Friday, 17 October 2014

Faces from the Past Friday - Harry Surman Connor

Today it is the turn of the fourth cousin, Henry (Harry) Surman Connor (my second cousin 1x removed).

Henry Surman Connor was born on 31 January 1898 in Lismore, New South Wales. Harry was the third son of Dr Francis (Frank) Gillies Connor and Jane Surman and one of four boys and three girls. Harry's father trained in Edinburgh and arrived back in Australia in 1886 as a qualified doctor.  In 1895 he received his Degree of a Doctor of Medicine and the Degrees of Bachelor of Medicine and Master of Surgery in the University of Edinburgh.

In Harry's early years the family lived in Coraki, Lismore, Mullumbimby and Brunswick Heads - all in the Northern Rivers region of New South Wales. Frank Connor retired in 1903 and the family moved to Willoughby in Sydney.

Harry enlisted in Sydney on the 14th September 1914. His age was 21 years and 9 months. Harry's description is as follows: Height 5'6"; Weight 9 stone 8lbs; Chest measurement 35"; Complexion Fair; Eyes Grey; Hair Brown; Religion Presbyterian. He was noted as vaccinated and that he had a tattoo on one arm. His occupation on enlistment was farmer of Oatha, Parkes, New South Wales. Harry's regimental number was 487 and he was posted to the 13th Battalion. The 13th Battalion AIF was raised from late September 1914, six weeks after the outbreak of the First World War. The battalion was recruited in New South Wales, and with the 14th, 15th and 16th Battalions formed the 4th Brigade, commanded by Colonel John Monash.(AWM)

Harry embarked from Melbourne on board HMAT A 38 "Ulysses" on the 22nd December 1914. After a brief stop at Albany, Western Australia they proceeded to Egypt, arriving there in early February 1915.

The 13th Battalion took part in the Landing at Anzac Cove, arriving late on 25 April 1915.

Harry was wounded just after midnight on the 2nd May 1915 at Courtney's Post, in the Dardenelles (Gallipoli).

Courtney's Post was named for Lieutenant-Colonel Richard Courtney, who brought the 14th Battalion AIF to the position on 27 April 1915. It lies along the ridge leading northwards from Lone Pine and on the original front line at Anzac established on the day of the landing. (

HMT Derflinger renamed Huntsgreen 1916
2nd May 1915 - at sea on board HMT Derflinger. HMT Derflinger was a captured German passenger vessel captured in 1914 in Port Said. She was then used to ferry troops backwards and forwards from Gallipoli in 1915. Renamed the HMT Huntsgreen in 1916. 

Ward 8, 1st Australian Field Hospital, Heliopolis, Cairo, Egypt.

Died at 6:30 pm on 7th May 1915 as a result of shock after haemorrhage as a result of wound received in battle.

Clarence and Richmond Examiner, Saturday 22 May 1915, page 1 (TROVE)

Harry is  buried in the Cairo War Memorial Cemetery, Cairo, Egypt, far from home in country New South Wales along with his comrades in arms.

His effects were posted to his father in a brown paper parcel on 5th December 1915 and contained: 2 pairs socks; 1 testament; 1 wallet & letters; 1 ticket-case; 1 wristwatch  and 1 purse. Not much for a life.


Australian War Memorial ( - accessed 10/10/2014) 
TROVE: - accessed 10/10/2014

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