The AIF Project


Regimental number634
Place of birthHobart, Tasmania
ReligionRoman Catholic
AddressWest Coast Hotel, Hobart, Tasmania
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation27
Height5' 9.25"
Weight153 lbs
Next of kinMother, Mrs Mary Rafton, West Coast Hotel, Hobart, Tasmania
Previous military serviceNil
Enlistment date1 March 1915
Place of enlistmentLiverpool, New South Wales
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name18th Battalion, B Company
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/35/1
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Sydney, New South Wales, on board Transport A40 Ceramic on 25 June 1915
Rank from Nominal RollPrivate
Unit from Nominal Roll18th Battalion
FateKilled in Action 22 August 1915
Place of burialNo known grave
Commemoration detailsThe Lone Pine Memorial (Panel 62), Gallipoli, Turkey

The Lone Pine Memorial, situated in the Lone Pine Cemetery at Anzac, is the main Australian Memorial on Gallipoli, and one of four memorials to men of the New Zealand Expeditionary Force. Designed by Sir John Burnet, the principal architect of the Gallipoli cemeteries, it is a thick tapering pylon 14.3 metres high on a square base 12.98 metres wide. It is constructed from limestone mined at Ilgardere in Turkey.

The Memorial commemorates the 3268 Australians and 456 New Zealanders who have no known grave and the 960 Australians and 252 New Zealanders who were buried at sea after evacuation through wounds or disease. The names of New Zealanders commemorated are inscribed on stone panels mounted on the south and north sides of the pylon, while those of the Australians are listed on a long wall of panels in front of the pylon and to either side. Names are arranged by unit and rank.

The Memorial stands over the centre of the Turkish trenches and tunnels which were the scene of heavy fighting during the August offensive. Most cemeteries on Gallipoli contain relatively few marked graves, and the majority of Australians killed on Gallipoli are commemorated here.

Panel number, Roll of Honour,
  Australian War Memorial
Family/military connectionsBrother: 635 Pte Jack RAFTON, 18th Bn, returned to Australia, 17 March 1916.
Other details

War service: Egypt, Gallipoli

Proceeded to join the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force, Gallipoli, 16 August 1915.

Reported missing, between 21-25 August 1915.

Court of Enquiry, held at Tel el Kebir, 21 January 1916, concluded 'Reasonable to suppose dead: killed in action, 22 August 1915'.

Statement, Red Cross File No 2230508K, 491 Pte BARNARD, 18th Bn (patient, Sporting Club Hospital, Heliopolis, Egypt), 10 January 1916: 'Rafton was killed in the attack on Hill 60 which took place on 22nd August.'

Second statement, 166 Pte HARMER, 18th Bn (patient, Helouan Convalescent Home, Cairo), 12 January 1916; 'I saw Harry Rafton drop in the charge on 21st Aug. at Hill 60. He was killed outright. I never saw him afterwards. The Gurkhas buried a number of our men afterwards and I conclude he was buried also.'

Third statement, 817 Pte F. BOARA, C Company, 18th Bn (patient, Harefield Hospital, Middlesex, England), 3 February 1916: 'Informant states that Rafton's brother "Jack" told him on the "Franconia" on the voyage from Lemnos to England that his brother Harry was killed alongside him at Hill 60, Anzac on 22nd August.'

Fourth statement, Pte W.A. NEALEY, 18th Bn (patient, Harefield Hospital, Middlesex, England), 4 February 1916: 'Informant states that on 22nd of August 1915 the Battalion was attacking at centre left on Peninsula, having been called up to re-inforce the New Zealanders and Gurkhas and also small British forces. The New Zealanders and Gurkhas were on the right, the British Forces on the left with the Australian Forces in the centre, as they were charging, the man Rafton was blown to pieces by a shrapnell [sic] shell. Was afterwards seen with his head blown off by Pte Doyle who was a friend of Rafton's ... '

Medals: 1914-15 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal
SourcesNAA: B2455, RAFTON Harry
Red Cross File No 2230508K

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