Bertram Frank Hussey

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Bertram Frank Hussey
During the war.[1]
Birth: , Toodyay, Western Australia
Death: , Shenton Park, Western Australia
Parents: Bertram Fowler Hussey
    c.1874 (Perth) – 1929 (Toodyay)
Edna May Hussey (née Wesche)
    – 1950-09-17
Siblings: Bertram Frank Hussey
Lesley Young (née Hussey)
Partners: Hilda McCue
Lilian Jessie Rae Hussey (née Wilson)
    b. 1910, d. c. 2013.
Children: Yes
Keywords: H.M. Wilson Archives
Wikitree: Hussey-2509
FamilySearch: M3ZC-ZX6

Frank Hussey was born on 26 April 1908 in Toodyay[2] to Dr Bertram Hussey and his wife.[3] Dr Hussey died some time before 1936.[4]

Frank attended Guildford Grammar School 1920–1923[5] and then Duntroon (when it was in Melbourne),[2] graduating the latter in 1927.[6]

In the lead-up to WW2 he was seconded from the Army to oversee the construction of the railway on Rottnest (from Kingston Barracks to Oliver Hill).[2]

On Tuesday 3 March 1936 he married Hilda McCue (of Rockdale NSW[7]) in the hotel on Rottnest.[8] They were married in the Music Room.[4] Captain K. Hall was the chairman at the reception.[4] Hilda cut the cake with Frank's military sword.[4]

He rose to the rank of Brigadier during WW2,[9] and was discharged from the Army in 1958.[1]

8 March 1947, The Mirror (Perth):[10][11]

Will Wed Again—If He Can!

Having awarded soldier Bertram Hussey his decree nisi, Mr. Justice Wolff was concerned with the future of 2 children who are at a Sydney boarding school.

"I'm afraid I can't work out what would be the best arrangement to make for them," said lawyer Wally Unmack when quizzed on the matter.

"I'm going to England for 12 months in about a fortnight," said Hussey. "When I return I intend to get married again—If I can."

Question of custody was reserved.

Low Doings At George's Heights

Marriage at Rottnest in 1936 between Bertram Frank Hussey and Hilda Hussey had all the earmarks of an idyll. And so it was… until Hilda, swept off her feet by the glamor of new places, decided to scout round for new faces and became enamored of one belonging to Ronald Edgar Harlow over Sydney way.

That, said Bertram Hussey in quiet cultured tones to Mr. Justice Wolff, was after they'd lived happily at Rottnest, Sydney, Canberra and Sydney again, where his soldiering took him.

The underhand had no place in Hilda Hussey's make-up. She lost no time in acquainting Bertram with her love for Harlow who, she explained, knew Mrs. Harlow was going to divorce him. Bluntly, Hilda followed up with the KO that she wanted to become Mrs. Harlow II. Bertram, always an advocate of the logical conclusion, gathered in a fellow officer to give certain George's Heights quarters in Sydney the once over.

While the birdies blinked in the early morning light and the quarters were as quiet as a mausoleum, Bertram forced a window, opened the front door to admit his com panion. Together they intruded into the darkness of the bedroom and the light snapped on to reveal Hilda and Harlow tucked up in a double bed.

And while Bertram identified them to his companion, Hilda awoke, blinked, burrowed deeper under the bedclothes and pulled the sheet over her head. Harlow apparently didn't regard the intrusion as worthy of comment, merely goggled as Bertram, promising divorce proceedings would follow, walked out and was soon on his way to Victoria Barracks, Brisbane.

Arrived in the West some time after, Bertram popped along to enlist lawyer Wally Unmack's legal aid, and at his request, Judge Wolff put an end to the marriage. Bill of costs will lie addressed to Harlow.

After the war, he married Lilian Jessie Rae Hussey (née Wilson). Together they lived in Kununurra, where from 1960 to '63 he was an engineer (2IC) on the Ord River Diversion Dam.

Frank died on 11 May 1985 at Hollywood Hospital in Perth.

Captain Hussey at the Settlement railway station, May 2015.

In November 2003 a new railcar on the tourist railway on Rottnest was named Captain Hussey in his honour.[12] An information notice at the Settlement railway station read as follows:[1]

Brigadier B.F. (Frank) Hussey (1907–1985)

In 1933 as an Engineer Adviser, Frank Hussey joined General Sir Talbot Hobbs, Colonel Whitelaw and Major Payne on a reconnaissance of Rottnest Island to select sites for military installations.

Captain Hussey was to return to March 1935 as Engineer-in-Charge on Rottnest Island for the Department of the Interior. Despite this grant title, all the Army provided him with when he first arrived was two horses, a groom and a batman (a military term for an officer's servant).

He was responsible for carrying out the preliminary work for all the military sites on the Island and in particular to supervise the construction of the railway from the Army Jetty to Bickley and Oliver Hill.

In an interview recorded in 1981, Frank Hussey described some of the challenges they had to overcome in constructing extensions to the railway line:

"A very large problem was to stop the embankments blowing away\dots what we did was ped down lots of ti-tree, and after trying various other things we found that by far the best thing was the Rottnest Daisy, to get that growing on the banks."

He left Rottnest Island at the end of 1937 and served in New Guinea during World War II. Frank Hussey held the rank of Captain while stationed on Rottnest Island, but reached the rank of Brigadier by the time he was discharged from the Army in 1958.


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 File:FB Hussey information display, Rottnest.jpg
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Fortress named a heritage icon, 11 November 2010. Kent Acott. (archived copy)
  3. Untitled newspaper article. (1936, January 23). Western Mail (Perth), p. 31. Retrieved May 3, 2015, from
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 Brilliant Military Wedding. (1936, March 8). Sunday Times (Perth, WA : 1902 - 1954), p. 24. Retrieved May 3, 2015, from
  5. Accomplished Old Guildfordians, 9 March 2012.
  6. DUNTROON SPEECH DAY (1927, December 16). The Canberra Times (ACT : 1926 - 1995), p. 4. Retrieved April 18, 2019, from
  7. No title. (1936, March 4). The West Australian (Perth, WA: 1879 - 1954), p. 4. Retrieved May 3, 2015, from
  8. 1936 'ISLAND WEDDINGS.', The West Australian (Perth, WA : 1879 - 1954), 4 March, p. 19, viewed 3 May, 2015.
  9. SP196/3, H14: Captain Bertram Frank Hussey [24 pages] [Box 2], in National Archives of Australia, 1927--1939.
  10. Will Wed Again—If He Can! (1947, March 8). Mirror (Perth, WA : 1921 - 1956), p. 11. Retrieved July 19, 2024, from
  11. Low Doings At George's Heights (1947, March 8). Mirror (Perth, WA : 1921 - 1956), p. 11. Retrieved July 19, 2024, from
  12. Annual Report for the year ended 30 June 2004, Rottnest Island Authority. (archived copy)