Ernest Donald Gow

First Name: 
Ernest
Middle Name: 
Donald
Last Name: 
Gow
Mother's Name: 
Minnie Gow (nee Baldwin)
Father's Name: 
William Gow
Date Enlisted: 
Saturday, September 12, 1914
Rank at Enlistment: 
Private
Rank at Discharge: 
Private
Unit: 
4th Infantry Battalion of 1st Infantry Brigade
Company: 
B
Service: 
Infantry
Awards: 
1914-1915 Star
British War Medal
Victory Medal
WW1 Memorial Plaque
Date of Death: 
Wednesday, February 3, 1915
Place of Death: 
Mena Hospital, Cairo, Egypt
Cause of Death: 
Double Pneumonia
Details: 

Ernest Donald Gow (Service No. 1207) was one of the first men from the Illawarra to die in World War 1.

He was born in Wollongong in 1890, the son of William Gow and his wife Minnie Gow (nee Baldwin). Ernest had lived with his family at Croome, and had worked for the Albion Park Post Office, as well as for the Post Office in other towns in NSW.

Ernest gave his occupation as Telegraph Operator when he enlisted at Randwick in the AIF on September 12, 1914. He was part of the 4th Battalion of the 1st Brigade of the AIF. He named his father William Gow of Ulmarra as his next of kin. On October 20, 1914, he embarked from Sydney, New South Wales, Australia on the HMAT A14 "Euripedes".

Sadly, he was one of the first men from the Illawarra to die in World War 1 of double pneumonia at the Mena Hospital in Cairo on February 3, 1915. His passing along with three others who also died of pneumonia, was reported in a number of newspapers across Australia.

Commonwealth War Graves point out Ernest was buried in Cairo, Al Qahirah, Egypt in the British Protestant Cemetery, Row B: Grave No 149. He is also commemorated on Panel No. 40 of the Australian War Memorial in Canberra.

Ernest's brother, Jack Gow (Service No 5584), also served.

An extract from the Illawarra Mercury 12 February, 1915 reads:

 "SAD NEWS. On the arrival of the Sydney dailies early this week, it was learned that Mr. Ernest Donald Gow, son of Mr. William Gow, of Ulmarra, Clarence River, had died in the Mena Hospital, Egypt, from pneumonia. Much regret has since been expressed at the sad news of the death of this young fellow, who gave his life for the honour of his country. Mr. Gow was at one time a telegraph messenger at the Albion Park post office, having with his parents lived at Croome, he got along so well in the Postal Department that promotion came quickly, and he was appointed on the relieving staff, and had done duty in many towns in New South Wales, and from reports from several of these places it is known that young Gow was a popular officer wherever he went. In the post office he was most obliging and courteous. He was also fond of clean sport and did much to further the attractiveness of several sporting clubs in various towns in which he was relieving. Much sympathy is felt for the parents in losing so brave a son under such sad surroundings."

 

 

Sources: 
Discovering ANZACS: http://discoveringanzacs.naa.gov.au/browse/records/284011
Shellharbour District Centenary Project 1914-1918 on ANCESTRY : http://trees.ancestry.com.au/tree/71353581/person/32244157916
Trove - Richmond River Express and Casino Kyogle Advertister Family Notices - 4.2.1916
Northern Star - 24.3.2014 - http://www.northernstar.com.au/news/many-soldiers-died-of-various-diseases/2207014/
The War Grave Photographic Project - http://www.twgpp.org/information.php?id=1818897
Trove - Richmond River Express and Casino Kyogle Advertiser - WW1 The Honour Rolls - http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article123890556
NAA: B2455, GOW E D

Images

Black and white portrait of Ernest Donald Gow
Sepia full-body portrait of Ernest Donald Gow

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