While undertaking unrelated research, the Beechworth Cemetery Trust have found a veteran of the Second Boer War interred in an unmarked grave within our public facility.
This veteran, George Henry Wall was born in Parkes NSW in 1872.
After volunteering for active duty, he joined “D” Squadron – 3rd New South Wales Mounted Rifles as a Trooper.
George Wall served with this unit in the Eastern Transvaal and the Eastern Orange Free State in South Africa from May 1901 to April 1902.
Little is known of George’s history prior to his enlistment and also of his life after returning to Australia in June 1902.
What we do know of George is that he was working as a labourer in Howlong, NSW in 1930 and from the mid 1930’s until his death in July 1949, he resided in the Wooragee Valley below the historic gold-town of Beechworth.
Here he worked as a miner, living alone in a canvas tent on a private farming property.
George Wall died in the Ovens Benevolent Asylum in Beechworth on the 26th July 1949, the day after being admitted.
Tragically, George rests in an unmarked grave along with two former patients from the local Mental Institution.
This would signify that he was possibly buried as a pauper.
The only attendees on the day of George’s funeral were the Roman Catholic Priest, an RSL Bugler and the owner of the property, his wife and their young children.
In recognition of Trooper Wall’s service to his country, the Beechworth Cemetery Trust, in conjunction with the local Beechworth RSL sub-branch has jointly funding the erection of a suitable headstone to permanently mark his final resting place.
An RSL military service is also planned for the occasion and this is to take place at 10am on Wednesday, May 31, which will be the 115th anniversary of the ending of the Second Boer War.
Our Trust is extending an open invitation to any family members of Trooper George Wall or interested persons from the Parkes area who may wish to join us on the day.
It is also intended to have George’s story included in our war veteran’s video presentations along with the other stories of veterans buried in our Cemetery.
These videos are to be a feature of our website.
To assist us with this project, we would appreciate any information that his family may be able to provide on the life and history of Trooper George Henry Wall.
Contact details for the Beechworth Cemetery Trust can be found on our website.