Actions

Harry Pickard

From Our Contribution

Harry Pickard
Unknown.png
Personal Information
Date of Birth 10 Jan 1887
Place of Birth East Grenstead, Sussex, England
Death 29 Jul 1916
Place of Death Poziéres, France
Age at Enlistment 28 years, 4 months
Description 5'7" (1.70m) tall ; 139lbs
63.049 kg
; tan complexion ; grey eyes ; fair hair
Occupation Engineer
Religion Church of England
Address Gosnells, Western Australia
Next of Kin Uncle , George Pickard
Military Information
Reg Number 1627
Date of Enlistment 11 Mar 1915
Rank Private
Unit/Formation 28th Battalion, 1st Reinforcement
Date of Embarkation 5 Jun 1915 ‒ ? Jul 1915
Ship Embarked On HMAT A2 Geelong
Fate KIA 29 Jul 1916 Poziéres
Monument none as yet
Villers-Bretonneux Memorial
Australian War Memorial
Medals 1914-15 Star
British War Medal
Victory Medal



Pre War

War Service

Harry entered Blackboy Hill camp on 11 Mar 1915 and began his training as a member of the 12th Depot Company. On 23 May 1915 he was allocated to the 1st Reinforcement draft for the 28th Battalion, and joined the unit proper in camp near Cairo on 18 Aug 1915. The battalion entrained at Qubba Station for Alexandria on 3 Sep 1915, they boarded HMT Ivernia the afternoon of 4 Sep 1915 and departed for Mudros on the Island of Lemnos where they arrived 7 Sep 1915, before transhipping to HMT Sarnia for the journey to Gallipoli. They were evacuated aboard HMT Osmanieh to Lemnos Island on 12 Dec 1915 with the exception of 18 men who were to be the last to evacuate Anzac Cove.

The battalion returned to Alexandria from Mudros on HMT Ausonia disembarking on 10 Jan 1916.

On 16 Mar 1916 the 28th Battalion re-embarked in Alexandria, this time for Marseilles in France, arriving there on 21 Mar 1916. On 24 Apr 1916 Harry reported to the 7th Australian Field Ambulance with influenza, returning to duty on 28 Apr 1916.

On 29 Jul 1916 the 28th Battalion was tasked with attacking German trenches OG1 and OG2, north of Poziéres. Heavily shelled and cut down by machine gun fire before they advanced, and then again when they reached the unbroken wire in front of the enemy trenches, the ferocity of the enemy opposition was such that while 63 men were killed and 151 were wounded, another 257 were posted as missing, Harry amongst them, during the month. All bar four of those casualties occurred on 29 Jul 1916.

While 31 of the missing were later found to be prisoners of war, that left 226 for whom there was no grave. It was said that in about 15 minutes the 28th had ceased to exist as a battalion.[1]. While some of the missing were wounded and able to be recovered over the next few days, Harry was not amongst them and there is no record of anyone being interviewed about the battle being able to say what had occurred to him.

A Court of Enquiry held on 4 Jan 1917 declared that he had been Killed in Action on 29 Jul 1916.

  • Villers-Bretonneux Memorial
  • small section of the 28th Battalion's panels at Villers-Bretonneux

Notes

  1. The Blue and White Diamond, page 158, Neville Browning, Advance Press

External Links