239 Cpl. Hugh Colquhoun

239 Hugh Colquhoun

Hugh was 30 years old, a native of Greenoch, Scotland. He was an Engine Fitter with considerable experience and also had been in the royal engineers as a Corporal for 12 years.

According to Hugh’s sister, when he arrived in Australia he was working for the Ashanti Goldfields Corporation in Western Australia. Both his parents were deceased and his brother and sister lived in Scotland.

Prior to enlisting he had been living with his auntie, Mrs Gamble, in Pyrmont Sydney and unknown to his aunty he had a girlfriend…… Mary Singleton of Randwick, which he was intending to wed.

Unfortunately Hugh was killed in action on the 19th June 1915,  Gallipoli… circumstances unknown.

Cpl H. Colquhoun 239
Cpl H. Colquhoun 239

After his death at Gallipoli, his estate was argued by his auntie, Mrs Gamble and his fiance’ Mary Singleton.

The records initially showed his NOK was in fact his girlfriend Mary Singleton and by her account they were intending to marry and she knew of his aunty and Hugh’s living arrangements with his aunty. She received his personal effects after the war and most correspondence was related to her via solicitors.

However the Auntie was quite concerned that this was not the case as she believed her nephew had …“never met this woman”… and that… “he must have been under the influence of drink” when this information was taken down.

It would appear that auntie Gamble did not approve of Miss Mary Singleton…… and sadly his memory was somewhat hijacked by these circumstances. (The original correspondence is below)

“This women was a total stranger to my nephew”
The intended ... Mary Singleton
Hugh’s intended … Mary Singleton

A later copy of his attestation shows an update to his file as his brother Charles in 1920 was officially now his NOK. His brother later received photos of his burial site.

Hugh’s memory is preserved forever at the Beach Cemetery- Gallipoli and the AWM Honour Roll and his name was hand cut in the cross erected by his mates in the 1st FCE.


Hugh’s place of burial is the Beach Cemetery (Plot I, Row K, Grave No. 2), Gallipoli, Turkey

AWM Map 1- Panel 23
AWM Map 1- Panel 23

Service Number: 239

Rank: Corporal

Unit: 1st Field Company, Australian Engineers

Service: Australian Army

Conflict: First World War, 1914-1918

Date of death: 19 June 1915

Place of death: Gallipoli, Ottoman Empire

Cause of death: Died of wounds

Place of association: Paddington, Australia

Cemetery or memorial details: Beach Cemetery, Gallipoli Peninsula, Canakkale Province, Turkey

Source: AWM145 Roll of Honour cards, 1914-1918 War, Army


Hugh’s story may be brief, and is deserving of more detail, hopefully more of his pre war story may follow.



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