Edward John Harold Dengate
Sergeant Major Warrant Officer Class I
Serial No. 1881
2nd Remount Unit & Australian Vet Hospital
Edward John Harold Dengate - Information
As the war in Europe was raging, Edward was serving as a soldier in the Army Service Corps. At the time, he was residing with his family in Harrisville, Queensland. Edward’s parents Edward John and Emma had moved the family to Queensland from the Camden area, where Edward was born on the 9th of June 1893. He then decided to do his bit and see the world. He joined the AIF on the 1st of October 1915 in Brisbane, aged 22. He was shortly joined by his father, Edward John, who also signed up in Brisbane some weeks later. Almost immediately, both Edward and his father were assigned to the 2nd Remount Unit. Edward was a very capable soldier, and was subsequently promoted to Sergeant on the 1st of November. Several days later, the 2nd Remount Unit was shipped out from Sydney on the 10th of November onboard the RMS Orontes.
Edward and his father, disembarked in Egypt and were marched out to their unit. Edward, continued to prove his worth, and was promoted to Sergeant Major on the 1st of April 1916. However, at the same time, the Remount Units were being demobilised. Edward’s father was sent back to Australia at the end of April. Edward remained with what was left of the Remount Units. However, working in the arid desert environment, began to take its toll. In late July, Edward reported sick. He was taken to the 3rd Australian General Hospital in Abbassia with pyrexia. He returned to duty in early September. The following month, he was taken from the Australian Remount Depot in Heliopolis to Details Camp in Moascar. On the 7th of April 1917, he was shipped to the French port of Marseilles. Here, he was taken on strength to the Australian Veterinary Hospital in Calais. Edward helped to care for many poor wounded and sick horses and mules. No doubt a devastating task to see such noble creatures struck with bullets, shrapnel, wire lacerations and even poisoned by gas. The most heart breaking cases would include horses stuck in the battlefield mud, too heavy to be removed; many drowned. Three days before the Armistice was announced, on the 8th of November 1918, Edward was promoted to Warrant Officer Class I. However, his work was not finished, many animals were still suffering from wounds and disease after the war had ended. Then, there was the awful task of culling the numbers. Edward was eventually transported to England, and was sent back to Australia onboard the Keldonian Castle in March 1919.
After Edward was discharged in early July 1919, he returned to his family. He soon met the love of his life, marrying Ruth Matees in Woollahra in 1932.