Harold ‘Harry’ Bernard Holmes

June 24, 2015

HOLMES, Harold -‘Harry’ Bernard- – – – SPC 1909-1913

DoB:- – c1897, Lion Hill, WA

Father:– – William Holmes

Mother:- – Margaret Ellen, nee Rodgers

Harry Holmes was a boarder at St Patrick’s. He was Dux of the State Service and Commercial Class in 1913, for which he was awarded a medal.

The College Annual of 1916-1917 mentioned that,

-‘-¦ Private H Holmes wrote a most interesting letter to SPC early this year, in which he gave a graphic account of skirmishes near the Suez Canal. He stated that he found the country bordering on the Canal very different to Australia. He was glad, he said, to be able to assist at Holy Mass every Sunday while encamped there -¦’

Service No:- 35291

Rank:– – Private, Gunner

Unit:- – 3rd Field Artillery Brigade, 8th Battery

Harry Holmes enlisted in the AIF on 7 November 1916. He was 19 years and ten months old, five feet, eight inches tall, with a fresh complexion, grey eyes and brown hair. He was a single man who worked as a Clerk.

After undergoing some months of training in Australia, Private Holmes embarked on 9 November 1917 from Melbourne aboard the Sydney. After disembarking at Suez on 12 December, he left Egypt on 18 December and sailed via Taranto, Italy finally disembarking at Southampton on 4 January 1918.

From England he proceeded overseas to France in early April 1918, and was appointed driver on 7 May in the field in France. Private Holmes was the subject of a Medical Report on an Invalid in October, where it was noted that he was suffering from a severe form of eczema which was located in his auditory canals. He also had an associated cyst on his face. Despite undergoing treatment for this condition, Private Holmes was returned to Australia in August 1919 aboard the Kanowna, as being medically unfit for active service.

Before leaving Europe, Holmes was charged with offences committed while in Havre, France. On 3 May 1919, 1) Absent from muster parade at 7.20 hours; 2) Disobeying a lawful command of a superior office; 3) Insolence to a superior officer. He was declared guilty and had to forfeit two days’ pay.

He arrived in Perth, WA on 15 October and was discharged from the AIF on 18 December 1919.

In 1920, Harry married Ruth Camille at Swan, WA. They lived in the Fremantle area and Harry worked as a public servant. The College could not establish if they had any children. Harry died in 1975, at the age of 79 years.