Henry Oswald LOHMANN

Poppy

LOHMANN, Henry Oswald

Service Number: SX7771
Enlisted: 4 July 1940, Adelaide, South Australia
Last Rank: Lance Corporal
Last Unit: 2nd/48th Infantry Battalion
Born: Port Pirie, South Australia, 28 July 1912
Home Town: Murray Bridge, Murray Bridge, South Australia
Schooling: Not yet discovered
Occupation: Farm Hand at Mt Barker
Died: Killed in Action, Egypt, 25 October 1942, aged 30 years
Cemetery: El Alamein War Cemetery
Memorials: Adelaide WW2 Wall of Remembrance, Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour, City of Port Pirie WW2 Memorial Gates, Echunga War Memorial, Murray Bridge Pictorial Honour Roll KIA WW2 & Vietnam, Murray Bridge War Memorial WW2
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World War 2 Service

4 Jul 1940: Enlisted 2nd AIF WW 2, Private, SN SX7771, Adelaide, South Australia
25 Oct 1942: Involvement 2nd AIF WW 2, Lance Corporal, SN SX7771, 2nd/48th Infantry Battalion, Libya/North Africa
Date unknown: Involvement
Date unknown: Involvement

‘Punches Like a Cricketer’

Henry Oswald was born at Port Pirie, on the 28th July, 1912. He was the second of four sons, Felix, Charles and John. Pirie was a seaport on the Spencer Gulf of South Australia, became an important town because of its rail link connecting it to the Broken Hill lead, silver and zinc mines. His parents, Frederick Oswald and Marie later moved to live at Murray Bridge.
Henry worked for a farmer, John Liebelt at Mount Barker in the Adelaide Hills and was fortunate to survive a work place accident in ’36 when he slipped on a threshing machine, catching his foot. Following a short stint in the Mount Barker Soldiers' Memorial Hospital, he had a satisfactory recovery. This incident seemed not to affect his football playing skills with Echunga, with Henry featuring in their best player list and also as a goal kicker. The ’37 Grand Final against Kangarilla described as the ‘roughest games ever witnessed in the Hills’ was a match which Echunga as minor premiers, narrowly lost to Kangarilla by four points. The umpire was at the receiving end of hostilities with police escorting him from the ground. The local Mount Barker Courier was scathing in its assessment that: ‘never before has this association had two teams playing in a final where such open hostility was shown by the players, and it was in some measure due to the umpire being unable to control the game that the last half of the match was allowed to become such an exhibition.’ Henry, however rated in both the best player and goal scoring lists. In a much more disciplined game the following month, a lorry of Echunga players left early on a Saturday morning to play against Swan Reach on their home oval with Henry again being nominated in the best player list. The evening concluded with a victory Ball and Sunday’s feature was a day of fishing, which was not so successful.
With WWII erupting, Henry enlisted on the 4th July, 1940, just prior to his 28th birthday in Adelaide. He was a competent boxer prior to his enlistment so within a month was involved in the first of a series of boxing contests conducted by the No. 2 Infantry Training Depot, Wayville. Over 700 of the AIF troops massed in Centennial Hall to watch the three, two-minute rounds of eleven bouts. Names that would later become part of the folk-lore of the 2/48th were involved, including ‘Diver’ Derrick, recipient of the Victoria Cross and Edward (Ted) Boxer, SX7528, a popular Aboriginal soldier from the West Coast who defied the odds of surviving when his right leg was blown off by an anti-tank shell, and a machine-gun bullet injured his left leg. All three advanced to the semi-finals, winning their bouts. The ‘News’ described the encounter where ‘Most of the lads boxed in their socks, though one was reckless enough to do so in dancing pumps-a fact that resulted in a certain amount of ungraceful sliding about the ring.’ Private Derrick began with a southpaw style, before he reverted to an orthodox style for his win. In Henry’s match he ‘threw punches like a cricketer and bewildered Private Johnson with the fury of his attack. Johnson was a plucky looser.’
The finals were held along with State Amateur Title fights with the proceeds from the State championships being given to the Cheer-up Society. Diver Derrick was matched against Henry in what was described as ‘Running at each other and swinging terrific punches in a series of furious rallies, Pte, Derrick (E Co. 10 7) and Pte. Lohmann (D. Co., 10 31) had the crowd simmering with excitement. Lohmann was the winner.’ History was yet to record their subsequent heroism on the battle field.
The local Echunga Institute Hall was crowded in October ’40 for a farewell to Henry, Harold Whimpress (SX7222) and Aleck Golding (SX7600) with all to serve in the 2/48th Battalion. The men received a presentation of a ‘soldier’s companion’ from their local community. A series of speakers spoke highly of the men’s involvement in their local church, sport and civic affairs. Following the enlistees’ response, all joined in the patriotic singing of ‘For They are Jolly Good Fellows’ and the ‘Song of Australia’ before a country supper was enjoyed.
The three friends were soon on the ‘Stratheden’ with other locals in the newly formed 2/48th Battalion. Their fate in Tobruk and beyond was yet to be written. Soon after landing, in May ’41, Private Lohmann’s family, living in Murray Bridge, received news that Henry had been wounded in action. In his book, ‘Tobruk to Tarakan’ John G. Glenn writes of the circumstances which surround the incident:
“on the night of the eleventh, a D Company patrol killed three Germans and captured one under rather unusual circumstances. Here is Bill Manley’s account :
“Sergeant John Buckley was in charge of the patrol. The patrol moved forward, and on reaching the wire in front of D company they saw a party of Germans approaching. Sergeant Buckley said: “Get down, wait until they get closer, then open up.” The Germans came on. They hadn’t seen us. Buck yelled “Now”, and the patrol opened up with every weapon. Three Germans fell, and the rest scattered and ran. As one ran, he turned and fired, and Ossie Lohmann was hit in the mouth. Buck then gave the order to retire, and the patrol withdrew, bringing back Ossie.
“Back at the post the men were talking about the patrol when one of the Germans, apparently lost, walked in. Syd Kinsman stuck a Tommy gun in his back and said “Put your hands up, you Hun….” Tommy Martin noticed a Luger in the top of the German’s boot, grabbed it, and placed it in the prisoner’s back, as he knew Syd’s gun was unloaded. Syd had been cleaning it just a moment before.”
Henry recovered, returning to duty, rising to the rank of Lance Corporal, only to be again wounded in Action on September 9th 1941 in an attack on Trig 29 which was again detailed in ‘Tobruk to Tarakan’:
“Sergeant Bonshor of the Mortar Platoon attached to D Company brought his mortars into action and succeeded in stopping the attack. At last light on the same front some three hundred enemy troops attacked, and D Company area was swept by small arms fire. During this action Private Pat Hoare was killed and Lance-Corporal Henry Lohmann was so badly hit that he died soon after. A stretcher bearer Private E.W.S. Moore, raced forward into the thick of the firing, carrying a Red Cross Flag, to go to the assistance of Lance-Corporal Lohmann, but was killed before he could reach him. Clem Billings volunteered to make the next attempt to reach Lohmann but Lieutenant Byrne refused to allow more men to sacrifice themselves. Under cover of darkness that night, however, Byrne led a patrol forward to bring in the bodies of our dead.”
Having served for just over two years, Henry was killed on the 25th October, 1942, aged 30 in a massive assault to ambitiously take the strategic position of Trig 29. The action was described in ‘Tobruk to Tarakan’ as that ‘the 2/48th had stirred up a real hornets’ nest’ On that night alone 9 of the Battalion were killed and 20 wounded in action. Of these16 were from South Australia and the remainder from Western Australia. The Adelaide ‘Advertiser’ reported that “Mr. F. O. Lohmann, of Murray Bridge, has been notified that his son, Pte. H. O. Lohmann, 30, was killed in action on October 25. Pte. Lohmann enlisted in 1940 and sailed for overseas ser-vice in November of that year. He was previously wounded in action twice. Well known in the Echunga and Mount Barker districts, he was a prominent member of the football clubs in those districts.” Henry was buried at the El Alamein War Cemetery at Matruh in Egypt. His poignant inscription reads “His duty nobly done. Greater love hath no man than this.”
His family continued to remember and mourn him on the anniversary of his death.
Advertiser Tuesday 17 November 1942, LOHMANN. - A tribute to the loving memory of our dear brother Henry, who was killed in action in Egypt. Forever we'll remember. —lnserted by his brother and family. Felix. Hilda and Rita. LOHMANN. —Killed in action on Oct. 25. in Egypt. Greater love hath no man than he who lay down his life for his friends —Ever remembered by his sorrowing father, mother and John. LOHMANN. —Dear memories or Henry, who gave his life in service to his country in Egypt on Oct. 25. Too dearly loved to ever be forgotten. —Always remembered by his brother, sister-in-law. Charlie and Edna.
Advertiser Monday 25 October 1943, LOHMANN—A loving tribute of honor in memory or L/Cpl. Henry. who was killed at El Alamein. October 25, 1942. Beautiful memories of Henry, a gallant soldier, brave and true. —Ever remembered by mother and father. LOHMANN. —Loving memory of Henry., killed in action. October 25, 1942. I know there are no errors in the grand eternal plan, and all things work together for the final good of man. —Ever remembered by Charlie and Edna. LOHMANN - In loving memory of my brother. L/Cpl. Henry, killed at El Alamein, October 25. 1942. Words will never express the wonderful brother he was or how dearly I loved him. —Always remembered by brother John. LOHMANN- In memory of Henry, killed October 25. 1942. El Alamein. Beneath the cross of sacrifice, within a silent grave, his comrades laid him down to rest among the honored brave. —Re membered by Felix. Hilda. Rita.
Advertiser Wednesday 25 October 1944, LOHMANN. L-Cpl. H.O. 2/48 Batt. — in loving memory of our dear son, Henry, killed in action Oct. 25 1942. El Alamein. We think of you in silence, we love to speak your name, for in life we loved you dearly, in death we shall ever feel the same. —Always remembered by his loving mother and father. LOHMANN. —In fond remembrance of Henry, killed in action Oct. 25. 1942. loved in life, honored In death, a beautiful memory Is all we have left. —Ever remembered by his brother and sister-in law, Charlie and Edna. LOHMANN. —In loving memory of our dear brother and uncle, L.-Cpl. Henry, 2/48 Batt killed at El Alamein Oct. 25. 1942. Beautiful memories, dearer than gold, of a brother and uncle whose worth can never be told. —Ever remembered by his loving brother Felix and sister-in-law Hilda and niece Rita. LOHMANN. L.-Cpl. H- O 2/48 Batt. — In loving memory of my dear brother. Henry, killed in action Oct. 25. 1942. El Alamein. Evening stars are shining on a grave so far away, where my dear brother lies beneath the cross of sacrifice among Australia's brave. —Ever remembered by his loving brother John. LOHMANN. —A tribute to the memory of Henry, killed In action. El Alamein, Oct. 25. 1942. At the going down of the sun and in the morning, we will remember them. —Fondly remembered by the Stewart family.
Advertiser Thursday 25 October 1945, LOHMANN, L-Cpl Henry. —ln loving memory of our dear son, who was killed October 25. 1942. at El Alamein. A beautiful memory, far dearer than gold. Of a loved one's worth which can never be told. - Alone and unseen he stands by our side and whispers. Don't grieve, dears, death cannot divide. Always longed for by his mother and father. LOHMANN. L-Cpl Henry. —ln loving memory of our dear brother, killed at El Alamein on October 25. 1942. 2/48th E Batt. A darling brother laid to rest. For each and all he did his best; A smiling face, a heart of gold, The dearest brother this world could hold. —Always remembered by his brother Felix, sister-in-law Hilda, and niece Rita. LOHMANN. L-Cpl Henry. —ln loving, memory of my dear brother, who was killed October 25. 1942. at El Alamein. A little white cross far from here Marks the resting place of him so dear; Loved in life. honored in death. A beautiful memory is all we have left. Remembered by his brother John, (R A AF.). LOHMANN. —In loving memory of Henry, who lost his life at El Alamein. ' October 25. 1942. Not only today, but always, we will remember. —Always remembered by the Stewart family.
Advertiser Friday 25 October 1946, LOHMANN. —In loving memory of our dear brother Henry, 2/48th Batt, killed October 25, 1942. A smiling face, a heart hold and love. —Inserted by his brother Felix, sister-in-law Hilda, niece Rita. LOHMANN. —In loving memory of my dear brother Henry 2/48 Battalion killed at El Alamein October 25. 1942. It does not need a special day to bring you back to mind: The day that you’re not in our thoughts is very hard to find. —Lovingly remembered by his brother John. LOHMANN. —In loving memory of Henry, killed in action at El Alamein, October 25. 1942. Things may change in many ways but one thing changes never, the memory of those happy days, when we were all together. —lnserted by Charlie, Edna and family. LOHMANN. —In loving memory of Henry, killed in action at El Alamein, October 25, 1942. 2/48 Batt. Four years have passed, our hearts still sore, as time goes by, we miss you more. Wherever we go, whatever we do, our thoughts are always dear of you. Always so thoughtful. always so kind, a beautiful memory to leave behind. —Ever remembered by his loving mother and father. LOHMANN. —In loving memory of Henry, killed at El Alamein. October 25, 1942. Sunshine passes, shadows fall, but love and memories outlive all—lnserted by the Stewart family.
Advertiser Saturday 25 October 1947, LOHMANN. —A tribute to the memory of our dear Henry, of 2/48th Batt-killed, El Alamein. October 25. 1942. As we loved him so we miss him. Thoughts of you, Henry, are always dear: Loved, remembered, longed for always As it dawns another year. Ever remembered by his mother and father. LOHMANN. —In loving memory of our dear brother and uncle, Henry, killed October 25. 1942. Just a token true and tender. To show, dear Henry, that we still remember. —Sadly missed by Felix, Hilda and Rita. LOHMANN. —In memory of our dear friend Henry, killed In action. El Alamein, October 25, 1942. As you rest in peaceful sleep, your memory we will always keep. —Always remembered by the Stewart family. LOHMANN. —In fond memory of Henry, killed at El Alamein. October 25. 1942. The years roll on. but memories stay As near and dear as yesterday. —Ever remembered by his brother John. LOHMANN. —In loving memory of Henry, killed in action El Alamein, October 25. 1942. Not a day do we forget you. In our hearts- you are always near; We, who loved you. sadly miss you As It dawns another year. —Ever remembered by Charlie Edna and family.
Advertiser Monday 25 October 1948, LOHMANN A tribute of love to the memory of our dear friend, Henry Killed in action El Alamein October 25 1942. Remembered by the Stewart Family. LOHMANN In loving memory of Henry, killed in action October 25 1942. Memories are always with us of the days when you were here. Ever remembered by his brother, sister-in-law Charlie, Edna and family. LOHMANN 2/48th Bett. Cherished memories of our dear Henry killed El Alamein October 25 1942. Lovingly remembered by his brother Felix, sister-in-law Hilda niece Rita. LOHMANN 2/48th Battalion Loving memory of our dear son and brother Henry, killed at El Alamein Oct 25 1942. We who loved him will never forget. Ever remembered by mum, dad brother John.
Advertiser Tuesday 25 October 1949, LOHMANN In loving memory of Henry killed in action October 25 1942 at El Alamein, 2/48th Battalion. Of one we missed and loved so dear, For we who loved you truly know How much we lost seven years ago, Always remembered by mum, dad and all the family. LOHMANN In loving memory of Henry, killed in action El Alamein October 25 1942. Fond memories never die. Ever remembered by the Stewart family.
Advertiser Wednesday 25 October 1950, LOHMANN. — In loving memory of our son and brother Henry, killed in action October 25. 1942. We are thinking of you. dear Henry, Thinking of you and the past. Keeping you in our memory. Just as we saw you last. — Always remembered by mum. dad. brothers, sisters-in-law. LOHMANN. — In cherished memory of Henry, killed in action October 25, 1942. At the going down of the sun and in the morning, we will remember them. — Ever remembered by the Stewart family.
Advertiser Thursday 25 October 1951, LOHMANN. — In loving memory of our dear brother Henry, killed in action. October 25. 1942. As years go by, we will never forget you. —Always remembered by his brother Felix and Hilda, and niece Rita. LOHMANN. — In loving memory of our dear son and brother Henry, killed in action October 25. 1942. He left a beautiful memory and sorrow too great to be told. But those who loved and lost him His memory will never grow old. —Remembered by mother, father and family. LOHMANN. — In memory of our dear friend Henry, who made the supreme sacrifice, October 25, 942. A thought for today, a memory for ever. — Always remembered by the Stewart family.
Advertiser Saturday 25 October 1952, LOHMANN. — In loving memory of Henry, killed in action. El Alamein. October 25, 1942. Whatever we may fail to do We never fall to think of you. —Always remembered by mum. dad and the family. LOHMANN. — In fond memory ot Henry, killed in action. October 25. 1942. at El Alamein. Resting where no shadows fall— Ever remembered by the Stewart family.
Advertiser Monday 26 October 1953, LOHMANN. — In loving memory of Henry, killed at El Alamein on October 25, 1942. We think of you in silence, and cherish all the memories. Of the days when you were here. —Ever remembered by mum, father and family. LOHMANN. — In memory of our dear friend Henry, who passed away October 25. 1942.— Always remembered by the Stewart family.
Advertiser Monday 25 October 1954, LOHMANN. — In loving memory of Henry, of 2nd 48th. killed at El Alamein. October - 25 1942.A leaf in our book of memories is gently turned today: his absence a lasting sorrow, his smile a beautiful memory. — Sadly missed by mum dad and family. LOHMANN. Henry. — Died El Alamein October 25. 1942. Treasured memories of our dear friend. —Always remembered by the Stewart family.
Two months later, Henry’s father Frederick died on the 25th December 1954 and Marie five years later, on the 23rd January, 1959. Reunited at last.
Researched and written by Kaye Lee, daughter of Bryan Holmes SX8133, 2/48th Battalion.

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