|Private Cyril Frank Abraham
Research carried out by Julie Younger, teacher chaperone, Ipswich Girls’ Grammar School
Soldier’s Name Private Cyril Frank Abraham, No. 7009
Regiment/Unit 21/26th Battalion AIF
Date of Birth 16th August 1890 at Toowoomba, Queensland
Place of Enlistment Brisbane
Age at Enlistment 27 years
Date of Death 20th October 1918
Place of Death Pont Remy, France
Cemetery or Memorial Villiers – Bretonneux Military Cemetery, grave reference: 17-AA-5.
Family Single. Father: Jazeb Abraham, Mother: Elizabeth Abraham
Prior to his military service, Cyril Abraham was a miner.
His enlistment papers describe him as 165cm in height and 65.9 kg.
Cyril’s initial training was at Enogerra (Brisbane). He embarked from Sydney on the 2nd March 1918. and disembarked at Suez in Egypt on the 4th of April 1918. Almost immediately he was admitted to a segregation camp on the 15th April with measles.
He was transferred back to the Australian Army camp at Suez on the 22nd of April 1918.
Cyril left Egypt by ship on 30th April and disembarked at Southampton on the 15th May 1918.
After further training, he sailed from Folkstone (England) to France on 8th August 1918.
On the 15th October, he was admitted to Dury Military Hospital (France) with what was described at the time as brocho-pneumonia.
Cyril did not leave the hospital, dying from the illness on 20th October 1918 at Pont Remy (France).
On March 25th, 1924, Cyril’s sister, Mrs Gladys Mary Thomas of Laidley, wrote to the Officer in Charge, Base Records, Melbourne that as Cyril’s mother had recently died, she (Mrs Thomas) was Cyril’s oldest surviving relative.
Military protocol dictated that on the death of both parents, the eldest son was held as next of kin.
A military ‘Concentration of Graves (Exhumation and Reburial) Effects Form, dated 5th December 1927, mentions that an identity disc was found in the original grave of Cyril Abraham.
Cyril Abraham’s eldest brother was notified on 4th February 1928 that the remains of Cyril and other deceased service personnel had been exhumed and reburied at the nearby Villers-Bretonneux Military Cemetery.
The letter mentions, in part the main reason for the removal of remains was that access to the Dury Hospital Cemetery could only be gained through the grounds of a “French lunatic asylum”, therefore in the interests of relatives visiting the hospital cemetery, it was decided to move the remains to the nearest British cemetery.
After the exhumation and reburial had been completed, a letter dated 12th March 1928, was sent to Cyril’s brother notifying him that Cyril’s identity disc would be sent to him at Brooklands, via Kingaroy.
Cyril Abraham is buried at Villers-Bretonneux Military Cemetery, France,.
His Grave Reference is 17-AA-5.
Sources (inter alia):
1. National Australian Archives
2. Commonwealth War Graves Commission
3. Australian Imperial Forces Records
4. WW1 Service Records
5. Australian History Research
6. Red Cross records – AWM
7. Queensland Government – Roll of Honour