Private 4435 and 5172
Arthur (pictured below seated) was the eldest son of twelve of Denis James (Din) Harrington and his wife Amelia Margaret (Milly) Johnston. He was born in September 1895 at Tantaraboo. He first tried to enlist on 21 January 1916 in the 21st Battalion. He was a labourer aged 20 years and 3 months. Arthur and his friends Albert and Frederick Knight were given a rousing send off and a money belt each on 30 March 1916 at the Tantaraboo school room. The party did not break up until 4am. However, in April Arthur was assessed as medically unfit.
Arthur next tried to enlist in July 1916 and was declared fit by Dr Semple of Kilmore and later by a second doctor in Melbourne. Arthur took his oath at Broadmeadows military camp on 20 July 1916 the date of his enlistment. He embarked as part of the 13th Reinforcements, 24th Battalion, from Melbourne on board the “Themiocles” on 28 July 1916.
In October he was admitted to the Fargo Military hospital in England with acne and discharged a fortnight later. He left Folkston for France on 16 November to reinforce the 2nd Division AIF. He was wounded in action at Bullecourt on 4 May 1917 with gun shot wounds to head, arms, legs, back and abdomen. He was transferred to the 5th Southern General Hospital at Portsmouth on 24 May. He returned to France in mid October.
Arthur was again sick and admitted to hospital in early February 1918 and then sent to Broadwater Hospital at Ipswich with left knee synovitis in March. He returned to France in early June 1918. On 5 March 1919 he was admitted to 3rd Auxiliary Hospital with influenza. He returned to Australia on the “Armagh” in May 1919 and was discharged medically unfit on 25 June 1919 from the 3rd Military District.
He received the 1914/15 Military Star, the British War Medal and the Victory Medal for his war effort. On 11 July Arthur attended a welcome home function for several local soldiers at the Tantaraboo School.
Arthur married Mary Alice McFarlane in 1920. He suffered from his war injuries but continued to work in the building trade from his property at Kilmore East. He was always cheerful despite many periods in hospital. He took a keen interest in the RSL and the Kilmore Agricultural and Pastoral Society and played cricket. He served in World War 2 part time in the Volunteer Defence Corp locally for 2 years 5 months and was promoted to Corporal. Arthur died suddenly at his home on Wednesday 17 March 1954 and was interred in the Kilmore Catholic Cemetery. Arthur is honoured in the Kilmore Shire Honour Roll and the Tantaraboo State School Honour Roll.
Reproduced in the North Central Review, 27 January 2015, p9