ROYAL NAVY - WW2 burials in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

Discussion in 'Memorials & Cemeteries' started by Dave Barlow, Sep 4, 2009.

  1. Dave Barlow

    Dave Barlow Member

    Lutwyche military cemetery here in Brisbane is the CWGC official burial site and features the Cross of Sacrifice and memorial scrolls for those with no known grave. It also has plaques with a bit of Australian WW2 history and statistics on the burials within it's grounds.

    While I was taking photos I noticed that besides the Australian commemorations there were a couple of members of the ROYAL NAVY interred there.

    FRANK EASTHOPE killed in Motor Vehicle accident on Christmas eve 25DEC1945 along with Flying Officer Howard Walter GEE Service Number 413980 RAAF – also buried in BRISBANE (LUTWYCHE) CEMETERY

    Frank Easthope of RN was killed outright - Service Number L/FX98561 H.M.S. Nabsford / Son of Frank and Marion Easthope, of Liverpool, England; husband of Margaret Easthope, of Wavertree, Liverpool

    GEE was admitted to 112 AGH BMU (Australian General Hospital - Brisbane Military Unit Greenslopes). Died of injuries received as result of accident – fractures and shock. Motor accident marked on casualty file. Vehicle 212595 turned over on Ipswich Road, Annerley at 0300 25Dec. Frank Easthope, William Watson, Henry Roper, Howard Barton, Alex Gove of Royal Navy and FLGOFF GEE & FLGOFF BRENNAN injured. {BRENNAN, David Brenden - (Flying Officer); Service Number – 411001 (discharged 18 Mar 1962 – FLTLT O21991)}

    Attached Files:

  2. Dave Barlow

    Dave Barlow Member

    ROYAL NAVY - WW2 burial in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

    (or is it this one that had some mis-information on one of those pay per view grave photo sites?)

    LT/JX544407 Kenneth GOWING 3SEP1945 - HMS GLENEARN – RNPS (Royal Naval Patrol Service)

    HMS GLENEARN suffered an onboard explosion in April 1945 off New Guinea (maybe this member was moved to Brisbane for treatment and died from his wounds).

    In September the ship was used to ferry released civilian prisoners from Shanghai to somewhere...

    “In September 1945 in Shanghai my family and I were interned by the Japanese along with hundreds of other civilians in camps around Shanghai. The war in the Far East came to an end in August. For a week or so there was great confusion in Shanghai over who was in charge until eventually the Americans swept in, took over the responsibility for feeding all the internees, and our Japanese guards slunk away to their barracks next to the camp. To our great joy we could see the masts of the allied ships proceeding along the Huangpu river which was not very far away.

    A message went round that anyone ready to go by 8 a.m. next morning could go on the first ship home. We arrived at the dock the next morning and were ferried over the river to HMS Glenearn, a merchant ship converted to an armed troop carrier for the duration of the war. We should have left almost at once but a typhoon in the East China Sea delayed us by several days.

    Attached Files:

  3. liverpool annie

    liverpool annie New Member

    Hi Dave !

    Can I ask a question please ? I'm interested in Frank as he's from Liverpool .... but why did they say he died of wounds when he was in a motor accident - with 7 of them in the vechicle ? did something else happen ? do you know ?

  4. Dave Barlow

    Dave Barlow Member

    FRANK EASTHOPE - RN burial in Queensland

    Sorry Annie - I don't know where you read that "they" said that Frank died of wounds.

    Everything I know about Frank Easthope's death is in the post I submitted. The file for FLGOFF Gee who ended up passing away from his injuries specifically states that Frank was killed outright in the MVA. Besides what I included in my post you can read Gee's accident report online and see what other clues are there to be gleaned.

    Personally, taking into the account the date it occured, the time of night involved and the number of servicemen in the vehicle I would hazard a guess that alcohol might have been in the mix somewhere. The war had been over for a few months, they were all a long way from home and Ipswich is the most boring place in the world to spend a lonely Xmas. They were probably either driving into Brisbane for a continuation of festivities or heading back to base when the accident occured.

    Interesting that they were in a RAAF registered vehicle at the time of the crash, I wonder what sort of vehicle it was?? I might have another look myself.
  5. liverpool annie

    liverpool annie New Member

    Hi Dave ... I found it here ...... I'll take another look too !

    In Memory of

    L/FX98561, H.M.S. Nabsford., Royal Navy
    who died age 23
    on 25 December 1945
    Son of Frank and Marion Easthope, of Liverpool, England; husband of Margaret Easthope, of Wavertree, Liverpool.

    Remembered with honour

    Royal Navy casualties, killed and died, Sept-Dec 1945
  6. liverpool annie

    liverpool annie New Member

  7. Dave Barlow

    Dave Barlow Member

    RN burials in Queensland

    Thanks Annie - a great resource to use, not that I'm doing much Naval research - besides the two RN burials here in Brisbane.

    It does list Easthope as DOWS but they obviously have the term "road accident" available as evidenced by the next entry on that list. I have contacted the naval-history site owners to see if they are interested in the disconnect between their entry and Aussie official files.

    Easthope was working out of RAAF Station Archerfield - In February 1945, the Royal Navy moved its Transportable Aircraft Maintenance Yard No.1, known as TAMY 1, to Archerfield. The Royal Navy base was known as HMS Nabsford and a plaque commemorating it and the British personnel who served in the Pacific theatre can be viewed in the old administration building along with plaques from the RAAF and the US 5th Air Force.


    The site you use also gives a little more detail on the fate of Seaman Gowing, but not much:

    Monday, 3 September 1945


    GOWING, Kenneth, Seaman, RNPS, LT/JX 544407, accident, killed

    (CWGC - Son of Claud Robert and Flora Ethel Gowing, of Norwich, England)

    I have had a quick trawl around the navy history site to see if there is any more info about his demise or the movements of his ship without any luck. I now know that the Glenearn was a Landing Ship, Infantry (Large).


  8. liverpool annie

    liverpool annie New Member

    Gordon is a nice man and terrifically helpful ... I'm sure he'll help you find out something more !! :)
  9. Dave Barlow

    Dave Barlow Member


    I have been in touch with the guys over at navalhistory and they are amending the record for Easthope to reflect "road accident" in line with the report on the RAAF file.

    By the way - apparently DOWS has nothing to do with the word "wound" - I thought it must have stood for something like "died of wounds sustained", however, I received the following from Don K at navalhistory:

    From British Admiralty sources. DOWS is Died on War Service. That is killed while in service of the King (or Queen), but not in contact with the enemy.

    This was an umbrella that encompasses all the ways a person can be killed. It does not appear until late 1943 or 1942 (I am calling upon memory).

    Certainly, road accident is more descriptive. DOWS leaves it open: jumping from a third story window while drunk, etc, etc, etc.
  10. John Earley

    John Earley New Member

    Dave I may have some information about this that could prove helpful.
    My Father John Earley AB served on HMS Glenearn as Radar operator from Feb 1942 to 1945 and was in the mess when the LCT kerosene ignited and exploded on the Glenearn. My Father recounted the whole incident to Alex Aiken who wrote a book about the Glenearn called 'In Time of War'
    It has been over a week waiting for registration to be processed and unfortunately too late tonight to go into this further.

    I'll give you chapter and verse on Sunday and any questions about the incident can be put to my Father
    Nick Earley (Son)
  11. Dave Barlow

    Dave Barlow Member

    From the start of my post, the member in question died in early September 1945 and is buried in Brisbane.

    From the naval history site - Monday, 3 September 1945


    GOWING, Kenneth, Seaman, RNPS, LT/JX 544407, accident, killed

    I am unaware if he was involved in the explosion in April and was brought to Australia for treatment, where he finally died from his wounds nearly 5 months later. Or he could have been in Brisbane with his ship (before it left to rescue released internees as described above) and suffered some accident in Brisbane on or before the 3rd of September which killed him. Maybe the book you mention mentions what the ship was doing on that date and how the member died......


    The petrol for the LCAs was stored under the marines mess deck, usually the tank was immersed in water except when refuelling the landing craft, on the 9.4. 1945 there was an explosion with many casualties, Commander Hardman- Jones was killed in a second explosion while down on the messdeck rescuing the injured from the first explosion, there was also a small seamen's mess under too, it happened at `stand easy'.

    "Actually I was quite surprised to hear of the casualties sustained in the explosion on Glenearn--- when 535 flotilla was on board and the landing craft were being refuelled, Serg. Dixon stood in the starb'd passageway and absolutely refused to let anyone below stand easy or not, he gave me one minute to change for watch keeping duties, giving me the hurry up all the time, except for the two seamen who manned the ASDIC in their own steel cabin, when 535 left their place was taken by a landing craft maintenance group from a shore base in Sydney, they were possibly unaware of the danger."
  12. John Earley

    John Earley New Member

    Dave the fuel explosion in April to which you refer was the first of two which occured over a 5 month period and Gower was injured in the second incident months later

    On the 12th August HMS Glenearn sailed for Finschhaven two days later petrol was noticed leaking from a pipe on No 1 mess deck and there was another ignition of fuel resulting in flames spewing out of the ventilation trunking into the Marines locker room. It was on this occasion that Kenneth Gowing Seaman, RNPS, LT/JX 544407 was overcome from fuel inhalation .He was rescued and carried out by the Ship's Captain Hutchinson.

    The Glenearn was at that time under orders to sail to Hong Kong but needed to put in at Brisbane first to pick up medical and other supplies. Gower was put off and taken to Brisbane hospital where he later died of pnuemonia presumably as a result of the dmage to his lungs.

    Later, on route to HK the Glenearn called in at the port of Sama (island of Hainan). Numerous Japanese landing craft came alongside full of released POWs and 334 embarked to be let off at Shanghai

    Whilst at Shanghai the Glenearn took on 350 British, Australian Dutch & Canadian Nationals who had been interned for 3 years. Sailing to HK was postphoned for 48 hours due to a typhoon in the yellow sea.

    Due to the delays and rough seas the POW's were on board for 6 days but on arrival in HK most couldn't dissembark immediately as there was no accommodation and HK, which was in chaos.
  13. Dave Barlow

    Dave Barlow Member

    Thanks John - that pretty well wraps this one up. I'm just glad that there is a logical reason for this poor bloke being buried in Brisbane.

    Maybe one day a member of the family will find this thread and take some comfort in the headstone photos and the story behind the casualty.



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