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
Glasses worn by Augustus Milton East during World War One
Augustus Milton East’s war diary
Keith Wickham Allen was the grandson of Walter Allen and Charlotte Dunster of Shellharbour.
Walter Allen established a general store and residence in Shellharbour Village in 1868. He operated the post office adjacent to the store until his death in 1876. Mrs. Charlotte Allen and members of the family continued the business for many years as Allen Bros. Clothing and other goods were often ordered by catalogue through the Post Office, and arrived by boat, train or mail.
The following article details Keith’s time at war. it is taken from the Goulburn Evening Penny Post 21 January 1919
Tongarra Museum has in its collection a wonderful photo album from the Allen family of Shellharbour. The following photos of Keith are from that album.
Keith Wickham Allen of Shellharbour
Keith Wickham Allen and his sister Kaleen (right) at Shellharbour.
Eva, Miriam and Beatrice James were Red Cross nurses during World War One. They were the daughters of Thomas and Rachel James who lived at Rosemont farm, Dunmore. Their grandfather, William James, was one of Shellharbour’s first European settlers, and the James family were known for their kindness and generosity to others.
William, a stonemason, arrived in Australia in the 1850s. He settled in Shellharbour at Dunmore and built his home “Bravella”
. He purchased breeding stock from local farmer Andrew McGill
and established the James Family dairy herd
. William was an Alderman on the first Shellharbour Municipal Council in 1859 and served as Mayor 1870-1871.
Eva, Miriam and Beatrice James, Red Cross Nurses c.1920
The Shellharbour Rolls of Honour and Memorials to the the Great War 1914-1919 and World War II 1939-1945 were originally placed in Little Park, Shellharbour.
They were later relocated to Caroline Chisholm Park in Addison Street and incorporated with the Atchison Boer War Memorial and the Memorial to the wreck of the Cities Service Boston.
Below is an account of the unveiling of the captured German trench mortar and honour roll commemorating the men from Shellharbour who served in the Great War, and a photograph of Rose Fisher at the original memorial at Little Park.
Kiama Reporter 28 June 1922.