Henry George Dengate
Serial No. 2179
1st Light Horse Regiment &2nd Field Artillery Brigade
Henry George Dengate - Information
Henry, known as Harry, was born in Camden in 1895 to Edward John and Emma Dengate. Henry grew up in the area with his many siblings, before his parents relocated the family to Harrisville in Queensland. Here, Harry worked with his father as a farmer and served in the Queensland Militia. He had also served in the Royal Australian Artillery for 3 months in 1914 and was subsequently discharged. In October 1915, Harry’s father and older brother, Edward, joined the AIF and left for war service. Harry travelled back to NSW to enlist in the AIF, signing up in Liverpool on the 1st of November 1915, aged 20. There with him at the Light Horse Depot in Liverpool, was his father’s cousin Arthur Dengate. Harry and Arthur were made Troopers with the 1st Light Horse Regiment. They then boarded the HMAT Armadale in Sydney, and set off on the 21st of March 1916.
Harry and Arthur landed in Egypt, and were taken on strength to their unit at Tel-el-Kebir in late April 1916. On the 15th of May, Harry and Arthur were transferred to the Artillery Details. They were then transported to Plymouth England, for training. However, Harry’s training was interrupted by AWL charges, when he left camp for 3 days in Bulford, delaying his deployment to France. In August, Arthur was sent to serve on the Western Front. After training with the Reserve Brigade Australian Artillery in Haytesbury, Harry was taken to France in January 1917, joining the 1st Divisional Ammunition Column. The next day, he was assigned to the 2nd Field Artillery Brigade, 4th Battery. Harry helped to provide artillery support for many operations. It was dangerous work. Not only did you run the risk of being blown up by a hot shell, but also, fiercely targeted by enemy artillery units. During the Third Battle of Ypres, Harry was wounded when his Battery was shelled with gas cylinders on the 17th of October. He was admitted to hospital in Camiers and was later evacuated to England. On the 29th of October, he was admitted to the 2nd Eastern General Hospital with severe gas poisoning. While he was in England, the war ended. He was then transported back to France on the 27th of November, rejoining the 2nd Field Artillery Brigade the following month. At the beginning of March 1919, Harry commenced his journey back to Australia.
After he was discharged, Harry reunited with his family. In 1922, Harry married May Whilehurst in Redfern. Harry’s parents eventually moved back to the Camden area, and by the 1930s Harry was residing in Eastwood with his young bride.