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Ernest Sylvester Hartung was an Australian whom was born in the year of 1893 (Unknown Date), in Melbourne Victoria and was the only son to his parents, whom were Henry Hartung and Lena Hartung. His father (Henry Hartung) was known to be a surveyor when the family decided to move to Perth Western Australia, Claremont Road.His mother’s occupation was unknown. However,regarding the Police Gazette of 1895 in WA, Lena Hartung was victimized by criminal acts. For example, in this excerpt she is recorded to have been robbed on Wednesday, October 16th. She proclaimed to have lost her 18 karat gold-winding hunting watch. It was recorded to have been passed down from her mother (Ernest’s grandmother) and had the name engraved with the initials – I.W.
Very little is known about the childhood of Ernest during school or in general. However, his education is stated primarily. His time at BGS lasted for four years from 1904 until 1908. Prior to his education at Brighton Grammar School, Hartung attended “Guildford Grammar School” in Perth Western Australia.
According to the register, Ernest Hartung was 11 years and 4 months during enrollment to Brighton Grammar School, whilst obtaining a unique school code or number of 723. Hartung’s family migrated back to Melbourne Victoria due to his father’s work relations, which lead to his enrollment to BGS in 1904.
Ernest’s residence during Perth was located around Claremont. To be exact, the address according to the Claremont Government Database was 19 & 20 Agett Rd Claremont, Perth.
According to the Database, the house type was known as a “1901 Federation Bungalow.” It was at its early conclusion stages during the period of 1903.
The home of Ernest during his time in Pert, Western Australia in Claremont, 19 and 20 Abett Road.
This house was a typical single-story with “rendered and painted brick walls” and a “Skillion Veranda.” The house was surveyed by Ernest’s father – Henry Hartung – and posed as Ernest has first ever established home after rent.
During early childhood, Ernest was exposed to a religious environment consisting of being a Catholic amongst his family. Likewise, he was brought up to serve the Church of England due to his previous/native ancestry from England. Causing him to commit to certain schools with religious aspects such as Guildford Grammar School.
Outside of School
Ernest Hartung’s extracurricular activities and hobbies outside of school is heavily anonymous and unknown.
However, his occupation after year 10 due to dropping out was known and stated in many of his service dossiers. The job he took up was working as an “Auctioneer Store Clerk.” He took up this job before enlisting in the Imperial Force of Australia.
This was a job where the employer had to record all the final bids and the amounts paid for certain possessions, which were accountable for selling.
Likewise, a certain amount of commission from the final amount is deposited for the clerk, which initially in those days were a small percentage around 5-10%, depending on the valuableness of the product sold.
Ernest would have to work close with the auctioneer and act as an assistant in some way as well.
Although, Ernest is working location was unidentified, his occupation before conflict of war gave his personality and interest of working in the sales field and learning about economically related information.
This information was given and applied to his service records and enlistment forms under ‘Previous occupation.’
Type of Auction Sign during the early 1900’S during Hartung’s time period/generation
Ernest Sylvester Hartung (service number: 29606) voluntarily enlisted in the Australian Imperial Force on 24 March 1916 and fought in the First World War (1914-1918). His complexion consisted of being 5 foot 10 inches tall with fair/blonde colored hair with brown eyes and weigh in at 148 pounds. This was a typically suitable stature for a soldier in the war due to the injuries and physical exposure, which could be relatively ideal to overcome with this similar physique. During the time of enlistment, his marital status was single with no relationship whatsoever.
Hartung boarded the HMAT (His Australia’s Majesty Transport) A60 Aeneas on 3 October 1916 during embarkation in Port Phillip Bay, Victoria. This ship was a passenger vessel and known as a Royal Mail Ship. It weighed approximately 10,409 tons and carried 750 military-related passengers that day, excluding the Naval Staff.
The HMAT Aeneas 060 setting off on October 3 1916 off Port Phillip Bay
Ernest arrived in Plymouth, England amongst the Field Artillery. However, on the 19 of November 1916, he was transferred to Bulford due to a disability because of a severe injury and was hospitalized for 50 days. However, he was released on the 21 April 1917. Hartung then was processed overseas to France due to the Alliance/ Triple Entente between England and France (where Australia was a part of England due to colonization) with his unit. The 13th Light Mortar Trench Battery. This type of unit was what made Ernest Hartung the rank of Gunner. Later, he became promoted to Private Gunner. Some sources imply different ranks such as him possessing the role of General as well.
Likewise, his physical appearance such as height and weight was related to this, as gunners had to be able to lift heavy artillery back and forth when explosions occur. On 29 August1917, he was placed under the 13th Howitzer Brigade, 4th Division to defend Amiens, France. However, on 20 September 1917 Hartung received an injury to the leg during the defense at Amiens
This is the LTMB Unit Ernest was a part of in at France at Somme.
Succeeding his injury, Hartung embarked along the Panama Canal and arrived in Sutton Veny, a small village in England on the 23 of November 1917. He then rejoined his original unit back in France however developed influenza on the 24 June 1918. This delayed Hartung’s involvement in defense units, however he returned to the field and exposed to action in the “Villers-Breteneux” at 5am on the 5 September 1918.
During this exposure, Hartung and his friend ‘Private Jenkins’ were rolling a barrel of water to a dugout section whilst suddenly, they were struck with anonymous shells which caused serious wounds. They were precisely Gun-Shot-Wounds to the abdomen and face; a severe shrapnel explosion had caused this tragic event.
Hartung was taken to the 47th clearing station or the military hospital, however was too injured for surgery causing him to unfortunately, pass away.
Hartung was however outlined as a neglecting and stubborn soldier due to his disobedient actions during enlistment, services and even during battles.
This is a ruined church in Villers-Breteneux where Hartung died
An instance of this was, on 11 August 1916, disobeying orders and neglecting to obey AIF depots. Therefore, he awaited trial for 3 days and held in detention for 28 days. This occurred during his enbarkenment in Bulford, and he was summoned with forfeiture for 31 days’ pay. There was a copious amount of events where Hartung critically neglected orders from the commander.
Hartung was A.W.L during parade hours, which caused him to be offended by ‘Major C.F. Woodcock’ for extreme lack of obedience. In other words, Hartung took absent without leave notification to the major.
The Battle of Amiens where Hartung received an injury to the leg
However, although his neglectful actions, he was full of zest in the battlefield and was highly acknowledged all-round, due to his service in the First World War Conflict and in result received highly commendable awards:
Victory Medal (23 April 1923), British War Medal (Unknown Date) and Memorial Scroll (17 December 1921)
Likewise, his name was embarked in the embarkation roll in the National War Memorial of Australia in Canberra and on the website.
His mother also, received a certificate of appreciation from the commanding officers and corporals due to Ernest’s efforts and achievements in the field after his unfortunate death.
Death & Bereavement
Ernest Sylvester Hartung died in 8 August 1918 in France, Corbie at the Age of 25. Hartung died of wounds due to shrapnel explosion during a defense unit in Villers-Breteneux in France. He was buried in France, 10 miles west from Amiens. The place of the burial is home to many war-conflicted soldiers. Hence the name of the burial location being the “Cruoy British Military Cemetery.”
His exact Grave burial is Plot 4, Row D Grave 15 in Picardie France, which was the primary suburb of Amiens.
There is approximately 775 casualties recorded and buried here at this cemetery of military soldiers and was designed by Frenchmen – ‘Sir Reginald Romfield.’
It is exactly on the west side of the River Somme and 16km away From Amiens.
Crouy British Military Cemetery where Hartung was buried
Hartung also received a memorial plaque, which is designated in Melbourne, Victoria inside the Botanical Gardens. Although, his body does not lay, his service is commemorated and was commissioned by his mother – Lena Hartung and his father – Henry Hartung. The number of this plaque is M310.
Hartung’s last will consisted of 575 pounds which was distributed towards his mother Lena Hartung, along with other of his belongings such as clothing, shoes and personal memorabilia.
Despite the fact of his actual grave remaining unknown; his in scripted epitaph was recorded and it comprised of these words:
“THOUGH DEATH DIVIDES
FOND MEMORY CLINGS
OUR LOVED AND ONLY SON”
Memorial Plaque dedicated to Ernest Hartung by his parents in Botanical Gardens
The 66 Word Epitaph & Inscription
Ernest Sylvester Hartung died young, however impacted the lives of many civilians with his ongoing effort and courage in the battlefield. He will be perished in many ways for standing strong and resilient during hardships. Ernest Sylvester Hartung is greater than a mere gunner, and showed actions worthy of a corporal. Lay society could not undermine his true love and kind-hearted soul for others and his desires. We will remember him.
“ALTHOUGH HIS AGELESS LIFE ADEPT HIS MORALITY, HIS SPIRIT CRIES ON”
Book of Memory:
This resource provided clear and a simple summarization for Ernest’s time at war and general foreground information. Example- his death at war, his time at Brighton Grammar school and parent occupation etc.However, information according to his extracurricular activities were lacking and made it harder to incorporate detailed descriptions under the heading of outside of school and at school.
AIF Service Dossiers:
These reports and documents acted as a crucial primary source as to Ernest Hartung’s information and description during war. It also clearly explained certain injuries he suffered and negligence he showed. These documents formed a good base for building up on external information about his war experience and service casualties. It also showed his previous occupation, which was a store auctioneer clerk.
Australian war Memorial Database:
This website provided me with all the necessary photos to link to Hartung’s defenses and battles in France and more information on his war experience. It gave a detailed picture of Ernest’s 13th L.T.M.B Unit and the village where he unfortunately passed away.
The Brighton Grammar School register provided information that related to Hartung’s time during school. It identified his previous school, which was Guildford Grammar, and how he enrolled at the age of 11 years and 4 months. Which gave a rough estimation of his birth year as it recounted his enrollment to be during the year of 1904. Therefore, 1893 was the year when Hartung was born.
The Embarkation Rolls mainly gave brief dot points of Ernest Hartung’s war ranks, involvement and general information. It plotted the key elements of whom he worked for such as The AIF (Australian Imperial Force), his trench unit and service number etc. It was important as it clarified certain key information.
Trove – Historic Magazine and Archives:
The Trove archives gave insight on mainly impacts Hartung’s death had on certain people. Such as his will being proclaimed in gazette and a commemoration for his participation in the designated unit. It helped gain new information about events, which related to Hartung after his death. This enlarged my knowledge of his death and bereavement.
Red Cross Wounded and Missing Files:
These files provided primary insight into the death and bereavement section of Hartung and detailed descriptions of his injuries, and how he died in full details. It explained how he received gunshot wounds to the abdomen and face due to a shrapnel explosion. Likewise, it comprised of a letter which was written by one of the nurses whom witnessed Hartung and his friend wounded and about to die.
The AIF Project:
The UNSW AIF Project consisted of insightful information, which clarified certain key dates and new info such as his address and his parent’s full name. It also clarified on his previous occupation, which was a clerk.
Common Wealth graves Commission:
This new website helped me with finding the inscription written on Hartung’s grave and the information about the location and history of his burial section etc.
This website was the official website of Ernest Hartung’s previous school, and contained a lot of information about his war experience and exact dates of his transferal. Likewise, it was one of the most useful websites in showing his time of casualties and it simplified information such as his enlistment, whereabouts, and cause of death and every step of his war experience.
Claremont Town Inventory:
This document presided on the details of Ernest Hartung’s childhood home during his time at Guildford Grammar School before attending BGS. It explains all the features and information regarding the home itself. It was useful as it gave more insight on his childhood, which compensated for the lacking amount of information for this section.
Police Gazette 1895:
This publication recorded the stolen watch of Ernest Hartung’s mother – Lena Hartung in her own house by a mysterious figure. This was useful into establishing the environment around Hartung’s childhood home in Perth. Likewise, for his mother.
AIF Service Records ‘Dossier’
- Date of birth – 1894 January (Unknown specific day of month)
Out of School
- Before enlisting into the war, Hartung’s trade/occupation was a Stock Auctioneer clerk – (Young Age)-
- Enlisted on the 24th of March 1916
- Photos of original service and casualty form – Active service Provides information about certain injuries, actions performed or received by Hartung. For Example, on 11 August 1916 Hartung was disobeying orders and neglecting to obey AIF depots. Therefor he awaited trial for 3 days and held in detention for 28 days. Likewise, accident or injury to the leg on the 20 August 1917.
- Certificate of commanding officer 1916, Jun 3rd
- Whilst being enlisted into the war the complexion of him; described as a height of 5 feet and 10 inches (roughly). Eyes brown and fair color of hair.
- Service number is 29609
- He was a recruitment officer at Perth during the time of enlistment.
- Was ranked as a Private Gunner during commencement
- Victory medal received on 28th April 1923
- Memorial scroll – 17th December 1921
- Receipt for memorial plaque is executed during the 26th of January 1923
- Served for the 13th Light Mortar Battery Trench
- Died of Wounds on August 5th, 1918
Death and Bereavement
- Ernest Hartung was buried in the British Cemetery 10 miles away from Amiens
- Died of Wounds in France, Corbie 1918.
Book of Memory
- Went to BGS from 1904 until 1908.
- Son of Mr H. Hartung a surveyor who went to Perth.
Out of School
- Not much information for Hartung’s extracurricular achievements.
- He enlisted on March 24th, 1916
- Served with the 13th Light Mortar Battery.
- He received wounds at France, Corbie where he died.
Death and Bereavement
- Died of wounds in France on August 5th, 1918 at the age of 25
- Precise location of death was at France, Corbie-
- Villers Bretonneux (1918)
War Photographs database (AWM)
Photos of HMAT Aenas 060 – Hartung’s ship
Photo of Battle of Amiens
Photo of Villers Bretonneux burnt church and village
Death and Bereavement
Photo of Ernest’s burial location in France, Crouy British Military Cemetery
- Student code no. 723
- Ernest was at the age of 11 when enrolling into Brighton Grammar school in the year of 1904.
- Previous schools or education consisted of:
Guildford Grammar School
- Parents at the time were Mr H. Hartung and Mrs Loue Hartung.
- Came from Perth, Western Australia
Embarkation Rolls (AWM)
- Service Number was 29609
- Rank – Gunner
- Final Rank: Private
- Enlisted on 24th March 1916
- Conflict was the First World War (1914 – 1918)
- Service was for the Australian Imperial Force
- Units consisted of the Imperial Force and the 13th Light Mortar Trench Battery
- Location of battle was France
- Date of Fate was 5 August 1918
‘Trove’ – Historic Newspapers, magazine, archive
- A published Paper relating to the 13th L.M.T.B mentions “Private E. Hartung.”
- Supposedly as an honour of this unit.
Death and Bereavement
- A newspaper gazette contains the will, or the probates distributed to certain individuals. In this specific gazette:
- Ernest Hartung’s will of 575 pounds is released to his mother: Lena Hartung.
Roll of Honour (AWM) https://www.awm.gov.au/people/roll-search/roll_of_hono
- Embarked on the 3rd of October 1916
- Private Rank and Gunner Rank
- 13th L.M.T.B unit
- Conflicted in the First World War (1914 – 1918)
Australian red Cross Wounded and Missing Enquiry Files
- Died of Wounds – Brought to Hospital (though)
- Location at 47th Casualty Clearing Station on the 5th of August 1918.
- Cause: Shrapnel explosion causing damage to the abdomen and face.
- Brought into hospital due to shell wounds in the face and abdomen
- Buried at British Military Cemetery; 10 miles west of Amien a town in France.
The AIF Project UNSW University
Outside of School
- Religion was the Church of England
- Address: Claremont, Western Australia (Perth)
- Married status was single
- Was aged 23 during embarkation
- Parents were Henry Hartung and Lena Hartung
- Medals consisted of the: The British War Medal, Victory Medal
- War Service was at the Western Front
- On Board the ship: HMAT 060 Aeneas
The assigned unit name for him was the Howitzer Brigade 118
Commonwealth Graves Commission
Death and Bereavement
Hartung’s burial inscription which was: “Though death divides fond memory clings our loved and only son”
Info about his burial location
775 casualties recorded and buried
All including from German, French and Australian troops
739 French and Commonwealth associated troops
Others were external however relative troops to certain battles located and amongst these dead soldiers.
Disembarked to Plymouth England on 19 November 1916
Roll unit was the Australian Field Artillery
Transferred to Bulford from Larkhill
Proceeded overseas to France to his unit 13 L.T.M.B ON 23 March 1917
Accidently injured during the battle of Amiens on 20 August 1917
Hospitalised for 50 Days
Returned to Sutton Valley on 23 November 1917 throughout the Panama Canal
Death and Bereavement
Died in Villers- Bretonneux on 5 August 1918 carrying a water barrel to a dugout
Died of GSW wounds to abdomen and face
Him and his friend Jenkins were taken to the 47th Clearing Station
Claremont Local Government Inventory
Address of Hartung’s time at Perth was 20 Agett Road, Claremont in Perth
House information such as façade, veranda, and construction details.
1905 Federation Bungalow Type
– Finished development in 1903
Surveyed by his own father – Henry Hartung
Police Gazette – 1895
- Ernest Hartung’s mother Lena Hartung was recorded to have been robbed in her own dwelling.
- Her stolen possession was her 18 karat golden-hunting watch which was passed down to her by her mother – with initials I.W
- http://www.guildfordanzacs.org.au/anzac/308 - Photos of HMAT Aeneas, Villars Bretennox, Battle of Amiens, and Hartung’s Unit/ Battalion and his burial location at Crouy British War Cemetery.All exported form the Australian War Memorial Database.
- https://www.bgpa.wa.gov.au/honour-avenues-plaques/1916-pte-ernest-hartung – Ernest Hartung’s Memorial Plaque and burial
- This link provided the photo of Hartung’s Perth Home in Claremont, 19 Agett Road
- http://mikebrandlyauctioneer.files.wordpress.com/2013/12/1858ad.jpg – The photo of the public auction example of an auction sign during Hartung’s time in the early 1900’s
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