Year of Birth:  1884

Place of Birth:  Gordonvale, Queensland

Date of Enlistment:  18 March 1916

Date and Place of Embarkation:  16 August 1916, Brisbane, Queensland

Ship:  HMAT Boorara A42

Rank:  Private

Unit(s):  47th Australian Infantry Battalion

Regimental Number:  2139

Died:  29 July 1918


Private Edward Crossland – photo courtesy Australian War Memorial


Edward Crossland was born 23 August 1883 in Gordonvale to Edwin Crossland and Sarah Johnstone.  Edward’s father Edwin was one of the first men to reach Cairns in 1876, one of Cairns earliest Pioneers.  Edward’s eldest brother, Albert, born 1876 was reported in a newspaper article to be the first white child born in Cairns.  Edward had 2 older sisters, Sarah born 1876 and died 1876,  Rebecca born 1878, died 1878.  Not long after Edward’s birth his mother Sarah died in 1883.

Edward’s father Edwin married again to Kate O’Brien and they had 6 children, Lillian born 20 January 1888, Charles Henry 8 December 1885, Benjamin 8 December 1891, John Thomas 7 October 1898, Rebecca 1898.  A George Bartholomew died in 1919 but a birth record could not be located.

His father, Edwin Crossland died on the 25 July 1928.

On Edward’s enlistment he stated he was born in Gordonvale, and  gave his age as 32 years 5 months.  His occupation was a Farmer and his next of kin was his father, Edward Crossland of Gordonvale.  His height was 5 feet 8 ½ inches, he weighed 151 pounds with brown complexion, grey eyes, brown hair and his religion was Church of England.

Edward served in France, was injured in the left shoulder and evacuated to to England. He re-joined his unit on 14 November 1917.

Private Edward Crossland, on the 5 April 1918, was reported as missing in action, which was later changed to being reported a prisoner of war in German hands.  A later report states he died whilst a Prisoner of War in German hands in hospital 22 July 1918 and was buried in the Valenciennes Communal Cemetery, France, plot v; row d; grave 12.


HMAT Boorara A72 – photo courtesy Australian War Memorial


Australian Red Cross Wounded & Missing


Cairns Post – Wednesday 30 October 1918, p4


Cairns Post – Tuesday 2 July 1919, p4


Online Resources

Qld Birth Death & Marriage Index

AWM: Photograph Edward Crossland

Photograph of the HMAT Boorara; PB0272,  Australian War Memorial

NAA: B2455, Crossland,  Edward,  National Archives of Australia

Australian War Memorial

Cairns Post – Wednesday 30 October 1918, p4

Cairns Post – Tuesday 2 July 1919, p4


If you have a photograph or further information about this soldier you would like to share and add to his biography, please add a comment or contact the Society projects@cdfhs.org

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