Augustus (Gus) Milton East was born in 1893, the son of Alfred and Katie East of Shellharbour. During WWI he joined the 18th Battalion AIF to serve overseas. He was killed in action in France on the 19th May 1918 aged 25yrs.
Tongarra Museum holds a collection of significant items relating to Gus; the legacy he left behind includes war diaries, letters, mementos from overseas and a souvenir ‘wartime’ scarf bought for his sister Marjorie. These precious objects describe Augustus’ experience at war and the way in which his family dealt with his death.
What is particularly of note is the concern from Augustus for his family in Australia while he was fighting at war. His thoughts were always with his family and home, even as he was enduring the horrors of war.
One of the letters Gus wrote was to the James girls of Dunmore (see previous post).
These items were treasured by his family after his death and are now treasured by the museum and local community. They were donated to the museum by Gus’ niece.
Augustus Milton East 1893 – 1918
Augustus Milton East’s war diary