Sergeant James StewartPrint Page Print this page

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The plaque commemorates James Selwyn Stewart, a former World War One soldier who died in Portland in 1945.

After a distressing and protracted illness, borne with that same heroic fortitude, characteristic of the man, which he displayed over 25 years ago when, in the service of his country, he sustained wounds which necessitated the amputation of a leg, Selwyn Stewart passed away at his home, Percy street, on Friday last, leaving behind a host of admiring friends to mourn the loss of a gallant gentleman.

Selwyn, who was aged 54 years, held a distinguished record in World War No. 1. Enlisting at the very outset, he was attached to the notorious 14th Battalion commanded by the intrepid Capt. Jacka V.C., and was soon promoted to the rank of sergeant. Under fire, he was considered one of the coolest to don a King's uniform in the dark days of 1914-18, and many acts of heroism were his, one of which re-sulted in the bestowal on this gallant Anzac of the D.C.M. (Distinguished Conduct Medal), an award considered second only to the coveted Victoria Cross. Selwyn served under Brigadier-General Brand, a soldier whose experience, unfortunately, owing to political circumstances, has not on this occasion been taken full advantage of.

It is many years since Selwyn, with his wife and young daughter June, took up his residence in Portland, where he soon became a great favourite with all who came in contact with him. He took a keen interest in many branches of civic life and for a term held the presidency of the Returned Soldiers Club.  A man of the highest integrity, he was universally esteemed and was known as one with the courage of his convictions, though at all times respecting the opinions of his fellows, in whose welfare he was always concerned.  The funeral on Saturday morning was of a private nature, returned soldiers, however, having the privilege of following the remains of their late esteemed comrade to the last resting place in the South cemetery. The casket, which was covered with the Union Jack, was carried by four original Diggers of the last war, and other veterans acted as pall-bearers. At the graveside an impressive soldiers' service was conducted by the vice president of the local branch (Mr. R. H. Egan), at the conclusion of which the returned men filed past the open grave, at the same time dropping in a poppy - the Diggers' immortal emblem of remembrance. Vale, Selwyn! The services at the house and graveside were conducted by Rev. Canon Coupe, the deceased being a devout member of the Anglican church, and the mortuary arrangements were in the hands of Mr T. C. Jarrett. A wealth of beautiful flowers testified to the esteem in which the late gentleman was held.
Excerpt from James Selwyn Stewart Obituary, Portland Guardian (Vic), 22 January 1945.


Address:57 Julia Street (cnr Percy Street), St Stephens Anglican Church, Portland, 3305
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -38.348699
Long: 141.603308
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Plaque
Monument Theme:People


Front Inscription

To The Glory of God


14th Battallion A.I.F. 1914 - 1916

Died At Portland On 19th January 1945 In His 55th Year

Source: MA,SKP
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au
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