Tasman Jarvis – An Original ANZAC

24 April 2010

As tomorrow is ANZAC Day, my thoughts this week have been around those family members who have fought in various wars. While there are many individuals I could focus on, the one that comes most prominently to mind on ANZAC Day is Tasman Jarvis.

Tasman Jarvis, parents headstoneI can still remember the day we found his parents grave in Richmond Cemetery, Tasmania. I was noting all the details on the headstone and right at the bottom was an entry for their son Tasman Jarvis. It simply noted that he had been killed in action in Gallipoli on 25 April 1915 aged 34 years. One of the many killed on that day.

Tasman Jarvis was born in Brighton, Tasmania in 1881, the 10th and youngest child of Alfred Jarvis and Eliza nee Gunyon. He married Violet Thorne in 1906 and had three children before he enlisted in the army. He served as a Private in the 12th Battalion and there are many records recording his military service.

At the Australian War Memorial he is listed on the Roll of Honour Database and it gives basic information on his life and military service.

The Commonwealth War Graves Commission also has him on a Casualty List giving similar information. You can even generate a certificate.

There is also an entry for him in the AIF Project (Australian ANZACS in the Great War 1914-1918) which gives more information including his height and weight. It also mentions his previous military service with the Derwent Regiment for 5 years. It also lists his brother Richard George Jarvis, also killed in action in May 1915, and his cousins Henry Thomas Jarvis killed in action in September 1916, Roy William Jarvis returned to Australia 1919 and Alfred Edward Jarvis returned to Australia in 1917.

Tasman’s military dossier has been digitised by the National Archives of Australia (NAA) and is freely available online. It gives more details on his time in the army. Another digitised file available online is an Application for a Gratuity lodged by his widow Violet on behalf of herself and her three young children.

Finally there is a third digitised file on the NAA site and it relates to a Summary of Particulars of Application for Assistance. This was submitted by Tasman’s widow Violet. It is dated 1921 and she is asking for a loan of £35 to buy furniture. The application makes sad reading and reveals that the family have been living with her parents since Tasman’s death. Violet took possession of her War Service Home in June 1921 hence her need for furniture. It was seen as a special case and she was granted the loan with the proviso that she repay it at the rate of 10/- a month.

All three NAA digitised files come up under a keyword search for Tasman Jarvis.

Tasman Jarvis was awarded posthumously the following medals: 1914-15 Star, British War Medal and the Victory Medal.

So tomorrow my thoughts will be with all those other families who lost loved ones at Gallipoli on 25 April 1915. Lest We Forget.

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  1. As an English woman having only lived in Australia since 1985, ANZAC day has never meant anything to me as in England we always remembered those lost in the War, on the 11th November. In the last two days I have discovered that I have dozens of relatives living in Tasmania all descendants of Sophia and James Gunyon, who were trabnsported to Tasmania in 1828. I have only to-day, 30th April discovered that a very distant cousin of mine, Tasaman Jarvis was killed at Lone Pine, Gallipoli. ANZAC day will never be the same for me from now onwards. Thank you for your interesting and moving page. I feel very emotional to know about Tasman Jarvis and his family and hope that one day I might meet some of their descendants. Sophia Gunyon was the sister of my ggggrandfather John Robinson of England.

  2. I am sorry if this is confusing, I am trying to word it as best as possible 😀
    I am related to Alfred Jarvis and Eliza Gunyon.
    Alfred Jarvis is the brother of my 4th Great-Grandfather William Jarvis who’s son, also William was married to a Louisa Sophia Kent – the daughter of John Kent and Mary Ann Gunyon (also my 4th Great-Grandparents), Mary Ann was the sister of Eliza Gunyon. The daughters of James Charles Gunyon and Sophia Robinson.
    I would love to find out more info on any of these people mentioned, or others relating to the family.
    Shauna, I too thought about Tasman and his cousins, who lost their lives during WW1, on Anzac Day.

  3. Can someone please help me. I found a few months ago that I was related to Sophia Robinson Gunyon. Her ancestors in Cheshunt, Hertfordshire, England were also my ancestors. However in the last few days I have been contacted by a new distant relative in New Zealand who tells me that the Sophia Robinson and James Charles Gunyon connection is a false trial. For the following reasons. Firstly, Sophia Robinson born in 1793 in Cheshunt, Hertfordshire, England died at 6 monhs of age and is buried in St. Marys Churchyard, Cheshunt. Herts along with some siblings and her father John Robinson. So who is the Sophia Robinson who according to places like Ancestry.co.uk and several family trees listed on Ancestry also http://www.family search, the LDS website, list Sophia as born in 1793 in Cheshunt to John Robinson and Dianah Wooley of Cheshunt. Sophia Robinson was a convict transported along with five children to Hobart in 1828. She died in 1866 and is buried along with her second husband Joseph Walker in Pontville cemetery. I have photographed her tombstone. In the book, ‘Thanks a lot Guv’ written by T Garth Hyland, he reports that Sophia Robinson Gunyon was born in St. Albans, Hertfordshire in 1795.
    Can anyone who has listed this
    lady, Sophia Robisnon Gunyon on their family tree, PLEASE help me to solve this dilemma.
    Thank you so much for reading this.

  4. Hi Krystal
    I have not researched the Gunyons at all – Alfred Jarvis and Eliza Gunyon is not our direct line of descent so I only know what was given to me by other members of the family.Similarly we are not descended from William Jarvis and Sophia Louisa Kent (whose mother was Mary Ann Gunyon)- I was not aware of the connection between the two Gunyon families. You said that Eliza and Mary Ann were sisters – but there would have to be at least 15 years between their dates of birth, not impossible but perhaps unusual for those times. However I haven’t looked into the Gunyons at all.
    We are descended from George Jarvis and Jane Maria Barwick and as I said above, I have only been interested in the Jarvis line, not those marrying into it.
    Thanks for making contact

  5. Hi Diana
    As you will have seen from my response to Krystal above, I have not researched the Gunyons at all – they married into the Jarvis family and I am only interested in the direct Jarvis line. Until reading Krystal’s message,I was not aware of the connection between the two Gunyon families. As I said it seems strange that there was at least 15 years difference between Eliza and Mary Ann if they were sisters as Krystal says. It almost seems that they were different generations and in fact they did marry into different generations but not having done any Gunyon research I can’t clarify but it looks odd to me. I would advise that you contact some of the people doing the Gunyon line and ask them what their sources are etc.
    Best wishes and thanks for making contact

  6. Hi there Shauna
    Firstly, thank you for your answer. Perhaps I can put you a little more clearly into the picture. Sophia Robinson Gunyon was married to James Charles Gunyon. They married in 1815 in London. They were transported to Hobart in 1828 as convicts from London. Sophia came aboard the Mermaid along with her five children. They were Mary Ann b. 1816. George 1819, Charlotte 1820,Emma 1825, James b.1823. Harriet b. 1832, Elizabeth b.1837 and William 1830. Harriet, Elizabeth and William were born in Hobart. As you know Krystal is descended from Mary Ann. You are obviously descended from Elizabeth who married Alfred Jarvis. Or was Eliza b. 1859, Hurd your ancestor? However you are all the same family. You are all descended from Sophia and James Gunyon who were born in London along with the oldest five children.
    I have the entire family tree worked out without any help from the Gunyon descendants, so trust it is acurate. Its hard to consider that anyone is only descended from one line.
    My dilemma is to find out whether your ancestor Sophia Gunyon was indeed who she said she was. The Sophia Robinson born into my Robinson family in 1793 in fact died, I have discovered, at 6 months. Despite the fact that many internet genealogy websites including Ancestry.co.uk list her as being born in 1793 and dying in Brighton in 1866, married a second time, to Joseph Walker. We have visited her grave and I placed a stone on the tombstone. A symbol that a family member has visited. Her parents would have been my gggggrandparents living in Cheshunt. It seems that this might not be the case and Sophia could have stolen a dead childs identity. Someone has suggested that Sophia might in fact be a Sarah Robinson whose parents were George and Hannah Robinson of St. Albans and North Mimms, Hertfordshire. If anyone reads this and knows of the English history surrounding the above mentioned Sophia Robinson Gunyon, I would love to hear from you.
    Thank you for reading this, Shauna and best wishes to you also.
    Diana T

  7. Hi Diana
    As I said in the earlier response, my family are descended from Alfred Jarvis’ brother George, not Alfred, so we have no direct connection to the Gunyon family which is why I have never looked into it.
    However, descendants of Alfred Jarvis will be interested in your detailed account and I hope they contact you.

  8. Thanks Shauna

  9. Hi Shauna,
    thanks for the reply.
    Mary Ann and Eliza are actually closer to 21 years apart I believe, and the reason for that is that Sophia and James Gunyon had five children born between 1816 and 1826. Then they were both sent as convicts to VDL (their five children came also) and then they had a further three children (I believe two girls and a boy) between 1832 and 1837.
    I hope you don’t mind me posting this on here in case someone who knows of the family history reads it and can answer some of our questions.

  10. Hi. I have an american forbear dating back to the 1850’s
    Harvey Richard Jarvis, son of James William Jarvis if you can help me out please.

  11. Hi Caleb
    Our Jarvis family arrived in Tasmania, Australia from England in 1825 – haven’t established where in England they were from. Do you have any more details?

  12. Hi Shauna,

    I stumbled across this blog by accident, Tasmin Jarvis and Violent Thorne where my great grand parents. I am the grand daughter of Sylvia Faye Jarvis. Unfortunately I don’t know much about Tasmin and Violet’s forbearer’s


  13. Hi Ariel if you send me an email I can send you more details on the family. Good to find another relative! Thanks Shauna

  14. Hi Shauna, well another Anzac Day has passed and it brought me back to your web site, once again, I lost it for a few years.

    I am an ex serviceman (20 years) and wanted to find the Jarvis Family Military History. The details from Military sites is slowly improving, I now have found where Tasman fits into my family tree, my documents did not show him or another sibling at all.

    From entering his details into My Heritage Family Tree builder it shows that I am his 1st cousin twice removed. I have also found out that the AIF sites has some of the family linked wrongly, calling brothers cousins etc.

    From my documents Richard George, Henry Thomas (both KIA WW1) and Roy William MM (who returned home) where brothers and Tasman being from Alfred and Eliza family would be there first cousin once removed and my first cousin twice removed.

    Thanks for entering these details. A pity the photo was not a bit clearer. Stan

  15. Thanks Stan. Yes the headstone was a bit hard to read even when we were at the cemetery. The sun was in the wrong place and we only had a limited time. Quite a few Jarvis descendants entered into military service, I must update my database. Thanks

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