Boer War St John's Reid Canberra

Boer War Connections

The Reverend Pierce Galliard Smith was the Rector of St John’s for over 50 years. There is a tablet in the church to the memory of his son William Bradshaw Galliard Smith. Bradshaw (as he was generally known) was killed in South Africa on 30 October 1901 while serving with the Second Scottish Horse during the Boer War.

Bradshaw, almost 39 when he died, had spent much of his adult life in the remote areas of Queensland, Northern Territory and Western Australia, managing properties, droving and prospecting. The news of his death was shattering to his aged parents. The tablet was designed by his mother and made at Turner’s Marble Works in Goulburn. It was placed in the church during 1903.

Boer War Tablet St John's Church Canberra
Boer War Grave William Young

The grave of William Frederick Young who was born in Canberra on 29 June 1877 and spent his first few years at a property owned by his parents, which was later called 'Glenloch' (on the northern side of the National Arboretum). His father William Young died in 1894, leaving his widow to raise nine children.

Young joined D Squadron of the New South Wales Mounted Infantry, leaving Sydney on 17 January 1900. On 7 March 1900 his unit fought the Boers at Poplar Grove and again three days later at Driefontein, his last action in the war as Young was invalided to Australia with enteric fever. He died at St Vincent's Hospital in Sydney on 4 October 1900 aged 23 years and was buried in St. John's churchyard. His grave is maintained by the Office of Australian War Graves. Young was posthumously awarded the Queen's Medal with six clasps in April 1906.

Photo: 2018 Boer War Commemoration Service at St John's