Tag Archives: Bullecourt

Centenary of WW1; Kilmore Remembers: Arthur Herbert Harrington

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.

Frederick Knight (standing) with his cousin, Arthur Herbert Harrington (seated)
Frederick Knight (standing) with his cousin, Arthur Herbert Harrington (seated)

 

Reproduced in the North Central Review, 27 January 2015, p9

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Centenary of WW1; Kilmore Remembers: Frederick Knight

Private 4454

Frederick (Fred) Knight (pictured below standing) was born in June 1894 probably at Tantaraboo west of Kilmore, the fifth child of Nehemiah Knights and Alicia Jane Ann Johnston.  Sometimes their surname is recorded as Knights but in his army records Fred’s name is recorded as Knight. Fred served 3 years in B Company, 15th Light Horse before volunteering in the Great War.

Fred probably worked on his father’s farm and others at Tantaraboo as a labourer before enlisting on 19 November 1915 at Melbourne. After training at Royal Park, Melbourne, Fred joined the 21st Battalion in March 1917. His brothers Albert (4453) and Ralph (4455) also enlisted about the same time and joined the 21st Battalion. Fred’s cousin Arthur Harrington (pictured below seated) enlisted later.

The 21st Battalion, 11th Reinforcements, including Fred and his brothers, left Melbourne, on the RMS Orontes on 29 March 1916 for Egypt where he first served with the Anzac Police before joining his Battalion for France.  During the Second Battle of Bullecourt Fred suffered trench fever and was transferred to England.  His parents were advised on 10 July 1917. After recovering Fred rejoined his battalion in Belgium in November 1917.

In April 1918 Fred took part in defending the German Spring Offensive and later in the battles of Hamel, Amiens and Mont St Quentin.  The 21st Battalion took part in the final Australian operation of the war at Montbrehain in October 1918 and was the last Australian battalion to be withdrawn.

The 21st was then disbanded and Fred was transferred to the 5th and later took leave in England. After returning to Melbourne on the Soudan on 29 June 1919, Fred immediately travelled home the next day. He was discharged on 13 August 1919 after serving 1361 days.

Fred received the British War Medal, the Victory Medal and 1914/15 Star. His name is recorded on the Shire of Kilmore Honour Roll, Kilmore Church of England Honour Roll and the Tantaraboo State School Honour Roll.

After the war Fred continued working as a labourer, married Frances Alice Jamieson in 1919 and later became a milkman.  He died at Rosebud in 1966.

Frederick Knight (standing) with his cousin, Arthur Herbert Harrington (seated)
Frederick Knight (standing) with his cousin, Arthur Herbert Harrington (seated)

 

Reproduced in the North Central Review, 27 January 2015, p9