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George Ramsdale Witton Plaque : 01-09-2010
George Ramsdale Witton Plaque : 01-09-2010

Plaque erected in memory of George Ramsdale Witton who was court-martialled along with Lieutenants Peter Handcock and 'Breaker' Morant for the shooting of Boer prisoners during the Boer War. George Witton lived in Coalstoun Lakes from 1910 to 1939. The plaque is also in memory of all locals who fought in the Boer War and was dedicated on the 27th February  1902, the centenary of the court-martial.

George Ramsdale Witton (1874 – 1942) was a Lieutenant in the Bushveldt Carbineers in the Boer War in South Africa who was charged with murder and sentenced to death after the killing of a number of Boer Prisoners. He was subsequently reprieved by Kitchener, although Lieutenants Peter Handcock and Harry "Breaker" Morant who had been court martialed with him, were executed by a firing squad on 27 February 1902.

Witton strongly protested the charges and secured a legal opinion from Isaac Isaacs KC, an Australian member of parliament, who recommended that he should petition HM the King for a pardon . Lord Kitchener commuted Witton's sentence to life imprisonment. He was released from prison after a concerted effort by the Australian and South African governments and citizens of both countries. A petition signed by 80,000 Australians urged the Crown to pardons and release Witton and representations were also made by British MPs, including Winston Churchill. He returned to Australia on 12 November 1904 embittered after three years in prison and wrote a book giving his version of the events.

Location

Address:Main Street, Memorial Hall, Coalstoun Lakes, 4621
State:QLD
Area:AUS
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -25.615627
Long: 151.889741
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Details

Monument Type:Plaque
Monument Theme:People
Sub-Theme:Military
Actual Event STart Date:27th-February-1902
Actual Event End Date:27th-February-2002

Dedication

Actual Monument Dedication Date:Wednesday 27th February, 2002
Front Inscription

                 IN HONOUR OF THE MEMORY OF
              GEORGE RAMSDALE WITTON

COURT-MARTIALLED BY THE ENGLISH FOR FOLLOWING
           ORDERS DURING THE BOER WAR.
WHEN RELEASED FROM PRISON HE RETURNED
                              TO AUSTRALIA

IN 1910 HE SETTLED IN COALSTOUN LAKES AND WAS A
PROMINENT MEMBER OF THE COMMUNITY UNTIL HE SOLD
                     HIS PROPERTY IN 1939.

IN MEMORY OF ALL LOCALS WHO FOUGHT IN THE BOER WAR
     DEDICATED BY THE HON WARREN TRUSS MP.
    MEMBER FOR WIDE BAY, ON THE CENTENARY
  OF THE COURT MARTIAL 27TH FEBRUARY 2002

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