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]

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.[10] 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. Annual Report for the year ended 30 June 2004, Rottnest Island Authority. (archived copy)