Jacka­roo to sol­dier, a voice from the past

The Morning Bulletin - - REMEMBRANCE DAY -

AS YEP­POON and Emu Park RSLs put the fi­nal plans in place for this year’s 100-year an­niver­sary of Armistice Day, we take a step back in time and re­mem­ber one of our fallen sol­diers, Mounted In­fantry Sol­dier Harold Philip Sher­win who at just 25-years-old, was killed in ac­tion on Novem­ber 7, 1915.

Listed as sol­dier 169 with the 5th Light Horse Aus­tralia Im­pe­rial Force, Harold Sher­win had been work­ing at Barfield Sta­tion near Theodore when he en­listed in 1914 to serve his coun­try.

Buried at Shell Green in Gal­lipoli, the well-re­spected young sol­dier never made it home.

Over 100 years later, his let­ters writ­ten and sent home to his es­teemed em­ploy­ers were un­cov­ered when the fam­ily home was sold.

For Libby and Philip Homer, who found the doc­u­ments, the dis­cov­ery was a heart­felt re­minder of a young man con­nected to their fam­ily who never got to see old age.

“We had the Barfield Sta­tion at Ba­nana where Harold was a jacka­roo,” Libby said.

“When the sta­tion was sold we were sort­ing through the con­tents of the home and my daugh­ter came across a box of let­ters bun­dled beau­ti­fully and tied with rib­bon.

“Our whole fam­ily be­came in­trigued with Harold’s story, so we sought more in­for­ma­tion about this young man.

“I rang every Sher­win in the lo­cal phone books and found a liv­ing de­scen­dant in Glad­stone who had lost his two un­cles in the war.

“He was so happy to re­ceive the orig­i­nal let­ter, it touched all our hearts.

“We did find other items such as post­cards and trin­kets sent to Ed­win Homer, who was very fond of Harold.”

Libby said the let­ter painted a pic­ture of the times, a voice from the past that touched the hearts of the whole fam­ily.

“This was linked to our fam­ily, we found the plaque of re­mem­brance in Yep­poon and sourced his war records to get a

clearer pic­ture of Harold’s life,” she said.

“It was lovely to dis­cover a lit­tle more about this young man and to find one of his an­ces­tors to be able to re­turn the let­ter to his fam­ily.

“It was also ter­ri­bly sad to see the let­ter had been writ­ten just be­fore An­zac Day and only months be­fore this young sol­dier lost his life.”

Harold Sher­win was born in Yaamba to Ed­win Turner Sher­win and Lucy Amy Sher­win.

He at­tended Al­len­stown State School as a lad and loved the land, work­ing as a jackeroo on var­i­ous sta­tions be­fore en­list­ing to fight for his coun­try.

At 24, Harold en­listed when the war broke out and joined 5th Light Horse Aus­tralia Im­pe­rial Force on De­cem­ber 8, 1914.

His brother Ge­orge Ernest Sher­win, who had en­listed later, also died of wounds in France on Septem­ber 9, 1918.

A tran­script of the orig­i­nal let­ter can be read on the next page.

Photo: CON­TRIB­UTED

FRONTLINE: Harold Philip Sher­win was killed in ac­tion.

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