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 BUTTON
Given Name(s) or Initial(s) George Rowland
Regimental Number 1691
Unit Name 5th Victorian Mounted Rifles
Extracts and Comments
(from Sources as shown)

Murray: Lance Corporal killed in action at Wilmansrust on 12.6.1901.
Price1: War Memorials Anakie Box Hill Ballarat Canberra.
Kopje: photo in Anakie State School.
5VMR QSA Roll: Left Wing, Queen's South Africa medal and 3 clasps (CC OFS & Tvl) killed 12.6.1901.
B5179: born 1876 a state school teacher from Anakie next of kin in Camberwell Vic.
URL4: memorial erected 29.1.1901 at Anakie State School where L/Cpl. BUTTON had been Head Teacher.
URL5: Cpl. died aged 25 at Wilmansrust 12.6.1901.
URL6: died 12.6.1901 at Wilmanrust, sister in Bendigo Vic.
URL7: In Memoriam notice.
URL8: 5VMR photos.
URL9: GEELONG, Saturday [7.12.1901]. A mural memorial tablet to the memory of Lance-Corporal BUTTON, of the fifth Victorian contingent of bushmen, who was killed at Wilmansrust on 12.6.1901, has been erected in the school-house at Anakie. The tablet is worked out of richly polished Sicilian marble, affixed to a black enamelled background and bears a suitable inscription. It was erected from subscriptions raised amongst the deceased's friends at Anakie.
URL10: Fifth VMR Memorial to Fallen Comrades opposite to St. Kilda Barracks ... The following is the list of names appearing on the tablets, together with the addresses, which we have obtained from official sources - Captain J KELLY, Melbourne. Lieutenant SR COULTER, Ballarat. Lieutenant JG CHRISP, Frankston. Lieutenant AG JOHNSTON, Hawthorn. Lieutenant AE MURPHY, Colac. Medical Officer HA PALMER, Ballarat. Sergeant AGK BUCKINGHAM, Yea. Farrier-Sergeant JF HOULIHAN, Collingwood. Corporal RPN ROBERTSON, Portsea. Corporal H HARRISON, Collingwood. Corporal H NEWLANDS, Prahran. Lance-Corporal AE BURLEY, Ballarat. Lance-Corporal HJ BOXALL, Melbourne. Lance-Corporal GR BUTTON, Anakie. Lance-Corporal HC HADLEY, Fitzroy. Lance-Corporal TS ROSS, Williamstown. Shoeing-Smith A HOUGHTON, Inverleigh. Shoeing-Smith AE SPOWART, Dean's Marsh. Shoeing-Smith RM THORNTON, Kilmore. Shoeing-Smith F RANKIN, Police Barracks, Melbourne. Privates SJ BARNARD, North Brunswick; EH BLANDFORD, Bendigo; L BOND, Longwood; FH CAUGHEY, Bairnsdale; J CHARLTON, Euroa; J COLLINS, Mumbannar; J COSTELLO, Dunolly; AB DAVIDSON, Moe; FG DOW, Balaclava; G GLENN, South Melbourne; LJW GOUDIE, St. Kilda; RG HARRISON, Mathoura NSW; WJ HEALEY, Melbourne; HH HENTY, Lyndhurst; HV HEWINS, Brighton; WW JAMES, Nagambie; HS LAMB, Sale; HJ LAWRENCE, North Carlton; AE MACK, Jolimont; TH MAHONEY, Darraweit Guim; J MCCANN, St. Kilda Road; J MCCORKELL, Queensclilf; MT MCDONALD, Yinnar; J MCNALLY, Carapooee; E REISENAUER, Armadale; EJ ROWE, Elsternwick; W SAULTRY, Port Melbourne; WA SMITH, Sutton Grange; GW STRATTON, Mooroopna; R TOPHAM, Yapeen; E VALPIED, Toora; NA WATSON, Pomborneit; J WHELAN, Glenhuntly; JE WHITE, South Melbourne.
Argus: The following is the official list of Victorians killed at Wilmansrust as received from London 19.6.1901 - Surgeon-Lieutenant HA PALMER, Ballarat. Private GW STRATTON, Mooroopna. Private FJ SMITH, Anakie. Private EH BLANDFORD, Huntly. Corporal H NEWLANDS, Chapel Street, Prahran. Private RM THORNTON, Kilmore. Farrier-Sergeant JV HOULIHAN, Collingwood. Lance-Corporal GR BUTTON, Anakie. Private L BOND, Longwood. Private SJ BARNARD, Brunswick. Private LJW GOUDIE, Marlton Crescent, St. Kilda. Private EJ ROWE, Charles Street, Elsternwick. Private HH HENDY, Lyndhurst. Corporal H HARRISON, Francis Street, Collingwood. Private WA SMITH, Sutton Grange. Private R TOPHAM, Danks Street, South Melbourne. Pivate J COLLINS, Magpie, near Ballarat. Private AE MACK, Jolimont. Private H SMITH.
Melb. Age: Lance-Corporal GEORGE ROWLAND BUTTON, whose name is amongst the killed, was a State school teacher, of 25 years, from Anakie, near Geelong, when he enlisted in the Fifth Contingent. Since joining, on 14th February this year [1901], he was promoted from the rank of private to that of lance-corporal. His father, Mr. H BUTTON, lives at Kingsley Street, Camberwell. Reptr: The ceremony of unveiling the memorial, erected at the intersection of Station Street and White Horse Road, Box Hill, in honor of the men who went from the Nunawading district to the wars in S. Africa and China, was carried out with great eclat on Tuesday afternoon [21.1.1902]. Despite the fact that there was a heavy downpour of rain about the time fixed for the unveiling, a very large crowd assembled, and great interest was manifested in the proceedings. The memorial is in the form of an obelisk, hewn out of red polished granite from Gabo Island, with base of Malmsbury stone. A drinking fountain, with taps on each side, is attached to the lower portion of the oblelisk, while the upper part is adorned with handsome bronze brackets carrying two large gas lamps. Thus the structure is not only a striking ornament to the town, but also serves useful purposes in the direction of thirst-quenching and illuminating. On the pedestal is the following inscription - "Erected to commemorate the loyal and patriotic spirit displayed by the men of this district, whose names are inscribed hereon, in response to the empires call for volunteers for the wars in South Africa and China, 1899 to 1902, and also in grateful recognition of Divine Providence for the return of so many of the number." The obelisk contains the following inscriptions and names - "South Africa - Corporals T LINSLEY, WJ YOUNG, GR BUTTON, Privates W FOOTE, JF TOWT, CW TOWT, G LEAR, JC NEEDHAM, A JOHNSTONE, EP RICH, W THOMAS, S YUILLE, EG WHEELER, G DUNN, EW WELCH, A WEBSTER. China - W POPE, AB. In Memoriam - Lance-corporal GR BUTTON, killed at Wilmansrust, South Africa, June 12, 1901."
Source References
Murray: Official Records of the Australian Contingents etc. page(s) 302 336
Price1: They Proved to all the Earth page(s) 49
Kopje: ABWSGoA journal The Kopje date(s) 11.2001
5VMR QSA Roll: Queen's S. Africa Medal Roll for 5VMR
HAGSOC: HAGSOC's South African Graves website
B5179: National Archives of Australia series B5179 item B
Argus: Melbourne Argus newspaper date(s) 22.6 & 9.12.1901 & 12.2 & 12.6.1902
Bend. Adv.: Bendigo Advertiser newspaper date(s) 29.6.1901
Trar.Rcd.: Traralgon Record newspaper date(s) 19.2.1904
Argus: Melbourne Argus newspaper date(s) 20.5 & 20.6.1901
Melb. Age: Age newspaper, Melbourne date(s) 20.6.1901
Rep.BoxH: The Reporter newspaper Box Hill Vic. date(s) 24.1.1902
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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

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