Henry Leo Dunkley

June 23, 2015

DUNKLEY, Henry Leo- – – – SPC 1908-1914

DoB:- – 1895, St Arnaud, VIC

Father:- – Henry William Dunkley

Mother:- – Annie, nee O’Donnell

Leo, as he was known at St Patrick’s, was a boarder from St Arnaud with his younger brother John (SPC 1908-1914).

Leo Matriculated in 1913, completing the following subjects: English Language and Literature, Latin Language and Literature, French Language and Literature, and British History. After leaving SPC, Leo commenced a law degree in 1914. His brother John also matriculated at SPC and went on to study medicine.

Service No:- – 30585

Rank:– – Gunner, Driver

Unit:– – 1st Divisional Ammunition Column / 114th Howitzer Battery, 14 Field Artillery Brigade (FAB)

Henry Leo Dunkley enlisted on 10 July 1916 at 20 years of age. He was a law student, five feet six and three quarter inches tall, with blue eyes, black hair and a fresh complexion. He embarked at Melbourne on the Hororata, on 23 November 1916, disembarking at Plymouth, England.

After undergoing further training in England, Gunner Dunkley proceeded overseas to Rouelles, France on 8 August 1917. A little less than one month later, on 3 September, he received a gunshot wound in his arm and chest. He recovered from this and returned to duty, although he was admitted to hospital in Boulogne, France with bronchitis later in the year.

For the remainder of his service he suffered with trench fever. This was a moderately serious disease transmitted by body lice, the symptoms being a sudden high fever, severe headache, pain on moving the eyeballs, soreness of the muscles of the legs and back, and hyper-sensitivity of the shins. The most constant symptom is pain in the legs. From 1915 to 1918 between one-fifth and one-third of all British troops reported ill with trench fever.

By December 1917 Gunner Dunkley had been transferred to the 53rd General Hospital for treatment, but a few months later he was returned to Australia in the hope of a full recovery. He was discharged from the AIF on 10 August 1918.

When Leo returned to Australia, he finished his law qualifications and practiced as a barrister and solicitor in his home town of St Arnaud. Leo’s father, Henry William Dunkley was also a solicitor in St Arnaud, and upon his death in 1935, Leo took over that law practice under the banner of Dunkley & Kelly.

Leo died on 5 June 1946 at 50 years of age, after suffering cardiac failure due to Hodgkins Disease. This illness is a type of lymphoma or cancer, originating from white blood cells. It is characterised by the orderly spread of disease from one lymph node group to another. Leo had been treated for this illness for five years before succumbing to it.

Henry Leo Dunkley was buried at the St Arnaud Cemetery. He never married.