The Australian Boer War Memorial
Anzac Parade Canberra

Private Benjamin Spurway

Ancestor Details

Ancestor's Name: Benjamin Spurway

Ancestor's date of birth: 21/05/1878

Ancestor's date of death: 01/01/1966

Cause of Death: Unknown

Service Number: 61

Colony or State of enlistment: QLD, Place of Enlistment: Detail not provided

Unit: B Company, 1st Queensland Mounted Infantry

Rank attained in Boer War: PTE, Date Effective: Detail not available

Highest Rank attained (if served after war): Detail not provided

Murray Page: 454

Contingent: 1st Queensland

Ship: Cornwall, Date of Sailing: 31/10/1899

Memorial details: Yeppoon Queensland

Decorations: Queen's South Africa Medal with clasps

Personal Characteristics: Outgoing. Love of Literature, his diary is in the archives in Canberra.

Reasons to go and fight: Detail not provided

Details of service in war: Prisoner of War, Sanna's Post 31st March 1900. Relieved 4th June 1900. Battles involved with were; Sunnyside,Releif of Kimberley,Paardeberg,Poplar Grove,Driefontein, Bloemfontein, Diamond Hill.

Service and life after the Boer War: 'After the war Ben spent 5 years in the USA, he also travelled to Tahiti, Canada, back to Africa and New Zealand. In Australia he went to outback Queensland. Ben had the greatest admiration for our pioneer women of outback Australia. At the conclusion of one of his stories called "Our Brave Pioneers" he had this to say and I quote; "In my visits to Brisbane and other large cities I have looked in vain for some public recognition of these noble women. In places like the Botanic Gardens or other large parks, in the shape of some sculptured monument featuring their courage and sacrifice. With all due respect for other monuments I venture to state that none of them are more worthy of recognition. Don't forget without these women much of Queensland would yet be bush and let us all remember that these women who lived in bark huts with dirt floors were the founders of our nation. Do I hear someone say why a monument? It would be better if we honoured them with something more useful, a memorial building, a women's rest room or something of that kind and I agree with that idea, but is there any good reason why we cannot have both? I am only a service pensioner, a Boer War solider, and I solemnly declare that I would support such a movement, to the best of my ability"'

By Lillis Farrell, Pte Spurway's Granddaughter

In his eighties he wrote his diary on the Boer War at the insitance of his grandchildren who wanted to know "what he did in the war". He also wrote "Christmas on Herbert River" which was purchased by the Gillette Razor Company and dramatised on the radio, this story was written about 1947.

Descendant Details

Name of Descendant: Lillis Farrell, Port Macquarie NSW
Relationship to Ancestor: Grand Daughter


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RUSI of NSW Boer War Battlefields