Year of Birth: 1882
Place of Birth: Newcastle on Tyne, Northumberland, England
Date of Enlistment: 21 October 1916
Date and Place of Embarkation: 22 December 1916, Sydney, New South Wales
Ship: HMAT Demosthenes A64
Unit(s): 47th Australian Infantry Battalion
Regimental Number: 3122
Died: 27 March 1918
Harry Gofton was born in 1882 in Newcastle on Tyne, Northumberland, England the son of Ralph Gofton and Elizabeth Mary Seggie. After the Gofton family’s emigration to Australia, the family lived in Charters Towers. Harry, also known as “Hardy” had 10 known siblings; Joseph (1870-1950), George Edwin (1872-1955), Ellen (1873-1963), Ada (1879-1950), Edward (1880-1924), William Leichardt (1884-1964), Septimus Laws (1886-1925), Ralph (1888-1960), Robert (1889-1964) and Frederick (1892-)
Harry married Flora Shaw Young in 1909 in Cooktown. Harry and Flora had two children, a son named Moresby and a daughter, Ela Lorraine Gofton, born about 1913 in Papua New Guinea.
At the time of Harry’s enlistment in Cairn he was residing in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea. He was 34 years and 7 months old, 5 foot 7 inches tall with a dark complexion, brown eyes and brown hair turning gray. He gave his religion as Church of England. Harry is listed as a planter and his next of kin was his wife Flora Shaw Gofton who resided in Papua New Guinea. Another reference states Harry Gofton was a plantation assistant in the Eastern Division and briefly in 1914 he was the ‘Port’ butcher.
Harry served on the Western Front. He died from wounds received in action at Albert on the Somme, France on 27 March 1918. He is buried at the village of Dernancourt Communal Cemetery Extension, plot 8, row A
At the time of Harry’s death his wife was living in Samarai. “She visted Harry’s grave in 1922, remarried and started a hotel at Bulolo in the Mandated Territory” (Lewis).
The Plantation Dream : Developing British New Guinea and Papua 1884-1942. D.C. Lewis, 1996
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