Friday, November 9, 2018

W5 War Heroes of Susannah Jillett

Roll of Honour

War Heroes of Susannah Jillett

Susannah Jillett and Charles Dowdell

While compiling the Roll of Honour for the descendants of Susannah Jillett and Charles Dowdell, it appeared that not many may have realised who their great grandparents were.  Charles Dowdell suffered the most gruesome death imaginable, outside of War.  He left an incredible legacy in his descendants.
Susannah and Charles had three daughters and a son.
A.    Rebecca Dowdell    m         William Belbin, 
B.     Rosetta Dowdell     m         Thomas Patterson, 
C.     Ada Dowdell           m         Edwin Rogers
D.    Charles Dowdell     m         Martha Marshall.  
Of note were the number of Belbin children who died in the same period of 1850 - 1859, no doubt victims of scarlet fever or diphtheria, and who like their cousins, never had a chance at life.
Four of Susanna and Charles's great grandchildren died and are buried in Turkey, Egypt and South Africa.
A.     Rebecca Dowdell and William Belbin

            1.         Ada Alice Belbin married Edwin John Rogers

                        1.1   son Lionel Scarr Rogers married Jessie Mary Atkins

                                    1.1.1   Lieut Bombardier Peter Kenneth Rogers  2/8th Battalion  Born                                                             Died 17 July 1942 Buried El Alamein. Egypt   TX 2588

            2.         Rosetta Belbin married Tasman Morrisby
Tasman Morrisby and Rosetta Belbin had a family of 11 children, 8 sons and 3 daughters.
Their family consisted of
1.      Percy Thomas Morrisby            1869 - 1956      m                     Ethel Ruby Hull
2.      Elsie Rose Morrisby                  1870 - 1950      m                     Benjamin Sheppard
3.      Arthur Clayton Morrisby           1872 - 1950      m  Dorothy Ruth McCall d 1909 m Mabel                                                                                                                         Elliston
4.      Bernard William Morrisby         1874 - 1900     
5.      Constance Morrisby                  1877 - 1950      m         William Frederick Dennis Butler
6.      Raymond Clark Morrisby          1879 - 1934      m         Alberta Elliston
7.      Rupert Evelyn Morrisby                        1881 - 1938      m         Emma Joan Toan
8.      Leslie Raphael Shaw Morrisby   1883 - 1954      m         Hilda Leone Nicholson
9.      Frederick Bertram Morrisby       1886 -   1965     m         Marjorie Blakwell
10.   Dorothy Elizabeth Morrisby      1888 -  1960     m         Gerald Dillon Tayler
11.   Erick Leyden Morrisby              1890 - 1970      m         Winifred Bertha Angel

There would not be many families in Tasmania, who had three sons involved in the Boer War.
2.1             Percy Tasman Morrisby                      Member of the Rand Rifles
2.3             Private Bernard William Morrisby 1877 -  27 Feb 1900 Killed at Plewinan's Farm,                               Colesberg Mafeking South Africa, as a member of French's Lookout.
2.4             Raymond Clarke Morrisby      Boer War 2nd Tasmanian Bushmen's Regiment
Raymond Clarke Morrisby
       2.11  Eric Leyden Morrisby  Gunner Eric            Layden            Morrisby  WWI 6th Field Artillery                            Brigade  returned on Shropshire 1919

Raymond and Leyden Morrisby

These enlisted in WW I
2.7       Rupert Evelyn Morrisby Enlisted in  New Zealand 2nd Division WWI
       2.7.1         sons Alex Rupert Babington Morrisby  1913  WW2    NX204963
        2.7.2                Tasman Fairfax Morrisby  b 1915 WWII Medical Corps
2.11      Eric Leyden Morrisby Enlisted in both WWI and WWII
       2.11.1       Ivan Alfred Morrisby Enlisted in WW2           ..........

2.10   Dorothy Elizabeth Morrisby's husband Gerald Dillon Tayler enlisted in WW2
       2.10.1    Frank Walter Tayler enlisted in the RAAF WW2  

2.2.      Elsie Morrisby married a a sculptor Benjamin Sheppard
2.3       Arthur Clayton Morrisby became a Mine Manager in Rhodesia
2.5       Constance Morrisby married William Butler


The stories of the grandsons of Charles Dowdell and Susannah  Jillett, are possibly quite unique.

They had three sons serve in the Boer War, and one lays forever buried in a small grave alongside other Australians.   His name is remembered on a Memorial at Colesberg, in South Africa[1].  It is on the lower right of the base.

A rather large report of how Bernard was killed appeared in the Tasmanian Mail June 23, 1900, page 19. The account is by a Theodore Buxton of French's Scouts who relates that having been shot, Morrisby was founded by a party of Australians the following day, alive, but unconscious. He was brought into camp by ambulance having been shot through the head, but with such a wound he could not survive. He died quietly at 3 o'clock Tuesday afternoon February 27, 1900.

Buxton goes on to say... "About half-an-hour after Lieutenant H.E. Spencer brought me a large bunch of roses he had gathered from the farm garden and asked if I would like to make a wreath for him which I did by twisting some vines from the willow tree into a wreath and twining the roses in them. We then went and dug the grave just at the side of the farm and buried him at 6 o'clock.

All the scouts that were in camp attended the funeral, the service being read by the Rev. Mr Wilson of Colesberg, who led the procession the coffin being covered by the Union Jack with the wreath of roses on top. We followed the firing party and also many others that knew him. He lies buried by the side of Australians and his grave is marked by a large wooden cross painted white and his name and corps when he died cut deep and legibly on it.".

Excerpts from
"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., 
Tasman Morrisby."  

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. 

Launceston Examiner (Tas. : 1842 - 1899), Friday 3 November 1899, page 6

LETTER FROM JOHANNESBURG. BY A TASMANIAN. AN ANXIOUS TIME. Mr. Tasman MORRISBY, of Glenorchy, has received a letter from his son, Mr. Percy MORRISBY, cyanide manager of the Jumper’s Gold Mining Co., at Johannesburg, dated September 17 [1899], which will be read with special interest at this time. Mr. Percy MORRISBY has been four years in the Transvaal, and his brother, Mr. B MORRISBY, three years.

Their father has (states the "Mercury") also spent some time in the Boers' country. Mr. Percy MORRISBY writes - "The last time I wrote, I fully expected that ere this troubles would have been in full swing, but here we are still squabbling along. Everyone is in a state of depressed suspense. I doubt now that this will reach you before war really commences. During the last week the situation has ripened, and the cloud must burst very soon. Things cannot go on much longer as they are. It is only the mines that are keeping the place together. There is no business doing. The exodus is increasing, and next week's, I expect, will be a record one. Trains are still leaving, crowded, daily. Yet there are crowds here still. We are still running the mines, but it cannot last much longer.

Miners are leaving fast. I can only say the sooner the end comes the better now; for it will give us a chance of shaking the Johannesburg dust from our feet. If we are at our posts to the last, well, we will stand a poor show of getting away at all. If we get 24 hours' notice to leave, there are not trains enough in this Republic to carry us out. Personally, I will be thankful if I am fortunate enough to get into a coal truck. The time is growing short, and within the next few days, it is predicted, martial law will be proclaimed. Fancy being compelled to work under a burly old Boer, with a rifle and the point of a bayonet at your head! It is not unlikely, in the least. It is generally believed that by Wednesday or Thursday next we shall know definitely about it. Of course, thousands and thousands of men are leaving, but I feel it my duty to stand by until I get my discharge from the company.

The fact of our miners leaving will, I expect, mean we will have to close down sooner than anticipated. This, of course, in a sense will he in our (the staff's) favour; for it will give us a chance of getting away a bit earlier. All the leading mines (ours included) have offered the, following terms - Miners, fitters, carpenter - all day pay men - who remain till the declaration of war, will receive a bonus of £25, provided the mine works up till then; and the staff, a month's salary extra, and half-pay for four months. We can reside where we choose, but have to report ourselves every fortnight by letter. The Government threaten that if we shut the mines down they will work them themselves. This is where I think martial law will come in. They will commandeer the employees, and work them for their good. The state of things has now gone to such a pitch that we don't want to see any peaceable settlement. It must be a fight to the end, in spite of the horrors of war.

The Transvaal is not the only object. It will combine with the Orange Free State and the Cape Colony Dutch - in fact, there will be a united South African Dutch war. You have no idea of the gigantic preparations going on. England speaks of 50,000 troops, but there will be more than that, whilst the Dutch can only rake up 33,000. All the latest warfare appliances will come into actual operation; wireless telegraphy for instance, and Lyddite shells - the latter good stuff for the Dutchman. Make no mistake, there is going to be some stubborn fighting. The British will be repulsed in certain engagements, but all for an object. I could say a lot more, but I dare not.

 I got my wife and child away safely to 'Maritzburg, where they are now placed comfortably. There is plenty of anxiety amongst us all just now. I want to see B, (his brother), to-night and will persuade him to try and leave, provided he does not go against his duty. (Mr. B MORRISBY is also a cyanide man in a large company at Johannesburg.) This time is no comparison with the late crisis. We have no guns, and provisions are remarkably limited. So, with no means of defence and no food, if there is any chance of leaving it is not considered cowardice.

 If I am fortunate enough I will enrol as a volunteer if I can get out. Well, such is the state of things here. Nice, exciting country this is to live in! Always something to rouse one up. I expect you will feel anxious, but B. and I cannot show the white feather. We can only hope for the best. If martial law is proclaimed - this is the only fear I have. Yesterday (Saturday) there was a real row in Market Square. BAINE, a labour agent, called a mass meeting to enlist for the Government, but when he appeared on the scene he nearly got killed.

He drew his revolver, which was quickly wrenched from him. He then drew another, but the rough Utlanders got it, all the time pummelling him. Zarps (policemen) came to his assistance. Then a detective blew a whistle, and at full gallop came 61 mounted zarps, who fell in line and charged the crowd. One noble zarp drew his sword and cut someone. The mob must have numbered 5000 to 6000. Another incident happened at this time.

 The Mines Secretary of the Consolidated Gold Mining Co. was returning from Johannesburg with money (gold) to pay the men on the mine, and at a certain point on the road five footpads stuck him up. He was being driven in a Scotch cart, and his black boy was shot and disabled, Whereupon the secretary took the reins and drove with one hand and fired at the desperadoes with the other. After knocking one fellow over he made his escape. The boy got two shots in his chest and one in his leg. After the incident, according to the man who witnessed the affair, a cab drove up, and four of the robbers put a corpse in, and drove off at a furious rate.

 Everyone is writing, thinking it is the last chance of getting a letter away. We are all well, and in good spirits;. no use getting the blues. I have heaps of unanswered letters, but I have really not the time to answer them yet." Mr. MORRISBY's letter was unsigned, as at the time he wrote letters passing through the post were liable to be opened and read by the Secret Service.

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

Unit: French's Scouts/Remount Unit; Boer War.  Service: South African Colonial Forces

Bernard Morrisby is one of those Tasmanian casualties whose records are scattered, no doubt, because he served with French's Scouts of the South African Light Horse. There is no mention of him in the South African Field Force Casualty List nor Murray's and Bufton's work. The Office of National Monuments Council in South Africa does not record him either, although record is found of him in the local newspapers of the time.

Bernard, a very handsome young man, not to be confused with Frank Morrsiby his cousin (see following inclusion), was born August 11, 1874 at Glenorchy probably in the house "Ravensdale" (Chapel Street) or possibly "Tolsa" both of which have long since been demolished. His father was Tasman Morrisby, his mother Rosetta Victoria nee Belbin. An elder sister, Elsie, a pianist, married Ben Sheppard senior, the designer of the Memorial on the Hobart Domain. Ben died in South Africa from T.B. but the family believes he used Bernard as a model for the bronze war memorial, Hobart.
Bernard was shot while scouting at Plewinan's farm and died the following day, February 27th 1900. He was buried at Colesberg.

A rather large report of how Bernard was killed appeared in the Tasmanian Mail June 23, 1900, page 19. The account is by a Theodore Buxton of French's Scouts who relates that having been shot, Morrisby was founded by a party of Australians the following day, alive, but unconscious. He was brought into camp by ambulance having been shot through the head, but with such a wound he could not survive. He died quietly at 3 o'clock Tuesday afternoon February 27, 1900. Buxton goes on to say... "About half-an-hour after Lieutenant H.E. Spencer brought me a large bunch of roses he had gathered from the farm garden and asked if I would like to make a wreath for him which I did by twisting some vines from the willow tree into a wreath and twining the roses in them. 

We then went and dug the grave just at the side of the farm and buried him at 6 o'clock. All the scouts that were in camp attended the funeral, the service being read by the Rev. Mr Wilson of Colesburg, who led the procession the coffin being covered by the Union Jack with the wreath of roses on top. We followed the firing party and also many others that knew him. He lies buried by the side of Australians and his grave is marked by a large wooden cross painted white and his name and corps when he died cut deep and legibly on it.".

An Examiner report of April, 2 1900 (P.6) relates that he left Hobart in 1896 or late 1895 to join his brothers who were engaged in the mining industry in Johannesburg

"It may interest the many friends of the late Bernard Morrisby to read the following extract from a letter written by the officer commanding French's Scouts to his father, Mr. T. Morrisby, Glenorchy:--"I am extremely sorry to have to inform you that your son was severely wounded whilst doing his duty at Arundel. He died two days afterwards in the hospital Arundel, having, I am glad. to say, suffered no pain whatever. He was a great loss, as he always did his work extremely well and was a most useful scout." This letter came unexpectedly from Bloemfontein, and had no date, and is not a reply to any of the letters of enquiry sent to the front, so further particulars are' anxiously awaited."

Apparently he met with considerable success, but with the coming of the war he left the city to escape (so says family records) conscription into a Boer Commando unit. He then went to England arriving back in Cape Town January 5 1899. He then joined Major Little's Scouts under the command of General French.


Bernard was related to another South African veteran with the same surname, Captain Arthur Morrisby who was in charge of the Second Federal Contingent (3rd). It was to this contingent that Cundy and Hodgman belonged.

His father went to South Africa soon after the war had ended and sought his son's grave. Morrisby senior was a keen photographer and recorded his mission for other members of the family. An interesting report on this is found in the Mercury April 25, 1990.

Bernard Morrisby's name is contained on the Hobart Memorial, but not on the Launceston one. 

* Brothers would have been Percy Tasman, Arthur Clayton and Fred Bertram.

Zeehan and Dundas Herald (Tas. : 1890 - 1922) Friday 19 April 1901

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.

2.5  Constance Morrisby's husband

Mercury (Hobart, Tas. : 1860 - 1954), Tuesday 7 October 1941, page 2

MR. W. F. D. BUTLER DEAD  Prominent Hobart Lawyer     Avid Churchman

The death took place yesterday at his residence, Bishop St., New Town, in his 64th year, of Mr. William Frederick Dennis Butler, for many years a partner in the Hobart legal firm of Butler, McIntyre, and Butler.  Born at Bagdad, where his father, the late Mr. Francis Frederick Butler, had landed interests, Mr. W. F D. Butler received his early education at the Bagdad school, and afterwards at the Hutchins School. At the University of Tasmania he took the degree of B.A., M.Sc., and LL.B. After a world tour he joined the legal firm with which he was associated until his death, first as managing clerk and in due course as junior partner, and senior partner.

On the death of his father he took over the management of the Korongee orchard property at Glenorchy, to which earlier the family had removed. During his period of residence there he was a member of the Glenorchy Council, of which he was treasurer at the time of his retirement in 1910, when he left the district to live at New Town. In 1896 he married Miss Constance I. Morrisby, daughter of the late Mr. Tasman Morrisby, and Mrs. Morrisby, of Ravensdale, Glenorchy.

For many years Mr. Butler was president of the Southern Tasmanian Law Society; he was also a founder and one- time president of the Australian Legal Convention. He was one of the conveyancing counsel to the Supreme Court of Tasmania and took a prominent part in the consolidation of Tasmanian statutes. While president of the Law Society he closely studied new legislation and advised regarding its form and incidence. His political standpoint was strongly independent. In association with other Tasmanian advocates he vigorously supported the movement to-wards Australian Federation. He was leading supporter also at the time of its introduction of the Hare-Clark voting system.

Mr. Butler filled a prominent position in Church affairs. A member of the Anglican Synod in Tasmania for 34 years and of the general Synod of Australia and of the Tasmanian Diocesan Council for 31 years, he was appointed Church Advocate in 1916 and Diocesan Chancellor in 1940.
He was a trustee of Church property from 1914 onwards and from 1936 Chairman of Church Trustees. He was also chairman of the Clergy Provident Fund Board and member of the Diocesan Insurance Board and of the board of Christ College, to whose interests he devoted himself unsparingly.

In addition to giving his services in these many offices, he gave personal support to successive rectors of St. John's parish, New Town, as lay reader and churchwarden. He was chairman of the Hutchins School Board and was Warden of the University Senate.

His range of interests was wide. In earlier years he was an active supporter of the A.N.A. Rifle Club. An ardent bush lover, over a long period of years he undertook expeditions to unfrequented areas of Tasmania. With Prof. L. F. Giblin and others he resurveyed the heights of Ben Lomond and Barn Bluff. He was an active member of the Royal Society, a life member of the Royal Agricultural Society, and a charter member of the Hobart Rotary Club, of which he was a past president. He was also president of the Tasmanian section of the League of Nations Union.

He is survived by his wife and by his son, Mr. Eustace G. Butler, of Smithton, his daughters, Miss Dorothy Butler, who is a nurse on overseas service with the A.I.F., and Miss Margaret Butler, of New Town, and by his sister Mrs. B. Wall, of Hobart.

The cremation, at Cornelian Bay to-morrow afternoon, will be preceded by a memorial service at St. John's Church, New Town.

Their daughter was

            2.5.1     Dorothy D Butler. (Sister) of Hobart (A.A.N.S.), (A.I.F.) TX2168
Dorothy was a Sister at the Repatriation Hospital in Hobart, and left in 1940 for active service.  She married Lieutenant Douglas Anderson Mc Bride. VX3707 He served in Greece and Libya, and returned in 1942, when he was appointed Liaison Officer.

            2.5.2     Eustace Gamaliel Butler, his son was a solicitor and admitted to the Bar in 1930, the Chief Justice mentioning at the time that the Butler family had been in the law profession in Tasmania for over 100 years.  He served in WWII as a Captain.

In another family relationship, the grandparents of William Frederick Dennis Butler were Edward Paine Butler and Martha Sarah Asprey. 

Edward and Martha Butler were the uncle and aunt of John Hutton Bisdee.  He and William were therefore second cousins. 

2.2  Elsie Morrisby her husband   Benjamin Sheppard.

The Hobart Boer War Memorial was the work of sculptor Benjamin Sheppard, who was Bernard's brother in law. 

Sheppard, Benjamin (Ben) (1876–1910)  by R. H. Ewins

This article was published in Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 11, (MUP), 1988

Benjamin (Ben) Sheppard (1876-1910), sculptor, was born on 3 December 1876 in London, son of John Alfred Sheppard, brewer's turner, and his French wife Jane, née Lock. Showing early talent, he won a prize for drawing at 12 and in 1891 was admitted to the Cope-Nicols Painting School, South Kensington; he was penniless, walked several miles to and from school, and ate irregularly. In 1893-96 he attended the Royal Academy of Arts' schools on a bursary. He won the Academy medal and on graduation made a 'poor man's' grand tour of Europe—by bicycle—as far as Rome before joining his sister Mary and her schoolmaster husband A. W. L. Southern at Bismarck (Collinsvale), Tasmania. Two years later he moved to Hobart. Unfortunately, bushfires on New Year's Day 1900 destroyed the Bismarck schoolhouse, and with it Sheppard's paintings, papers and academy studies.

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.

The Monument is located in:

Liverpool & Aberdeen Streets, Queens Domain, near Hobart Aquatic Centre, Hobart, 7000

In memoriam

Tasmanian contingents.

Numbers, names of Commanding Officers and dates of departure.

1st Tasmanian Contingent : 80.
Capt. C. St Clair Cameron. 27th Oct 1899
Draft for 1st Contingent : 47
Capt. A. H. Riccall. 18th Jan. 1900
Tasmanian Bushmen : 53
Lt. Col E. T. Wallack. 5th Mar. 1900
1st Tasmanian Imperial Contingent : 122
Capt. R. C. Lewis. 26th Apr 1900
2nd Tasmanian Imperial Contingent : 254
Lt. Col. E. T. Watchorn. 27th Mar. 1901
"E" Company 1st Battalion A.C.H. : 122
Capt. A. W. B. Perceval. 16th Feb 1902.
"E" Company 3rd Battalion A.C.H. : 121
Capt. A. Morrisby. 8th Apr. 1902.
"C" Squadron 8th Battalion A.C.H. : 120
Capt. K. A. Ogilvy. 21st May. 1902.


After the death of Rebecca, William's married as his second wife Mary Finigan

Their son was Private Francis Aubrey Belbin in Wellington Regiment Expeditionary Force and also AIF joined November 1915

The brothers of Tasman Morrisby -Arthur Above
The Morrisby boys were in South Africa with their uncle and cousin.

Their uncle became a MP in Tasmania, Arthur Morrisby, enlisted aged 54 in the Boer War.  He was in command of E Squadron, Major of 3rd Battalion, and obtained the rank of Major.

And his son, their cousin, Frederick Morrisby died from infection, 1902
Frank Edward Morrisby Service number, 1184. Rank, Company Quartermaster-Sergeant. Unit, 1st Battalion, Australian Commonwealth Horse. Place, Tasmania   Eastern Shore Sun


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”.

[1] Photos supplied from fellow Boer War researchers

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