A century on from the end of World War I we acknowledge their service …
Lest we forget.
Lance Corporal Harry Ede
Born: 1871 Horsham. Died: 13 October 1918 Mildura.
Enlisted: 18 August 1914 and 20 November 1914 aged 42.
Served: Egypt and Gallipoli.
Harry Ede was a soldier in the Boer War and like a number of other Australians, he stayed on in South Africa for a while after the war, marrying Emma Bertha Koenig before returning to Australia.
Tragically, the couple’s two young children died in infancy and Emma herself died young in 1910.
Harry was living and working as a clerk in Pakenham Upper when he enlisted on 18 August 1914.
Although a seasoned soldier, the Great War would be unlike anything Harry had experienced.
Sent to Gallipoli early in the campaign, he broke down physically and emotionally and was sent back to Egypt, described by Army doctors as being “very tremulous and completely run down”.
He had lost four stone (25kgs) in weight, was diagnosed as suffering neurasthenia caused by “prolonged trench work” and was assessed as unfit for active service.
Harry tried to settle back into civilian life in Mildura and married again, but the effects of his war service continued to haunt him and at the wedding he could not face the congregation.
He died of heart failure in October 1918.
This is an extract from Patrick Ferry’s book A Century After The Guns Fell Silent – Remembering the Pakenham District’s WWI Diggers 1914-18.
For more details on this and other profiles in the book, head to the website www.pakenhamww1.com