Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Death of Australian Brothers on Service

Intimation has been received by Mr. Alexander McEwan, Pirnie Hall, Drymen, that his son Private William M.G. McEwan, Australian Imperial forces, died of wounds in France on August 1st. Private McEwan was 21 years of age, and joined the army in February of last year. He was wounded by shrapnel at the Dardanelles, and went to France in March. He joined the army at Sydney, N.S.W.; where he was a steward on one of the coasting vessels. 
His brother, Private George Buchanan McEwan, Australian Imperial Forces, has also been killed in action. He was first posted as missing, but his father has now received information that he has been killed. He was a native of Killearn, and before he enlisted was employed at Broken Hill, Australia. Mr McEwan has other two sons with the forces.

This piece of information plus some research back and forth between myself and a researcher in Australia led to me writing a short family history of some of the McEwans. It's at the "add photographs and documentation" stage. 

5 of my grandmother's siblings settled in Australia. Thus far we have been able to track down information about 4 of them and been in contact with descendants from two of them. 

Something useful from the above obituary is that it takes you into military records. It proved most advantageous for our family that William and George were in Australia when they enlisted because a lot of military records in the UK were destroyed during the London Blitz. We found their WWI records and those of their brother David. Later I found WWII records for a nephew of David's.

My researcher in Australia found newspaper records for the group leaving Broken Hill and George was mentioned in there.

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