EVERY Anzac Day, Brisbane’s Church of England Grammar School (Churchie) community gathers to commemorate the ‘old boys’ who lost their lives in serving their country.
Highlight of the service is the honour board reading and an Australian flag is placed in the ground in remembrance of each old boy who paid the ultimate sacrifice.
This year marked a special event for the Hart family of Upper Kandanga, especially Ian Hart whose grandson Knox – the son of David and Susannah Hart – is a Churchie senior who had the honour of placing the flag for his great uncle Lieutenant Morris David Byrne Hart.
The name Morris Hart has not been kind to the Hart family, as three generations carrying the name have died in connection to war, before reaching 22 years.
The first Morris was killed in a diving accident in the Brisbane River in 1888. His brother called his first born twin Morris in his memory.
This Morris was killed at 10am on October 4, 1917, in the Battle of Passchendaele, two days short of 22 years.
“Then my father (Sir Byrne Hart) called his first born Morris, in memory of his twin. He died in New Guinea at Goroka on December 23, 1945, aged 22,” Ian Hart said.
This was Morris David Byrne Hart, born May 3, 1923. He went to Churchie as a boarder and left in 1940. On May 26, 1942, Morris enlisted in the AIF, aged 19 and was soon deployed to New Guinea. Returning to Australia, he underwent further training and an officer’s course, securing his commission as a Lieutenant.
On his second deployment to New Guinea, Morris joined the Pacific Island Infantry Regiment working in the highlands with native troops, stationed at Garoka. He was tragically killed in a jeep accident on December 23, 1945. The war was over but Morris had elected to stay behind to move the last of the regiment’s equipment while awaiting transfer home.
Morris was buried in the Lae War Cemetery which is commemorated in perpetuity by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.
“When my brother’s personal effects were returned, we found in the wallet he was carrying, an old newspaper cutting of the actual death notice posted of his Uncle Morris’ death at Passchendaele 4-10-1917,” Mr Hart said.
“One wonders what premonition moved my brother, the third Morris, to carry this notice relating to his uncle’s untimely death.