Soldier's family comes forward

A CALL in the Advocate for family members of a soldier executed during World War II to come forward to receive his posthumous Commendation for Gallantry – one of 20 awarded in the lead-up to Anzac Day – has been successful.

The Advocate published the call for family of Private William Forbes Schuberth on April 21.

The defence records state that Pte Schuberth, of the 2nd/30th Battalion, was “shot attempting to escape on or after June 15, 1942”, but little was known about his family.

Well-known East Ballina Lion Bob Morgan is the uncle of Pte Schuberth’s granddaughter, Janis Gordon, and sent a copy of the paper to her in Brisbane.

She said it was “awesome” that her grandfather was to be acknowledged with the Commendation for Gallantry.

She has been carrying on the research of her late father, Ray Schuberth, who married Bob Morgan’s sister, Ruth.

Pte William Schuberth was born in Sunderland, England, and was aged 35 when he died as a prisoner of war.

Mrs Gordon said her research revealed that he died on July 30, 1942, when he was working as a prisoner of war on the infamous Burma railway.

She said he was living at 4 Fox Street, Ballina, with his wife Mary, when he enlisted in the army in 1941, officially signing up for duty at Paddington in Sydney.

Mrs Gordon isn’t sure of how he came to Ballina or how long he lived here for. She said it was believed there was a memorial service for him in town after his death.

Mary stayed in town for some time after his death, before moving to Brisbane, where she passed away.

Mrs Gordon is continuing her family research into her grandfather. She visited his war grave in 2009.

“I figured if I don’t keep up the research, who’s going to be doing it? It’s part of history,” she said.

Meanwhile, Mr Morgan and Mrs Gordon are keen to hear of anybody who has a copy of the book, The Blue Haze, which is a history of the 2nd/30th Battalion.
 


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