|Raymond and Leyden Morrisby|
"Tasmanians in the Transvaal War" JOHN BUFTON. Ph.D.. F.L.S.. F.G.S., F.R.G.S.. 1905
In answer to my enquiry as to Bernard Morrisby's name being absent from the official returns of killed
and those who died, I have received the following very interesting communication from Mr. Tasman
Morrisby, of Kettering, under date of April 13, 1903: —
"Dear Sir, — In answer to your enquiry of the 7th re Tasmanians in the Transvaal War,' my son,
Bernard W. Clair Morrisby, joined the South African Light Horse as a scout at Capetown, and was shot
while scouting at Plewinan's Farm. He was a refugee from the Transvaal on the outbreak of war.
My eldest son, Percy T. B. Morrisby, is a member of the Rand Rifles, and was not in active service.
My son, A. Clayton Morrisby, was Q.M.S. of the Remount Camp at Worcester, and resigned to occupy
a civil appointment in Rhodesia just before declaration of peace. R. C. Morrisby is my son —the G. is an error
(in list of men). F. E. Morrisby was my nephew.
My dear boy Bernard was not found until two days and a night after he was shot, and was still alive,
but unconscious. The report in the 'Mercury' of June, 1900. has been confirmed by other private letters.
Tasmanians have well borne their share. — Yours, etc.,
This is a military record of which any father may be proud. I shall have much pleasure in including
the young hero's name in the Roll of Honour, though he went not forth with our boys.
He is of their company in the army of the noble dead.
11 Aug 1874 Glenorchy, Glenorchy City, Tasmania, Australia
27 Feb 1900 (aged 25) South Africa
Colesberg Cemetery Colesberg, Pixley ka Seme District Municipality, Northern Cape, South Africa
Bernard was shot while scouting at Plewinan's farm and died the following day, February 27th 1900. He was buried at Colesberg.
* Brothers would have been Percy Tasman, Arthur Clayton and Fred Bertram.
Hon. A. Morrisby, M.L.A., has received a letter from his nephew (Mr Clayton Morrisby) dated Remount Depot, Stellenbosch, Cape Colony, March 5, in which he states that his experiences have been many, some interesting ones too. He had seen more horses and mules than most men, and remarks that one, can only form a small idea of what war really means after a few months work with the military at the front. During the course of his duties Mr Clayton Morrisby has taken hundreds of horses to Kimberley. Da Aar, Orange River, and all the other large camps, and had seen several of the large battle fields, among them being Paardeburg, Belmont, and Magerefontein.
He also passed by his brother's grave (Bernard Morrisby) be is buried in a little Dutch garden, with two other Australians, close to the Arundel railway station. Two months ago, in company with another conductor, be proceeded to Picquetberg road to look after the remount there, where they commandeered most of the animals from the farmers. Picquetberg has been, he says, one of the important militia camps, and thousands of troops have passed through. Major Dobbin, of Victoria. and Lieutenant Sweetland, of New South Wales, were the officers in command of the depot.
The Hobart Boer War Memorial was the work of sculptor Benjamin Sheppard, who was Bernard's brother in law.
It was inevitable in Hobart's small community, self-consciously striving for a cultural life, that the presence of a talented London-trained artist would be noticed. In 1898 he was commissioned to paint a small mural (still extant) in St Mary's College and another, larger one in St Joseph's Church (since obliterated). His appointment in 1900 as art master at the Hobart Technical School was not surprising. An energetic and inspiring teacher, he had among his pupils Mildred Lovett and Florence Rodway. On 11 December 1901 at St Paul's Church, Glenorchy, Sheppard married Elsie Rose Morrisby, a talented pianist and member of a socially noteworthy family. Sheppard himself was a violinist, and the marriage was commended in the press as a 'marriage of the arts'.
Despite heavy teaching commitments, Sheppard worked prolifically. Portraits included Sir Phillip Fysh (presented by the artist to the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery) and Premier Sir Neil Elliott Lewis, as well as sixty portrait-supplements for the Launceston Weekly Courier. A much-admired large painting, 'The Return of Colonel Cameron and the first Tasmanian Contingent sent to the Anglo-Boer War' (present whereabouts unknown), took eighteen months to complete.
Sheppard taught himself 'modelling' for teaching purposes. In 1903 his plaster statue of King Edward VII was placed outside the Treasury Buildings. It disintegrated, but in August he won a commission for a memorial to Tasmanian soldiers in the South African War. On 1 February 1905 this memorial, which he executed in London, was unveiled with great fanfare on the Hobart Domain, where it still stands. Undoubtedly Sheppard's masterpiece, a sensitive piece of work in a normally uninspired genre, it received generous acclaim in Britain and Australia. A replica was erected at Halifax, Yorkshire.
In 1905, joined in London by his family, Sheppard enjoyed recognition, with portrait commissions, work exhibited in the Academy, and election to the Society of British Sculptors. But in mid-1906 he contracted tuberculosis. After a year in sanatoriums, he went to South Africa where by 1909, working and exhibiting again, he achieved considerable acclaim. Then his health failed rapidly, and on 18 March 1910 he died at Cape Town, widely mourned and eulogized. His wife and son survived him.
Liverpool & Aberdeen Streets, Queens Domain, near Hobart Aquatic Centre, Hobart, 7000
Numbers, names of Commanding Officers and dates of departure.
Capt. C. St Clair Cameron. 27th Oct 1899
Capt. A. H. Riccall. 18th Jan. 1900
Capt. R. C. Lewis. 26th Apr 1900
Lt. Col. E. T. Watchorn. 27th Mar. 1901
Capt. A. W. B. Perceval. 16th Feb 1902.
Capt. A. Morrisby. 8th Apr. 1902.
Capt. K. A. Ogilvy. 21st May. 1902.
|The brothers of Tasman Morrisby -Arthur Above|
The Premier has received through His Excellency the Governor, advices from South Africa, notifying that Quartermaster Sergeant Frank Morrisby died on the 25th inst. It will be remembered that advices were recently received to the effect that the above-named non-commissioned officer was lying dangerously ill (with hepatic abscess on the liver) at Klerksdorp. The news will be learned with great regret in Hobart, where the deceased gentleman (who belonged to Bellerive) was highly popular. The Premier has also received a cablegram from South Africa direct, notifying that Corporal Holmwood, who was reported to be dangerously ill, has been discharged from hospital, and has obtained leave to visit Pretoria. Holmwood also comes from Bellerive." - from the Tasmanian News 27 Jun 1902
EASTERN Shore author and historian Reg A. Watson has recently launched a re-release of his 1995 book, “Heroes All”. Centred on the casualties of the Anglo-Boer War (1899-1902), the book details the story of two boys from the Eastern Shore who died as a result of their service in the war.
Mr Watson said that since its first release more than 20-years-ago, much more information had come to light surrounding the circumstances of the Anglo-Boer War. “The book has additional information, corrections and photographs, as well as being a more attractive, perfect-bound volume,” he said.
Edward Frank Morrisby and his cousin, Bernard Morrisby, are commemorated in the Boer War Memorial in Bellerive. Edward Morrisby was the last Tasmanian to die in the war on 25 June, 1902, while Bernard was shot and killed on 27 February, 1900. Mr Watson said the book was a very important addition to Tasmania’s military and social history, as very little had been published on Tasmania’s involvement in the war.
Mr Watson will be presenting a copy of his book to the Rosny LINC. Caption: Tasmanian author and historian Reg A. Watson at the Boer War Memorial in Bellerive with his re-published book “Heroes All”.