Within three years, Emily Farrell would lose three significant men in her life. Her son Private Roy Henry Farrell died in 1916; her husband Clement Farrell died in 1917 and her son, Lance Corporal Raymond Thomas Farrell was killed in 1918. Her son, Vernon Farrell, served with the Home Service.
A young life, full of promise, sacrificed on the altar of duty.
Roy Henry Farrell was a labourer from Lunawanna, Bruny Island, who enlisted at the age of 20 with the 26th Battalion on 17 May 1915, and served at Gallipoli and in France.
In March 1916, Private Farrell suffered from ulceration and a septic mouth. He was admitted to hospital in Rouen, France, on 4 April 1916, with pemphigus, a rare skin disorder that causes blisters and sores on the skin or mucous membranes
Private Farrell returned to his Unit on 3 June 1916 and was wounded on 9 August 1916. Private Farrell died of wounds on 20 August 1916 and his remains were interred at the St Sever Cemetery, at Rouen, France.
“There is a link death cannot sever; love and remembrance last forever” was the message included in the family notice for Private Farrell in The Mercury on 20 August 1917 by his sister and brother-in-law Mrs and Mr Cramp.
On 14 September 1916, Mrs Farrell wrote to Base Records “to apply for…information concerning a soldiers death, I beg you will send…how my son was killed, where and the date, if conscious when found, how long he lived after being shot, what were his last words, if he left any message for me, his worrying mother…”
Raymond Thomas Farrell was born on 23 June 1886 and was a 31-years-old when enlisted with the 12th Battalion on 30 October 1917. At the time of his enlistment he was involved with the South Bruny Show Committee.
Lance Corporal Farrell embarked from Australia on 21 February 1918. He was killed in action on 18 September 1918 and buried in the Jeancourt Communal Cemetery Extension, at Aisne, France.
“Of the 58 volunteers from Bruny, Lance Corporal Farrell was the 21st to lay down his life for the Empire and liberty’s cause”. (The Mercury, 4 October 1918, page 6).
Mrs Farrell’s son, Vernon Edward Farrell, born 1892, served with the Home Service.
Sons remembered by community
At the welcome home for Ethelbert (Bertie) Binns, at the Lunawanna State School, Bruny Island, those who did not return were remembered and a memoriam brooch was made for Mrs Farrell in memory of her sons.
Bruny Roll of Honour, World (Hobart: Tasmania 1918-1924), 29 July, 1918 page 3
Bruny Island Historical Society