During the Anzac Centenary 2014-2018 Friends of Balmoral Cemetery produced two books with the funding from the Qld Government Anzac Centenary Grant. From our research into the First World War, we found 57 killed in action memorials and 299 veterans who were laid to rest in Balmoral Cemetery, Morningside, Brisbane.
The first book ‘Into the Fire’ records the memorials of 57 soldiers who were killed in action either in Gallipoli, Middle East or the Western Front. These memorials were found on family monuments. The second book records 299 veterans who returned to Australian after the First World War and lived, worked, raised families and who either lived in the local area or Queensland and passed away and who were laid to rest in the cemetery. These two books are available through: firstname.lastname@example.org
During this research we realised that many were in unmarked graves. We connected with the Headstone Project in Tasmania and formed a Headstone Project at Balmoral Cemetery.
At the time of the Anzac Centenary, we had found almost 70 veterans buried in unmarked graves or in formed graves where they are not recognised. Since then, we have found 20 extra First World War veterans buried at Balmoral with some in unmarked graves.
For the last two years we have searched for descendants and applied for War Graves through the Office of Australian War Graves or Dept Veteran Affairs (DVA). Where we are unsuccessful in obtaining a War Grave, we are applying for DVA Funding Assistance for WW1 veterans in unmarked graves programme. This has enabled us to obtain a brass plaque for these veterans and with the very generous help of volunteers and voluntary contributions we are able to erect a simple headstone.
In total there were 74 veterans in unmarked graves. Of these 28 have been approved for an OAWG (Office of War Graves) grave, 11 approved through the DVA Funding Assistance Program (3 applications about to be processed awaiting approval by BCC), 4 small plaques for existing graves, 28 awaiting a decision or yet to be lodged, 2 we will appeal, and one family is handling the application themselves.
In early May 2021 we have only few more Veterans to go and we will have applied for War Graves for all our veterans in unmarked graves. Over the next week our final profiles will be posted on Facebook – so please share as we would love to connect with descendants.
Approved (OAWG) 28
Small plaque for existing grave 4
Family applying 1
Headstone DVA (FAVUGP) 8 (3)
Possible appeal 2
Awaiting decision or yet to lodge 28