Harold Grafton CARSTAIRS MID

CARSTAIRS, Harold Grafton

Service Number: Officer
Enlisted: 16 February 1900, Melbourne
Last Rank: Captain
Last Unit: 3rd Divisional Train
Born: Geelong, Victoria, Australia, 1 February 1875
Home Town: Ararat, Ararat, Victoria
Schooling: Geelong College and the University of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Occupation: Barrister and Solicitor
Died: Natural causes, Natimuk, Victoria, Australia, 30 July 1943, aged 68 years
Cemetery: Natimuk Cemetery, Victoria
Memorials: Ararat Shire of Ararat WWI Roll of Honor, Geelong College Anglo-South African War Memorial, Geelong College WW1 Roll of Honour, Law Institute of Victoria
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Boer War Service

1 Oct 1899: Involvement Lieutenant, Victorian Citizen Bushmen
16 Feb 1900: Enlisted Australian and Colonial Military Forces (Boer War / Boxer Rebellion), Lieutenant, Victorian Citizen Bushmen, Melbourne
22 Mar 1901: Enlisted Australian and Colonial Military Forces (Boer War / Boxer Rebellion), Captain, 5th Victorian Mounted Rifles, South Africa
22 Mar 1901: Enlisted Australian and Colonial Military Forces (Boer War / Boxer Rebellion), Captain, SN Officer, 5th Victorian Mounted Rifles
5 May 1902: Discharged Australian and Colonial Military Forces (Boer War / Boxer Rebellion), Captain, 5th Victorian Mounted Rifles

World War 1 Service

1 May 1916: Enlisted AIF WW1, Captain, 3rd Divisional Train, Melbourne
9 Jun 1916: Involvement Captain
9 Jun 1916: Involvement Captain, 3rd Divisional Train
9 Jun 1916: Embarked Captain, 3rd Divisional Train, HMAT Afric, Adelaide
9 Jun 1916: Embarked Captain, HMAT Afric, Adelaide
9 Jun 1916: Embarked AIF WW1, Captain, 3rd Divisional Train, HMAT Afric, Adelaide
28 May 1918: Honoured Mention in Dispatches
9 Mar 1919: Embarked AIF WW1, Captain, 3rd Divisional Train, HT Kashmir, England for return to Australia - disembarking Melbourne 30 April 1919.
4 Jun 1919: Discharged AIF WW1, Captain, 3rd Divisional Train

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Biography contributed by Michael Silver

Major Harold Grafton Carstairs, for many years one of the best known and esteemed residents of Natimuk, died at his residence on Friday afternoon last. The community mourns the passing of an estimable citizen, whose busy life, with its many interests, had been of real service to the district. The late Mr Carstairs, who, was a barrister and solicitor by profession, was a son of the late Dr J G and Mrs Carstairs, of Geelong, and he was educated at the Geelong College and Ormond College, graduating in law at the Melbourne University.

When the Boer war broke out he enlisted and served overseas with the Fifth Victorian Bushmen. At the conclusion of hostilities he remained in South Africa and became a member of the staff of residents magistrates at Johannesburg and Pretoria. He worked in this capacity for a number of years and returned to Australia in the year 1908. In the following year he married Miss E Lee, daughter of the late Hon C A Lee and Mrs Lee, of Tenterfield (NSW) and Sydney. He practised as a barrister and solicitor at Casterton, Edenhope and Ararat. Shortly after the outbreak of the Great War he again offered himself for active service, and he served in France for a period of three years, attaining the rank of captain. He gave meritorious service and was mentioned in a despatch by Sir Douglas Haig for distinguished conduct on the field. With the return of peace, Mr Carstairs carried on his profession as barrister and solicitor at Natimuk and Edenhope, and had been a resident of the district ever since. For a considerable period since the last war he was second in command of the 9th Lighthorse Regiment with the rank of Major, and relinquished this position when he reached the retiring age. Mr Carstairs was quick to serve his county when the present war broke out, and he became the first unit leader of the VDC at Natimuk and remained in the position until he reached the retiring age.

During his residence in Natimuk, Mr Carstairs took a keen and practical interest in communifty life. He was a member of the board of management of the Presbyterian Church, which he served for a considerable period. He was a prominent member of the Natimuk sub-branch of the RSL and occupied executive positions from time to time, being president at the time of his death. A keen sportsman, the late Mr Carstairs was for many years an enthusiastic supporter of the Natimuk Tennis Club, and he was also a valued member of the Mechanics' instituit. He displayed an example of putting service before self at all times, and the community greatly benefitted as a result. He will be greatly missed in a district which knew him well and appreciated his sterling worth. He served his day and generation quietly and unostentatiously, but faithfully and well. His was a record of good citizenship.

The late Mr Carstairs, who was 68 years of age, was predeceased by his wife by 12 years, and he is survived by two daughters, Joan (Mrs Ryan) and Nancy (Natimuk) and Lieut Ron Carstairs, MM (AIF), to whom deep sympathy is extended. The funeral took place on Sunday afternoon, moving from the Natimuk Presbyterian Church after a service conducted by the Rev Matthews for the Natimuk Cemetery, where the Rev Matthews also officiated. The returned soldiers' service was conducted by Mr G R Kirsopp, assisted by Mr L F Gladigau. The casket was draped with the flag, on which was placed deceased's sword cap and medals.


The Horsham Times (Vic:1882 - 1954) 3 August 1943: http://nla.gov.au/nla.newsarticle73106316