Edward John Dengate
Serial No. 1948
2nd Remount Unit
Edward John Dengate - Information
Edward belonged to a quite large family from the Camden area. He was the oldest son of Frederick James and Eliza Florist Dengate, born in Camden on the 5th of January 1866. He made a living as a farmer, and gained military experience serving in the Mounted Rifles. Edward then married Picton local Emma Boardman, who came from another affluent family. They tied the knot in Picton on the 10th of December 1889. Edward and Emma were blessed with eight children, Frederick (1891), Edward (1893), Florist (1894), Henry (1895), Ada (1897), Sylvia (1898), Ruby (1900) and Freda (1901). In the early 1900s, Edward and Emma relocated the family to Harrisville in Queensland, where Edward continued to support the family working as a farmer. Their lives, however, were soon interrupted by war. Edward’s son, Edward John Harold, who was already a permanent soldier in the Army Service Corps, decided to join the AIF in early October 1915. Edward joined his son, also signing up in Brisbane on the 23rd of October 1915, at the age of 49. Edward’s other son, Henry, travelled down to Liverpool, joining up with Edward’s cousin Arthur Dengate in the Light Horse, the following month. Despite his age, Edward and his sons were excellent riders and horsemen. As a result, Edward and Edward Jr. were quickly posted to the Remount Unit. They boarded the RMS Orontes in Sydney on the 10th of November 1915 for war service, sailing as Troopers with No. 7 Squadron, 2nd Remount Unit.
Edward and Edward Jr. disembarked in Egypt. They shortly joined their unit, which was responsible for training and looking after horses for the Light Horse and transport units. Horses as well as humans had to be taught how to fight in warfare. However, with the priority of war strategy shifting towards the infantry on the Western Front, the Remount Units were demobilised. As a result, Edward left Suez for Australia onboard the HT Seeang Bee at the end of April 1916. Unfortunately, Edward had to say goodbye to his son. Edward Jr’s previous military experience and capability saw him rise through the ranks. As a result, his services were still required.
Edward returned home to his loving wife and children, receiving his discharge. It would have been an anxious wait, with two sons still serving overseas. Luckily in 1919, the family was able to reunite, when Edward Jr. and Henry came home. Sadly, the same could not be said for many other families. Edward and Emma then moved back to Camden. They got to see their children marry and have grandchildren. Edward passed away in 1944, aged 85, he was buried in St Johns in Camden.