The AIF Project

Harold John BOURKE

Regimental number1682
Place of birthWest Maitland, New South Wales
SchoolMarist Brothers College, West Maitland, New South Wales
ReligionRoman Catholic
AddressCarrington Street, West Maitland, New South Wales
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation21
Height5' 9"
Weight167 lbs
Next of kinMother, Mrs Katherine Bourke, Carrington Street, West Maitland, New South Wales
Previous military serviceServed in the Compulsory Military Training scheme; and 4 years with the 14th Infantry, Citizen Military Forces.
Enlistment date12 August 1915
Place of enlistmentWest Maitland, New South Wales
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name30th Battalion, 2nd Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/47/2
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Sydney, New South Wales, on board HMAT A35 Berrima on 17 December 1915
Rank from Nominal RollPrivate
Unit from Nominal Roll30th Battalion
Other details from Roll of Honour CircularTried twice to enlist but was turned down; on the third attempt was accepted, but was rejected in Egypt for active service. Went into hospital and was eventually passed as fit for service and was posted to the training battalion. Appointed to the staff as Sergeant but handed in his stripes to go to France, where he joined the remnants of the old 30th Bn. (details from mother)
FateKilled in Action 20 July 1916
Date of death20 July 1916
Age at death22.1
Age at death from cemetery records22
Place of burialFromelles (Pheasant Wood) Military Cemetery (Plot III, Row B, Grave No 5), France
Panel number, Roll of Honour,
  Australian War Memorial
Miscellaneous information from
  cemetery records
Parents: Richard and Catherine BOURKE, Carrington Street, West Maitland, New South Wales
Other details

War service: Egypt, Western Front

Embarked Sydney, 17 December 1915; disembarked Suez, 23 January 1916.

Taken on strength, 30th Bn, Ferry Post, 20 April 1916, and reverted to Private.

Embarked Alexandria to join the British Expeditionary Force, 16 June 1916; disembarked Marseilles, France, 23 June 1916.

Missing, 20 July 1916.

'Identification Disc received from Germany. No particulars were afforded except that Soldier was deceased. May now be reported "KILLED IN ACTION" 20/7/16.'

Communication from Berlin (file p. 17): 'austr. Sold. Bourke, Harold John 30. Batl. gefallen am 19.7.16 in Gegend Fromelles gefallen'.

Medals: British War Medal, Victory Medal

Red Cross File No 470404 has statement by 383 Pte R.H. CLARKE, 30th Bn (patient, No 1 Canadian General Hospital), 24 November 1916: 'He was a cousin of mine. Pte Sharp of B. Coy told me that he had seen him wounded in the German trenches when we went acrosss at Fromelles.'

Medals: British War Medal, Victory Medal

Originally listed as 'No Known Grave' and commemorated at V.C. Corner (Panel No 2), Australian Cemetery, Fromelles; subsequently (2010) identified, and interred in the Fromelles (Pheasant Wood) Military Cemetery, France.
SourcesNAA: B2455, BOURKE Harold John
Red Cross file 470404

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