Governor of Queensland visits Commonwealth War Graves in Harefield

The Governor of Queensland, His Excellency the Honourable Paul de Jersey AC, visited the CWGC’s plot at St Mary’s Church, Harefield on Friday, March 17 to pay his respects to the men and women from Australia who lost their lives during World War One.

In total, there are 120 First World War graves of forces personnel in the cemetery of St Mary’s Church who died at the nearby Harefield Hospital, and include Staff Nurse Ruby Dickinson.

Ruby travelled from her home in New South Wales in 1915 at the age of 30 and served as a nurse during the First World War for the next three years.

In 1918, Ruby was taken ill and died of pneumonia in a nursing sisters’ home and was buried in the churchyard at Harefield. She was the sole nurse to die among more than 100 patients, including a few male hospital staff, at No. 1 Australian Auxiliary Hospital, Harefield Park, during the war.

Gunner William Lauderdale Lingley, who was born in Redland Bay, Queensland, Australia, enlisted in September 26, 1916, and served in the Australian Field Artillery, 2nd Division Ammunition Column.

William died of sickness on November 5, 1918, aged 27. He was the son of William and Alice M. Lingley, of Muckadilla Hotel, Muckadilla, Queensland.

Private Oscar Harold Jones served in the Australian Army Medical Corps 13th Field Ambulance and enlisted in Brisbane. He died on June 23, 1918, aged 25 of sickness and was the son of George Edward Richard and Elizabeth Ann Jones, of Oxley, Queensland.

Harefield (St. Mary) Churchyard contains war graves from both world wars. There are 120 First World War graves, mostly those of Australians who died in No. 1 Australian Auxiliary Hospital at Harefield Park.

Uniquely, their graves are marked by scroll shaped headstones, chosen by the staff and patients at the hospital.

In the centre of the Australian plot stands a memorial obelisk which was erected by Sir Francis Newdegate, late Governor of Tasmania and of Western Australia, and Mr. C.A.M. Billyard-Leake, of Harefield Park. The churchyard also contains six graves of the Second World War.

The CWGC commemorates more than 100,000 Australian servicemen and women of both World Wars.

There are more than 300,000 war graves and memorials in the UK, with everyone across the country having at least one war grave no more than three miles from their front door.

To find your local war graves and discover the story behind the headstones, download the CWGC’s free War Graves app.