Tragedy strikes twice for fam­ily

Sunday Tasmanian - - News - PATRICK GEE

THE month of Au­gust was a bless­ing and a curse for the par­ents of Gun­ner Henry William Charles Pharoah, of Ho­bart.

Henry was born on Au­gust 11, 1898 to his hair­dresser fa­ther of the ex­act same name and his mother Lucy Jane Pharoah, a cook.

He was ed­u­cated at Trin­ity Hill State School in North Ho­bart and worked as a black­smith be­fore en­list­ing for ser- vice on Oc­to­ber 8, 1915.

On Au­gust 22, 1916 he ar­rived in Devon­port, Eng­land and was a gun­ner in a how­itzer brigade of the Aus­tralian Field Ar­tillery.

Af­ter lit­tle over a month in Winch­ester, Henry was trans­ferred to the 15th Field Ar­tillery Brigade.

He was sent to France in July 1917 and then on to Bel­gium in Au­gust where he was posted to the 102nd Bat­tery.

Henry was killed in ac­tion two days later on Au­gust 16.

Ten days af­ter the first an­niver­sary of Henry’s death on the bat­tle­field, a death no­tice was pub­lished in the Mer­cury an­nounc­ing the death of his younger brother, Percy.

The no­tice said Percy died sud­denly on his par­ents’ prop­erty on Au­gust 24, 1918 — eight-days af­ter the first an­niver­sary of his brother’s death.

The fol­low­ing year, on the an­niver­sary of Henry’s death on Au­gust 16, a no­tice ap­peared in the In Me­mo­riam sec­tion of the Mer­cury.

It said, “In lov­ing mem­ory of our dear son, Gun­ner Henry W. Pharoah, who was killed in ac­tion ... on Au­gust 16, 1917, also his brother Percy who died on Au­gust 24, 1918.

“Both sadly missed. In­serted by his lov­ing mother and fam­ily.”

Henry was buried in the Ren­inghelst New Mil­i­tary Ceme­tery in Bel­gium.

Gun­ner Henry William Charles Pharoah is re­mem­bered at tree 274 on the Soldiers’ Memo­rial Av­enue and on the Hon­our boards at El­iz­a­beth Col­lege, Ho­bart Town Hall, Swan St Church and Wes­ley Hall.

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