of contingents to the war did much more than is often mentioned, for it quickened the aspirations of the people for a national life. The ceremony commenced shortly before 11 in the morning, when a detachment of infantry, under Lieutenant-Colonel MARTIN and headed by the Headquarters' Band, marched into the Park, and ranged up facing the site of the monument. Colonel CAMERON accompanied the military, and his appearance was greeted with cheers. The Mayor was present to perform the ceremony, and amongst the prominent citizens in attendance were most of the city aldermen, Senator JH KEATING, Messrs. RJ SADLER, P MCCRACKAN and SJ SUTTON MHA's, Canon BERESFORD, as chaplain to the forces, Rev. H JONES MA and others. The Headquarters' Band played the 'Dead March' from Saul very impressively, while all the assemblage stood with bowed beads, after which the Mayor declared the stone well and, truly laid, and said - Colonel CAMERON, officers and men, and ladies and gentlemen, some three years ago, on October 27, 1899, the first contingent of Tasmanian soldiers went away to South Africa; they were under the command of Colonel (then Captain) CAMERON, and they embarked from this place. (Cheers.) From time to time other contingents have left us on the same mission, the men who left us totalling 835 in number. But, alas! of that gallant company 27 will never return home again; they lost their lives as heroes in the cause of the Empire in that far off land. The birthday of his Majesty the King is being celebrated today and this has been thought a fitting time to lay the foundation stone of this memorial, which is to be raised by the people Launceston and the northern part of the State, out of respect to our fallen soldiers, and with a feeling of respect for their relatives, many of whom are here to witness this ceremony. By this monument we will show that those heroes are not forgotten; their names will be graven here, and handed down to history to be an example of patriotism to the rising generation. It will be, I Hope, some little consolation to the sorrowing relatives to know that we have thus remembered our heroes. (Cheers.) Colonel CAMERON, who was received with loud applause, then delivered a stirring address in which be referred to the work done by the army in assuring peace in South Africa. Some of their fellow-citizens had laid down their lives in that cause, their graves, and those of many other gallant men, were dotted over a vast territory, measuring a quarter of the Empire to-day, which their blood had brought under the sway of Britain, and the freedom only enjoyed under the Union Jack. (Cheers.) Colonel MARTIN also spoke, referring to the pride and respect with which citizens of generations to come might look upon the memorial, which would, he hoped, move them to live up to a high and healthy ideal of national life. (Applause.) The band then played the music for Kipling's 'Recessional Hymn', in which portion of the military, conducted by Sergeant-Major DRANSFIELD, and the public joined vocally, and the National Anthem, and the firing of a salute, terminated the proceedings. The names to be cut on the tablet are as follow - First Tasmanian Contingent, killed Corporal HA BETTS, Privates E BAILEY, A BUTTON, A GILHAM. Died of enteric Privates TW BARKER, H BLACK, T GALVIN, RP PITT, RP DOOLIN. Died of peritonitis Private J BUTLER. Tasmanian Bushmen's Contingent - Killed Private ER JACSON. First Imperial Contingent - Killed Lieutenant CH WALTER, Private P MCLAREN. Died of wounds Captain AA SALE, Private GH BROWN. Enteric Privates LFJ LETTE, WA WADLEY. Second Imperial Contingent - Killed Lance-Corporal J ORR. Died of wounds Private JE WARBURTON. Enteric Quartermaster-Sergeant DM LYNE, Privates FG COWELL, LP HUTTLEY. Dysentery Private P PHEGAN. 'E' Company, Third Battalion Australian Commonwealth Horse. Died of enteric Private AE FITZALLEN. Hepatic abscess Quartermaster-Sergeant FE MORRISBY. Died of pneumonia on the Drayton Grange Privates C CUNDY and VL HODGMAN. The hon. secretary (Mr HC LITTLER) is especially anxious to get in the names of those Tasmanians that unattached to any of the island contingents, fell in the Empire's service in South Africa. The foundation stone bore the inscription - 'This stone was laid by FK FAIRTHORNE, Mayor of Launceston, November 10, 1902.' Under it were placed copies of the two daily newspapers, a printed record of the sending of the contingents, and the usual official memoranda. A sum of 8 16s 6d, in response to an invitation by the Mayor to those present to give further donations to the memorial fund, was laid on the stone before the gathering dispersed.
URL9: THE LIFE OF FRANK MORRISBY. A public meeting was held in the Town Board room, Bellerive, last evening [25.8.1902] for the purpose of arranging for a suitable memorial to the memory of the late Quartermaster-Sergeant Frank E MORRISBY, who recently died at Klerksdorp, Transvaal, South Africa, after undergoing an operation on June 28, 1902. There was a good attendance of residents, Captain ST TINNING, chairman of Town Board of Bellerive, presided. Mr P FACY read apologies from the Commandant (Colonel WV LEGGE), Hon. NJ BROWN MHA, Hon. WW PERKINS MLC, Revs. WA GANN and FB SHARLAND, Messrs PJ KEATING, WG EADY (who forwarded his subscription of 1 1s), JC MITCHELL, Sergt-Major BRIANT, of 1st AC Contingent, all of whom promised to assist in the undertaking. The Chairman, in opening the meeting, referred to the sad loss the town had recently sustained, and said the deceased, through his kindhearted and manly disposition, was beloved by all who knew him. Mr AO GREEN proposed, - "That, in the opinion of this meeting, it is desirable that a memorial be erected in the town of Bellerive to the memory of the late QM-Sergt. Frank E MORRISBY, who recently died at Klerksdorp, SA." In moving the resolution he spoke of he sacrifices made by Australians and Tasmanians in upholding the Motherland in her recent war in South Africa, and regretted that necessity had arisen to erect a monument to the memory of one of our townsmen. Mr P FACY seconded the resolution, and stated that Bellerive town had sent 16 to the front, of whom all had returned excepting Frank MORRISBY. Mr TA REYNOLDS spoke feelingly of deceased, and the high esteem in which his father and family are held throughout the district. Mr GW ALLWRIGHT, Mr ET TINNING, and Dr. L HORDEN, also supported the resolution in a few appropriate remarks. The resolution was carried unanimously. Mr TA REYNOLDS moved, and Mr MCDERMOTT seconded, - "That the following residents and others constitute the committee of the Morrisby memorial fund for the purpose of carrying out the objects of the meeting - Captain ST TINNING (chairman), GW ALLWRIGHT, (hon. treasurer), P FACY (hon. secretary), JL ROBERTSON, H O'MAY, R NETTLEFOLD, OR TINNING and WG EADY and Sergeant WJ FACY 2nd TIB with power to add to their number," Carried unanimously. General discussion then ensued as to the form which the memorial should take, this being left to the future consideration of the subscribers to the fund. The meeting then adjourned. A meeting of the committee was afterwards held, when it was decided to prepare and distribute subscription sheets throughout the district.
URL10: OBITUARY. The news of the death of QMS MORRISBY at Klerksdorp, from abcess of the liver, came as a great surprise and shock to his wide circle of friends and acquaintances. The fourth son of the respected Council Clerk and Sub-Inspector of Clarence, deceased had held the position of clerk at HM Gaol, at Hobart. When the call was made on the colonies for troops, Frank MORRISBY, or "Sancho" as he was familiarly called, resigned his position, and enlisted under Colonel (then Captain) CAMERON. He went through some stirring times with the gallant Colonel, and on completion of the contingent's service in South Africa returned to Hobart. But the martial spirit was too strong in him to permit of his settling down to a humdrum life, and he again joined the forces and returned to South Africa with the rank of QMS. Of robust build, hardy looking, and well set up, he was one of the last men one would think of being knocked down by disease. Many were expecting to hear good accounts of him from the seat of war, and his sudden and much-to-be- lamented death has come as a great shock to all. Wide sympathy is expressed for his family.
TasNews: Tasmania's portion of the First Commonwealth Contingent [departed aboard 'Manchester Merchant' 16.2.1902] - Captain PERCEVAL in command. Lieut. GE REID (with rank of captain), paymaster, Lieut. H RIGGALL and BARWISE. Company-SM BRIANT. QMS MORRISBY. Sergts. LADE and TILLEY. Farrier-Sergt. LETTE. Corporals SMALLHORN and STOREY. Lance-Corporals LARNER and LAWSON (paid), Lance-Corporals MANNING and WILLIAMS. Saddler BARNES. Shoeing-smiths COSTELLO and BRANSGROVE. Bugler KENT. Privates - CS BROWNE, AC BROWNLEY, W BERWICK, NF BLACKFELLOW, AA BLYTH, WA BROOKE, MC BLACKETT, JH CLARKSON, TR CROOKS, MJ DUNLOP, TF DUNLOP, AE DINEEN, E FITZALLEN, FA FITZGERALD, GR GOURLEY, JL GOYEN, J GUERIN, EL HAIGH, AM HEPBURN, HL HANIGAN, HOPKINS, A JOYCE, JJ JOYCE, C JEPSON, JT JOHNSON, M LLOYD, HA MORGAN, HJ MARSHALL, RA MORLEY, J MCCRAE, M MCINNES, WA MCGUIRE, FSB OWEN, WH PITSTOCK, AE PEGG, LL REARDON, CM RICHARDSON, F SHADWICK, AH SWIFTE, CW WARD, G WILLMOTT, JL WILLIAMS, EO WILLIAMS, E WHITE, HE WRIGHT.
Source References
Murray: Official Records of the Australian Contingents etc. page(s) 568 576
Watson: Heroes All - Tasmanian Casualties in the Anglo-Boer War 32
Robertson: Not for Self but Empire page(s)
B4418: National Archives of Australia series B4418
Launc. Exam.: Launceston Examiner newspaper date(s) 15.1.1902 NwAdv: 7.10.1908
Hbt. Mercury: Hobart Mercury newspaper date(s) 30.6.1902 & 6.6.1905
Launc. Tele.: Launceston Daily Telegraph newspaper date(s) 11.11.1902
TasNews: Tasmanian News (Hobart) newspaper date(s) 17.2 & 26.8.1902
External Link URL1www.hagsoc.org.au/sagraves/nmcdb/nmcdb-search.php
External Link URL2www.skp.com.au/memorials/pages/70031.htm
External Link URL3www.skp.com.au/memorials/pages/70076.htm
External Link URL4www.hagsoc.org.au/sagraves/photos/memt0002.php
External Link URL5nla.gov.au/nla.news-article35471478
External Link URL6nla.gov.au/nla.news-article65165548
External Link URL7nla.gov.au/nla.news-article12305469
External Link URL8nla.gov.au/nla.news-article153967540
External Link URL9nla.gov.au/nla.news-article176636185
External Link URL10nla.gov.au/nla.news-article9584451


Please email me if you can contribute any other relevant information about this person (eg any other military service, where in Australia they came from or when/where they died). Also, if you find an external link broken.


Apology: For some time now it has been difficult to keep up with the newly available sources (especially the Trove newspaper site) plus the flow of contributions and queries. So I have been forced to prioritise maintenance and data entry over replying to correspondence. Nevertheless, your contributions are being added to the database and acknowledged on the contributions page and, although my replies are many months behind, I will attempt to get to them more often.
 
Colin Roe
Canberra

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