Lieutenant-Colonel J. W. Simpson M.CPrint Page Print this page

Photographs supplied by Tom Bird

Memorial tablet unveiled in 1918 by Mr. G.B.Wilson, Principal of the Grammar School commemorates Lieutenant-Colonel Simpson who was killed in France on the 21st January 1917 during World War One.

Simpson was a former assistant teacher at the Grammar School and a popular local sportsman. 

Amongst those whose names will for ever be kept green in the memory of the people of Albury for his manly qualities and his valiant conduct in the great war is the late Lieut.-Colonel J. W. Simpson, M.C., who was killed in action in France in January, 1917. Prior to enlisting this officer was a capable and popular teacher on the staff of the Albury Grammar School, and was at the same time one of the most popular sportsmen in the town. It may be truly said of him that he was as deeply loved by the general public as he was by the principal and staff of the Grammar School and the students of that establishment. The late Lieut.-Colonel Simpson, who had taken an interest in military matters prior to the war and was an officer of the local infantry, displayed conspicuous ability in the field, and it was on that account that at the time of his death he was one of the youngest men in the Australian army holding the responsible post of lieut. -colonel. For gallantry and initiative at Gallipoli, when he held the rank of captain, he was awarded the Military Cross.

After passing through a series of heavy engagements on the peninsula he was found to be suffering from shell shock, and he was invalided to Australia. When he returned to Albury his health was far from satisfactory, and he was in the town some time before he could attend a welcome home arranged by his many admirers, when he was presented with a valuable piece of plate in recognition of his services to the Empire. The function was a notable one. He subsequently signed on again with the New England battalion, and sailed for France, where he was killed, leaving behind him a record of which Albury is proud.

It was felt that his memory should be perpetuated, and steps to that end were taken by Mr. G. B. Wilson, M.A., principal of the Grammar School. The tribute took the form of a memorial tablet in St. David's Presbyterian Church, Albury, and the unveiling ceremony was performed on Sunday morning last in the presence of a large gathering of townspeople, including the mayor and mayoress (Ald. Woods and Mrs. Woods), Colonel Wilkinson, V.D. ; Major T. H. Butcher, Major Harry Griffith, A.M.G. ; and Captain Maynard Wilkinson, recently returned from the front.

The tablet, which is placed on the north wall of the church adjacent to the seat which the late Lieutenant-Colonel Simpson was wont to occupy, is a fine sample of sculptor's art. Its preparation had been entrusted to Mr. Thomas Greenfield the well-known monumental mason of Albury, and reflects great credit on that gentleman's artistic ability and skill. The tablet is of the early English style of Gothic architecture, and is executed in white Sicilian marble.
Albury Banner and Wodonga Express (NSW), 31 May 1918.


Address:Olive & Wilson Streets, St David`s Church, Albury, 2640
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -36.077086
Long: 146.918797
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Plaque
Monument Theme:People
Actual Event STart Date:21-January-1917
Actual Event End Date:21-January-1917
Monument Designer:Thomas Greenfield (Albury)


Actual Monument Dedication Date:Sunday 26th May, 1918
Front Inscription

To The Glory Of God
          And In
Loving Memory Of
Who Was Killed In Action
In France, 21st Jany. 1917.
This Tablet Was Erected
By The Principal, Present, And
      Past Pupils Of The
Albury Grammar School.
In Affectionate Remembrance
Of His Faithful Work, And
Untiring Zeal For The Welfare
        Of The School.
"Well Done Good And Faithful Servant."

Source: MA,NRWM
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