Mr and Mrs William Lohse, of German heritage, lived at Sunnyside where they had an orchard. They had four sons and at least two daughters, Emma C, born 1887 and Mary E, born 1889.
The boys were William Joseph, born 1889, John Henry, 1891, Alfred George, 1893 and Ernest Frederick, born 1894.
Both parents died of pneumonia in 1896, leaving six orphaned children aged two to nine.
The children were farmed out to relatives, mainly, (we think), Uncle Claus Harry Lohse and wife E. A. Lohse and Aunt Mary and husband Henry Humphrey, for care and upbringing until they could earn an independent living at about 16 years of age.
At the outbreak of war, Alfred George was the first to enlist. He Joined up in Newcastle on the 29th of August 1914 and fought at Gallipoli where he was killed in action between the 6th and 9th of August 1915.
By some coincidence his brothers John Henry and William Joseph signed up in Armidale on August 6th 1915 and went to the front in France. John Henry, who, according to the Star newspaper, was “the most perfect specimen of manhood on the Tablelands”, was killed in action on Nov 4th 1916.
William Joseph was injured in the same battle, as a result of which his left leg was eventually amputated below the knee on Sep 13th 1917. He was returned to Australia and disembarked at Melbourne on Jan 10th 1918 and discharged on Feb 3rd 1918 on a 3 pound per fortnight pension. He returned to Tenterfield.
The last and youngest brother, Ernest Frederick, signed up on Jan. 22nd 1918, his address given as Exchange Hotel, Hunter St., Newcastle and his sister Mary Cavanagh, (now in Glen Innes), named as next of kin.
Ernest saw service on the Continent, leaving France for England May 10th 1919 then England for Aust. July 20th 1919 arriving Sep. 14th 1919. Following the war there are records of him being at Glen Innes, Merriwa and Warialda and he died at Armidale in 1955.
William Joseph lived in Tenterfield and married Lillian Clark, but was in Marrickville when he died in 1956.
Uncle Claus Lohse, (the last surviving uncle), died in 1917 after long term incapacity due to an injury and Alfred George’s medals etc. went to Uncle Claus’s wife, Mrs E. A. Lohse.
John Henry’s medals etc. went to Aunt, Mrs Mary Humphrey who by now was at Old South Rd., Rose Bay. Like many others the brothers who survived moved around quite a bit and there was correspondence etc. from many parts of NSW.
This information has been gathered from the National Archives and digitised newspapers on The National Libraries of Australia website “Trove”.
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