Henry Otto BOHLSEN
- Born: 6 Apr 1873, London, Middlesex, England 2
- Christened: 29 Jun 1873, Saint George Botolph Lane, London, London, England 2
- Married: 1903, New South Wales, Australia 1
- Died: 7 Aug 1915, The Nek, Gallipoli
Henry Otto (Harry) worked as a coachman and carter. He served in the Boer War as a Lance Corporal in the NSW Citizen Bushmen Squadron. He was invalided hom Dec 1900, but returned to complete the War as a Corporal in the first Battalion Commonwealth Horse "A" Squadron. With the onset of WWI, he again enlisted, served at the Gallipoli Peninsula with the 8th Australian Light Horse Regiment. This is where he died. As yet we have been unable to trace what happened to his family 7.
Tuesday 1 April 1890 Goulburn Evening Penny Post carries a report of a coroner's inquest. An inquiry was held at Williamson's, Molonglo, concerning the late fire which destroyed his hotel on the night of the 26th February. The following excerpt mentions Henry Otto Bohlsen and shows his location in 1890 and that he was prospecting away from his family. He would have been 17 at the time:—
'...there was a young lad named Henry Otto Bohlsen, who occupied the opposite bed to mine; I was not drunk; I was perfectly sober; I only had three or four drinks after tea; I was preparing to go to bed, and on entering my room I lit the candle with a match; I blew the match out and put it in the candsle stick, which I put on the dressing table between the beds; soon after Mr. Williamson came to my room and bade me good night; after he had left I sat on the bed thinking what I had to do on the morrow; I was taking off my boots and just then I heard a crackling noise; I looked up and saw the reflection of fire; this was about three or four feet high in the wall just above Bohlsen' bed; I had not been to that side of the room; I had not removed the candle from where I first placed it; I sang out "fire;" I went to the sitting-room and the smoke and flame followed me; I could not find the bar door and failing to find it I broke the window; some one else also broke another pane of glass and I got out through the window. To Senior-constable Nelson: I lost all that I had in my swag; the boy was not in bed when I was there. Henry Otto Bohlsen deposed: I live in Sydney, but for the last six weeks I have been prospecting about Molonglo...' 8
From The Maitland Daily Mercury Monday 18 June 1894 page 3:—
In the Divorce Court to-day, John Harrington applied for a divorce from his wife, Emma, on the ground of adultery and habitual drunkenness, The co-respondent, Henry Bohlsen, did not put in an appearance. According to the evidence of the husband he came home suddenly one day and found a man in. the dining-room, who was unable when questioned to state what his business was. His wife deserted him in February, 1893; previous to this she was continually drunk, and he often came home and found no tea ready. One night at eleven o'clock he went to the Imperial Hotel, Paddington, and found her lying at the foot of a bed drunk- ' dead to the world.' She had told him she was going to North Shore to take tea with a friend. He dragged her home, and found in her pocket a letter which he handed to his Honor. He remonstrated with her next day about the letter, and she asked him to forgive her. On another occasion at Waverley he was cooking his own supper when she rushed in all over dirty he said ' No supper again !' She said ' I'll give you your (adjective) supper,' and went to a drawer and got a knife when, having intimated that she was going to rip him up, she stabbed at him. He received a long wound on the arm ; she was mad drunk next day, and was bound over to keep the peace. On another occasion when he returned home he found the furniture removed, and went to a house at Darlington, where he saw a man standing at a door calling ' Emma. Emma.' and, sotto voce ' My wife is drunk again. How can I get in ?' Petitioner volunteered to open a window for the supposed husband, but he said ' It is a risky job. Is that your wife on the verandah ?' The man said it was, and also said he paid the rent. He gave petitioner permission to open the window, and the man rushed in and dragged Mrs. Harrington from the verandah into the house. On the same night he forced his way into the place, and there saw the same man - the co-respondent Bohlsen. Bohlsen cleared out and petitioner remained in the house all night ; in the morning his wife attempted to have him put out. In June, 1893, he found Bohlsen and his wife living together at Waverley. The case is proceeding. 8
And from The Sydney Morning Herald Tuesday 19 June 1894 page 3
HARRINGTON V. HARRINGTON.
Mr. Arnott appeared for the petitioner, John Harrington, and Mr. Osborne for the respondent, Emma Harrington, there was no appearance on behalf of the co-respondent, Henry Bohlsen. This was a suit bv the husband, a painter and paperhanger, for absolution of his marriage on the ground of his wife's habitual drunkenness and neglect of her domestic duties, and misconduct with Henry Bohlsen, the co-respondent, between 30th January, 1893, and 9th January, 1894. The respondent denied the allegations of drunkenness and misconduct, and pleaded that even if she had been guilty of the offences charged, the petitioner by his words and acts had condoned them, as since January, 1893, he had repeatedly visited her. That petitioner's conduct conduced to the offence, as during the last three years he had been a. habitual drunkard, had treated her cruelly, and had left her without means of support. The parties were married on 20th May, 1881, at Bath, England, and came to the colony in 1883. After that according to petitioner, his wife gave wav to drink, and in January 1893, she left him and went to live live with Bohlsen, the co respondent. His Honor found for the petitioner on the lssue of misconduct, and held that petitioner had not condoned the adultery. He granted a decree nisi returnable in three month. 8
From Evening News Monday 15 October 1900 page 7
WITH THE BUSHMEN.
Lance-Corporal Bohlsen, N.S.W. Bushmen's Contingent, writing to his mother in Sydney from No. 11 Hospital, Kimberley, on September 9, says: - On July 3 we Were left by Baden-Powell to hold the town (Rustenburg) till he sent for us; but we received a dispatch at 8 o'clock that night to -retreat as fast as possible, as 2000 Boers were marching on us. We had to leave without firing a shot, as we were only 400 strong. We went, to Elands River, and from that place have had a good bit of fun with the Boers. All this district is owned by most of the Boer generals. Of Course some of them were away fighting; but we visited all their farms, and had the pleasure of capturing young Cronje and Eloff; also two of the Prinsloos, who were a raising a commando. On July 11. I was out scouting with my four, and was in a scrap at Woodstock with Colonel Airey and 300 of our chaps, who were sent out from Baden- Powell's camp. We were at it all day till dark. Our casualties were four killed and nineteen wounded, among the killed being Captain Robinson. I was very lucky, as my horse was shot through the top of the shoulder, just in front of the saddle. I promise you that I was under cover of a big rock in very quick time. Eventually we gave the Boers a good "pasting" Still, this was nothing to our siege at Elands River, which I suppose you have read about in the papers. Colonel Airey, with B, C, and D Squadrons, joined. Baden-Powell at Rustenburg, and our A Squadron, on account of saving done such a lot .of work, was to have a month's spell at Elands River, and feed up our horses, which were knocked up, and commandeer fresh ones for those that had been killed. . All went well until August 4. When we awoke at daylight on this morning we were surprised to find that we were surrounded on all sides. The Boers started shelling us, keeping it up all day, changing it at night for rifle fire. They kept firing at us for thirteen days killing all our cattle, mules, and horses. Just fancy, after the second day eight or nine hundred dead carcasses around you and imagine the smell we had to put up with. It was through this, I think, that I contracted the fever, which I am now here with. We had fifteen of our men killed and sixty-three wounded. I received a slight wound on the leg, but it is nearly right now. De la Rey was in command of the Boers, who numbered 3000 men and 10 guns; while we had only 420 men, one old muzzle-loader 7 pounder, and two Maxims. He sent for us to surrender; but we told him 'to go to ___ , and come and take us.' We were relieved by Lord Kitchener, who gave us great praise for holding out. Lord Roberts sent us his congratulations also, and I tell you we think ourselves heroes. We were taken by Lord Methuen to Mafeking, and from there our fellows went to Pretoria. I was sent down with the wounded to Kimberley Hospital. I am nearly well now, with the exception of the ague, which the doctors say will leave me when I have the sea trip home. I will be glad when things are settled here, as we have had a rough time of it, marching all day in the rain, and at night have to lie on the wet ground, with some times not enough in your stomach; then at daylight .you have to fight, and, perhaps, continue it all day. Of course all our fellows are hardy, and take it as it comes, and do not grumble a bit. The generals think the world of us, and when any bad position has to be taken they send for the Australians to do it; and, as a rule, we do not lose many men doing it. I hardly think the I war can last much longer, as the Boers are scattered, and if we can get hold of De Wet, who is a very slippery gentleman, and Botha, I think the others will give in. 8
From The Cumberland Argus and Fruitgrowers Advocate Saturday 24 August 1901 Page 12
Trooper Bohlsen, of Hornsby, writing to his mother, gives some exciting experiences. He says : ' The Boers attacked our camp, killing five men before we had a chance we made it hot for them when we got at it. We had a ten days' chase, and caught them in a nice basin between two hills. They were just going to have their dinner when the pompoms and sixteen pounders, maxims and rifles began to pour in upon them. The Boers were all mixed up. They threw down their rifles and put up their hands. There were only 40 left to tell the tale out of 200 of them.' 8
From The Sydney Morning Herald Wednesday 8 September 1915 Page 10
MEN OF THE DARDANELLES.
SERGEANT H. O. BOHLSEN.
Sergeant H. O. Bohlsen, who was killed at the Dardanelles In the heroic dash to capture Hill 70 on August 21, was the oldest son of Mr. H. G. Bohlsen, late of Hornsby. Sergeant Bohlsen was a member of the first contingent of Australian Bushmen to go to the African war, and after having been Invalided home returned again. He was one of three brothers at the Dardanelles.
(Three brothers is wrong and repeated in other reports. Frederick did not enlist till 1917, Thomas in 1914 NZ and Christian in 1918.) 8
From The Sydney Morning Herald Monday 13 September 1915 page 5
SERGEANT H. O. BOHLSEN.
Sergeant H. O. Bohlsen, who was killed on August 21 while taking part In tho assault on Hill 70, was the eldest son of Mr, H. G. Bohlsen, late of Hornsby, and resided at Ultimo. He went through the Boer War, and on the outbreak of hostilities left his employment with the Fresh Food and Ice Company to enlist. 8
From The Raleigh Sun Bellingen Friday 17 September 1915 Page 3
Mr. H. G. Bohlson has just received word of the death of his son Sergeant H. O. Bohlson, in the assault on Hill 70, at the Dardanelles. Mr. Bohlson has two other sons there (sic). September, 11th. 8
Sergeant Henry Otto BOHLSEN, a 36 year old Labourer from Deniliquin, New South Wales. He enlisted on 19 September 1914; and subsequently was Killed in Action, 7 August 1915. 9
"BOHLSEN - in memory of Sergeant Harry Bohlsen of the 8th Light Horse, who was killed at Lone Pine, August 7, 1915. Sadly missed by his wife Jane, and children, Osie and Letty." 6
Henry married Jane HORAN, daughter of James HORAN and Margaret KELLY, in 1903 in New South Wales, Australia 1. (Jane HORAN was born on 25 Sep 1881 in Wuuluman, New South Wales, Australia 3 and died on 29 Apr 1958 in Redfern, Sydney, N.S.W., Australia 4 5.)