Vale Dr Peter Crossman

Postscript to the QANZAC 100 blog of 2017 Fellowship Recipient Dr Peter Crossman who passed away 14th July 2018 submitted by his family April 2019.

Peter Crossman 2017 QANZAC 100 Fellow, State Library of Queensland. Photo courtesy Deborah Crossman
Dr Peter Crossman 2017 QANZAC 100 Fellow, State Library of Queensland.
Image courtesy Deborah Crossman

As the QANZAC 100 Program, “Memories for a new Generation”, draws to a close, it is with much sadness that the family of Dr Peter Crossman, a 2017 QANZAC 100 Fellowship recipient advise his readers of his death on 14th July 2018 as a result of metastatic melanoma. Peter’s project Cairns of words and numbers: Queensland’s Memory Rolls of the Great Waraimed to create a comprehensive Inventory of Queensland Great War Honour Rolls with consistent metadata and build a searchable database suitable for scientific research.

The project aligned well with Peter’s professional skills as a statistician and researcher, having been Assistant Under Treasurer and Government Statistician of Queensland prior to his retirement, and Associate Professor of Economics at James Cook University before that.

Peter always had a strong interest in Great War history and was a member of the Western Front Association, The Friends and Family of the First AIF, and the Queensland Military Historical Society Brisbane, and had been involved in various pieces of personal military history research. With the benefit of the QANZAC 100 Fellowship in 2017 he was able to focus more intently on his project of the Great War Honour Rolls. In his thank you speech for the fellowship, Peter said “I have long been inspired by the words of the poet, JS Manifold, an Australian poet and musician, who lived in Wynnum after his service in the second world war. He wrote about a school friend who died as a prisoner of war in Germany. “This is not sorrow, this is work. I build a cairn of words over a silent man, my friend John Learmonth…” “

Peter took the inspiration from these words, together with his skills as a statistician, to his project as a way of building cairns of words and numbers over the men and women of Queensland whose names were listed on Great War memorial rolls throughout the state.

Peter is greatly missed by all who knew him. Sadly, Peter did not have the opportunity to complete his project, but it is hoped his work will inspire others to continue the research, discover the stories and keep alive the memory of the fallen.

Honor Board, Boys Central School Charters Towers. Image courtesy Deborah Crossman
Honor Board, Boys Central School Charters Towers. Image courtesy Deborah Crossman