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Restoration of ANZAC Soldier’ s Memorials

St Matthews Church Cemetery Rokeby

A project to restore graves  commemorating two brothers,  George Irwin NASH and  Cyril Edward NASH who were ANZAC soldiers of the First World War serving  at Gallipoli

The graves had subsided and one was in danger of collapse and were repaired with the help of a grant from Tasmanian Community Fund.  The restoration was managed by the Rotary Club of Howrah after an approach by Mrs Wendy Andrew, Convenor of Tranmere-Clarence Plains Land and  Coastcare Inc.

An engineering report was commissioned and the restoration carried out in accordance with The Heritage Council’s guidelines.

The restoration required removal of sandstone surrounds and the headstone, compaction of the grave site and provision of a reinforced concrete slab.  Rotary Club members assisted under the direction of a stonemason.

graves

 

Initial state of graves

 

 Nash Brothers Story

This is the story of two brothers, Cyril and George Nash, who enlisted in the Australian Army, just over a fortnight after the outbreak of World War 1 in 1914. They landed at Gallipoli on April 25th. 1915.

Their parents were Edward (aka Edwin) and Sarah Maria Nash of Bellerive, where Edward was a fisherman. Their oldest child, Cyril, born in 1878, was a driver in the Army Service Corps and spent 4 years and 163 days on active service, in Gallipoli and then France until the Armistice in November 1918. He was tragically killed in an accident at the EZ Company Risdon on 24th.February 1920.

Cyril Edward NASH married Sarah Jane BUTTERS  who, by a previous marriage to Henry John WELLS,  had four children.

A Cyril Nash Cup was instigated in his memory in 1920 by the  Glenorchy Football Club and paid for by the Clarence Football Club for competition between clubs such as Cygnet, New Norfolk, Clarence, Upper Derwent, Woodbridge, and Scottsdale who played each other.   The last known  whereabouts of this trophy is at the New Norfolk Football Club.

Cyril has a grave at St Matthews Church, Rokeby.

For George Irwin, the youngest child, his service career was different. By August 7th. 1915 he had been hospitalised on Gallipoli and later shipped to Alexandria in Egypt. By September 17, he was on his way home to Australia to recover before returning to Egypt 5 months later. By August 23rd, 1916 he joined the 52nd.Battalion AIF at Etaples, a fishing port in France. He was killed in action some 8 or 9 days later.

He died at Mouquet Farm, Pozieres, France. He is officially remembered on the Villers-Bretonneux Memorial to the Missing, Somme, France. He was 22.

He is remembered on his mother’s grave.

He was killed in action in France on 3 September 1916, aged 22.A labourer prior to enlistment, Pte Nash embarked with the 12th Battalion from Hobart aboard HMAT Geelong (A2) on 20 October 1914.

Private Nash (AWM Collection)

Outdoor portrait of 1044 Private (Pte) George Irwin Nash, 52nd Battalion of Bellerive, Tasmania.


Grave restoration

Headstone being removed

Rotarians Graham, David and John preparing for the slab.

  The Rotary Club of Howrah recognises the work of members John Anderson, Reg Emmett, David Lamb and Graham Wolfe.

Completed grave restoration

 Function to commemorate Nash Brothers Contribution

On  Monday July 14 2014 a gathering of around 50 people gathered to acknowledge Cyril and George Nash’s wartime contributions.   A plaque was dedicated by the Rector of Sandford / Howrah  Helen Phillips.

Our project coordinator, John Anderson detailed the reconstruction process and outlined the wartlime history of the Nashes.   We were pleased to have the following join us –

Ald Doug Chipman,
Vanessa Goodwin MLC,
Rotary District Governor,  Ken Moore and Lois,
Rotary Assistant Governor Jean Weeding,
Step Great Grandson of George Nash  Gordon Silvers and Step Great Great  Grandson Ken Jordan
Representatives of the Tas Community Fund,  Heritage Council
Mr Reg Watson
John Wadsley

 Headstone Inscriptions

In
Loving Memory
of
SARAH MARIA
beloved wife of
EDWARD NASH.
Died 28th May 1913.
In her 62nd Year.
_____

Also their son
SERGT. GEORGE IRWIN NASH
(Anzac)
Killed in action in France 3rd Sept.
1916. Aged 22 Years.

Nobly he fell while fighting for liberty.
Gone but not forgotten.

In
Loving Memory of
CYRIL EDWARD NASH
Dearly beloved Husband of
SARAH JANE NASH
Driver 18 Coy A.S. Cor. A.I.F.
accidentally killed at the Electrolyte
Zinc Co. at Risdon Feb. 24th 1920
In the 43rd Year of his age
After 4 Years and 163 days on active
service.

Blessed are they that mourn for they
shall be comforted.

Acknowledgements

late Phil Rackett,  Much of this information comes from his research.  He was  a Korean war veteran who tried diligently and unsuccessfully to get assistance for the Nash grave maintenance from the Office of Australian War Graves;

Peter  Spratt;  Consulting Chartered  Engineer

Eddie Stanton  Tasmanian Heritage Masonry

Official casualty details from the Commonwealth War Graves Commission;

The AIF project UNSW@ADFA, 2011),

Tasmanian Archives Office;

Headstone Inscriptions — Genealogical Society undated c. post 1986;

Glenorchy Football Club

Clarence Plains Historical Society Inc.  Mrs Wendy Andrew

Trove, Excerpts from Hobart Mercury Newspaper