Surnames/tags: ANZAC Australia WW1
Tens of thousands of Australian parents have lost sons to war. But some have lost a number of sons in the same war.
All eight Beechey brothers served in World War One. Five would be killed. The seventh son Harold emigrated to Australia with his brother Chris.
Harold Beechey joined the Army and trained as an Anzac in Egypt and fighting in Gallipoli in 1915. April 1917 he was hit by shell in the trenches, aged 26. There is cross with Harold Beechey name on it and has been placed in his adopted home of Western Australia, in Perth's Anglican Cathedral. Died 10 April 1917
Charles Beechey died aged 39. He is buried in a war cemetery in Dar es Salaam. Died 20/10/1917
Frank Beechey a 2nd lieutenant, had crawled out into no man's land on a foggy night he was hit in both legs he died of his wounds the next day, aged 30, and was buried in a French war cemetery. Died 14/11/1916
Bernard Beechey was killed in action on 25 September at the Battle of Loos. There is no marked grave for Barnard Beechey. His cross has been laid on the grave of a Lincolnshire soldier "known only unto God" in a French war cemetery. Died 25/09/1915
Leonard Beechey was gassed close to the French city of Rouen. Leonard Beechey's cross has been placed in the nearby cemetery where he was buried. Died 29/12/1917
Frank, Cyril, Edward and James Watherston were orphaned in childhood, watching their parents drown at sea. Cyril and Edward joined up early September 1914. Cyril was in the 7th Light Horse Regiment, from Sydney, and Edward left from Adelaide on the Ascanius with the 10th Battalion. The 10th was among the first infantry units raised for the Australian Imperial Force, it was the first ashore around 4:30am on April 25, 1915 at Gallipoli, and went the furthest inland of any of the Australian troops during the initial fighting. Frank joined up in 1915 with the 11th Battalion, six months after his brothers.
Frank was shot with a machine gun fire and he was told to go back to the trench lines "He turned to run and got shot in the legs. "Because there were so many wounded in such a short period of time he was left on the beach lying in donkey, mule and horse dung and he contracted tetanus."By the time he got evacuated to Lemnos Island in the town of Mudros and he died four days later in hospital."
After hearing of Franks death his brother Cyril was allowed to transfer from the 7th Light Horse to the 10th Battalion so he could be with his brother Edward. Cyril was taking gear up to the frontline near Armentieres and a shell blew up his convoy of horses and equipment and he was killed. Edward died at Pozieres two months later on July 23rd, 1915 when a high explosive shell blew overhead nothing was ever found of Edward .
James was killed with the rest of the men of the 11th Battalion he was shot and killed by machine gun fire on August 19th, 1915.
Mrs Potter and her husband Benjamin, lived in the town of Yongala 250 kilometres north of Adelaide. Three of the Potter brothers died in a single battle over a single night and morning in September, 1916.
The youngest brother, Hurtle, was 22. Edward, also known as Wilfred, was 25. Thomas was 31. They’d signed up in September, 1915, and sailed away. All three were privates. A fourth brother, Ralph, 24, became a corporal. The three brothers were assigned in France to D Company of the 52nd Battalion. Ralph was the only one to survived the Battle of Mouquet Farm, requesting to stay with the battalion and his mates, but later was seriously wounded.
Ralph reported later of his brother Hurtle’s end. “I was beside him when he fell down; he never moved.” Ralph also recorded that his brother Thomas “was seen walking back to the dressing station, but never reached it. I feel sure he died that morning.” Edward was not seen again but Ralph refused to give up the search. After six months he returned to Mouquet Farm and looked through the remains of bodies that were being collected for burial. “I found letters and proof of his identification in his gas helmet alongside of his decomposed body at Moquet farm, March 25th, 1917,” he reported.
Edward Wilfred Potter’s burial place, was never marked. Like his brother Thomas, he is one of the large number of First World War soldiers still missing, with no known grave. Hurtle is the only Potter brother with a marked headstone he is buried at the Courcelette War Cemetery not far from Mouquet Farm.
Gordon, Selwyn, Arthur and George Curlewis all took part in the Gallipoli landings on April 25, 1915.
Gordon Curlewis enlisted on October 1, 1914, as a lieutenant in the 15th Battalion, Australian Imperial Force. He was promoted to captain on the day after the Gallipoli landings on April 26, 1915, and was killed in action two weeks later on May 9th 1915. He was buried in the field but his grave is now in the Beach Cemetery at Gallipoli.
Selwyn Curlewis enlisted on September 18, 1914, as a lieutenant in the 16th Battalion, AIF, and was killed in action at Quinn’s Post on May 2, 1915. He has no known grave and is commemorated at the Lone Pine Memorial.
Arthur Curlewis had enlisted in the 12th Battalion AIF and was severely wounded at Gallipoli. He was sent to hospital in Alexandria in Egypt but died of his wounds on August 15, 1915. He was buried at Chatby Cemetery in Egypt.
George Curlewis, enlisted on September 8, 1914, in the 16th Battalion, AIF, and was promoted to 2nd lieutenant. He served in Gallipoli but he was wounded and returned to Australia on November 7th 1915.
Theo, George and William Seabrook from Sydney joined the Army their first engagement was the Battle of the Menin Road on 20th September 1917. Theo, George and William were all killed in this battle. William was buried at Lyssenthoek Cemetery near Poperinge, the other two brothers are listed on the Menin Gate Memorial to the Missing in Ypres.
William De Boynton, 27 sign up first in April 23, 1915, for the 26th Battalion. His brother Francis, 19, joined up next in August, enlisting in the 13th Battalion. William was reported missing in action on July 29, 1916. An informant said he believed William was taken prisoner in the first charge of the 2nd Division. Francis died soon after. He was reported missing 11 days later. He was hit by a shrapnel shell near Pozieres.
Arthur, 23, thought he might be able to discover more about his missing brothers. Less than three months after reports that Francis was unaccounted for he signed up in November 1916, enlisting in the 45th Battalion. Arthur died the following June in the early days of the Battle of Messines he was shot through the heart.
Stephen and Robert Allen both enlisted as privates within a week of each other in July 1915, both with the 13th Infantry Battalion. They were first sent to Egypt , then to the Western Front. On August 14, 1916, the brothers failed to report back after fatigue duty, amongst the fighting around Mouquet Farm in France. The brothers were listed as missing in action, it took several months to find it what happened to them. Private Will Hale sent a letter to one of the Allen sisters
“When the shell had exploded I knew by the screams that someone had caught it. I could not get through for some time, as I was half silly through the shock. However when I could get through, my brother was seriously wounded and your two brothers were laying there, they had been killed.”
The brothers were killed outright by the same artillery shell while walking beside each other. Stephen was 25 and Robert was 27. The bodies were never recovered and their names are on the Villers-Bretonneux memorial.
Gresley, 30, and Wilfred Harper, 25, died whilst serving with the 10th Light Horse Regiment, Australian Imperial Force, during their unit's attack at The Nek. The brothers have no known graves they are commemorated on the Lone Pine Memorial to the Missing, Gallipoli.
Samuel, and William Sells both enlisted in 1915. William enlisted into the AIF on 4 March 1915, aged 23, and was assigned to the 6th reinforcements of the 6 Battalion on 20 April 1915. He was killed at Lone Pine on 7 August, and has no known grave. Samuel Sells enlisted on 12 April 1915, aged 32, and was also taken into B Company of 6 Battalion at Anzac on 6 August. After initially being reported wounded on 7 August, an April 1916 court via eyewitness accounts that he was killed in action that day. While his body had been brought back from the charge at Lone Pine, it was later lost and he has no known grave. . Both the brothers, known as Dick and Bill, are commemorated on the Lone Pine Memorial at Gallipoli.
There were nine sons and two daughters in the Hutchins family seven brothers enlisted with the Australian Imperial Force during the Second World War. By the end of 1945, three of the Hutchins brothers had been discharged and were home. There was no word of their four brothers. Then, in one week in February 1946, four telegrams arrived confirming the deaths of four of the Hutchins boys.
Alan had been killed in Rabaul in March 1942. Three of the Hutchins brothers died due to the brutality of their Japanese captors in Ambon. Conditions for the prisoners on Ambon were particularly harsh and they suffered the highest death rate of any Australian prisoners of war. . Eric was executed at Laha in February 1942; Fred and Eric died as Prisoners of War.
By 1942, nine Lucas brothers had enlisted in the Australian Army: Henry , Lance, Bill, Rufus, Ron, Dudley, Jimmy, Jack and their youngest brother Basil. Two Lucas brothers died on active service. Private Dudley Lucas was killed in Malaya he was 17 years old when he enlisted and Private Basil Lucas died in Papua he was only 15 years old when he enlisted. The two brothers shared consecutive service numbers: NX599 and NX600.
- BBC.comnewsuk - Beechey brothers
- ABC new.net.au - The Watherstons brothers
- South Australian Red Cross - Potter brothers
- The Geelong Advertiser - The Curlewis brothers by Peter Begg, Geelong Advertiser April 24, 2015
- Brothers in arms memorial - Seabrook brothers
- The Sydney Morning Herald - De Boynton brothers
- Sydney Morning Herald - Allen brothers
- LongLong trail - Harper brothers
- Long Long trail - Sells brothers
- Australian War Memorial - The Hutchins brothers
- Australia and the Second World War - The Lucas brothers