RESPECTFUL REPAIR: Warren Spreadborough, Bill Ohl, Ray Parsons and Max Mullinger have restored the grave of naval rating William Gibb at South Rockhampton Cemetery.
RESPECTFUL REPAIR: Warren Spreadborough, Bill Ohl, Ray Parsons and Max Mullinger have restored the grave of naval rating William Gibb at South Rockhampton Cemetery. Allan Reinikka Rokagrave

Final resting place for English naval rating Gibb restored

A GROUP of men have finally been able to restore a proper resting place at South Rockhampton Cemetry for English naval rating William Lawson Gibb.

Members of The Naval Association Capricornia Sub Section Inc took it upon themselves to restore the headstone after vandals wreaked havoc on the cemetery about eight years ago, destroying many grave sites including that of sailor William who died on July 17, 1915.

Secretary Ray Parsons said the man who was serving with the Royal Australian Navy accidentally drowned in the Fitzroy River and was on the HMAS Yarra during his time in Rockhampton.

"He possibly was an English sailor and joined the Australian navy," Mr Parsons said.

"One of our ex-members found the grave like this and wanted something done about it.

"So it's taken us about seven months to get it approved through all the right channels.

"But we wanted to give him a proper grave site in case his family were ever to come and see it."

President Max Mullinger said although they were only a small association, raising money through chook raffles and other efforts, they thought it was only right to give the naval man an appropriate resting place.

"It's been a long process but there's a lot of satisfaction knowing that we've got it approved and are getting it done," Mr Mullinger said.

The group of men repaired the site last week under the guidance of stone mason Andrew Fricker with some of the materials donated.

"We've also put in a brass plaque to say that the restoration had been done by our naval association," he said.