Kaffee und Kuchen

Kaffee und Kuchen February 2023

At the next meeting of the Barossa German Language Association’s Kaffee und Kuchen EH Coombe will be the subject of a presentation in English by Helen Hennessy and Patricia Booth, Harry Coombe’s great-granddaughter. They are co-authors of The Defiant Anti-conscriptionist, a biography of EH Coombe. The meeting will be held at the Langmeil Centre, 7 Maria Street, Tanunda on Monday, 27 February, starting at 1pm. Entry, which includes coffee and cake, is $5.


Please be advised that prior to commencement of Kaffee und Kuchen on Monday 27th February 2023, the BGLA committee will call an Extraordinary General Meeting to set fees for the coming year.”

A memorial to EH (Harry) Coombe stands in the main street of Tanunda, the inscription reading in part: Great in his hour of success but greater when bitterly persecuted for upholding a principle on which our great free Nation is built. Gawler born, Coombe was editor of The Bunyip from 1890 to 1914 and a member of State Parliament between 1901 and 1917.

Tanunda’s Forgotten Hero

by John Clarke

When we think of heroes of the First World War, we think of soldiers scaling the heights of Gallipoli or rushing forward across No Man’s Land under withering enemy machine gun fire. We do not think of an elderly gentleman in a suit and wearing a bow tie.

There is a memorial to that man in the main street of Tanunda. Probably few have stopped to read the inscription. The Front where EH (Harry) Coombe fought was not Turkey or France or Belgium. His Front was in South Australia, and unlike the soldiers on the other Fronts he had no comrades advancing beside him.

Why is there a memorial to that man in Tanunda when he resided in Gawler? He was the Member for the Barossa in the South Australian House of Assembly for many years, but it was not his distinguished parliamentary career which won him the love of the people of the Barossa. It was the stand he took when at the outbreak of war with Germany they were vilified as enemy aliens, their German heritage declaring them to be un-Australian, even if they and their parents had been born here. His heritage was English, but he opposed anti-German measures that passed so easily through Parliament. He was prosecuted under the War Precautions Act.

His Tanunda memorial reads in part: We crowned him in 1901 [when he was elected Member for the Barossa] and all that is evil in man crucified him in 1917 but truth prevailed and he died as he lived an honourable man.

One thought on “Kaffee und Kuchen February 2023

  1. Wie gehts?
    I had hoped to make it on the 27th Feb to your meeting as having grown up in Tanunda, I used to pass that memorial many times on my way to Tanunda Lutheran School. I reckon I’d occasionally read it but had forgotten the words on it. Seeing what he was about I am very interested. How can I get the book or a copy of the ladies’ speech. I have to go to Eudunda and Robertstown on Monday about the same time as the meeting and won’t gat back in time to hear them. I’d like to see Barossa Deutsch und Plattdeutsch revived too, the latter being the Deutschsprache of theMurray Flats. Mum was from Kongolia and dad from Tanunda. His father-Johann Adolf Pfeiffer had a butter factory in the town and later a woodyard. He had property in Basedow Rd up to the railway line, helped to get StPauls lutheran church started I think and lived just across the bridge in Smythe rd- Linwood was the name of the place. I can remember dad saying his dad knew some of the pollies of that time, Dad and grandpa were members of the Tanunda rifle club and won a few trophies or prises.

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