The AIF Project

Harry Keith COWARD

Regimental number4567
Date of birth--/10/1887
Place of birthSydney New South Wales
AddressC/o J R Johnston, Ingalara, Vic Street, Ashfield, New South Wales
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation27
Next of kinMother, Mrs J
Enlistment date7 June 1915
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name1st Battalion, 14th Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/18/4
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Sydney, New South Wales, on board RMS Osterley on 15 January 1916
Regimental number from Nominal RollCommissioned
Rank from Nominal RollLieutenant
Unit from Nominal Roll12th Trench Mortar Battery

2nd Lieutenant

Unit: INF45
Promotion date: 17 April 1917


Unit: INF45
Promotion date: 9 August 1917

Recommendations (Medals and Awards)

Distinguished Conduct Medal

Recommendation date: 18 October 1916

Military Cross

Recommendation date: 14 June 1917

Bar to Military Cross

Recommendation date: 25 September 1918

FateReturned to Australia 31 March 1919

Distinguished Conduct Medal

'For conspicuous gallantry in action. He picked up a trench mortar shell, the fuse of which had been ignited, and which was lying among a pile of shells, and threw it clear of the pile. His prompt action saved many lives.'
Source: 'Commonwealth Gazette' No. 103
Date: 29 June 1917

Military Cross

'For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty in following up the barrage in front of our attacking troops and bringing fire to bear on strong enemy points. His prompt action enabled our attack to go forward. He afterwards commanded his guns under continuous heavy enemy bombardment, setting a fine exaMple to his men throughout the whole of the operations.'
Source: 'Commonwealth Gazette' No. 219
Date: 20 December 1917

Bar to Military Cross

'For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty during operations west of Bellenglise, on 18th September 1918. It was due to his gallant leadership that the Stokes mortars under his charge were in position in time to support the infantry during consolidation of the first objective. Later, he had his guns amongst the first wave of the infantry, and was able to silence hostile machine guns which were causing casualties and holding up the advance. He did fine work throughout.'
Source: 'Commonwealth Gazette' No. 10
Date: 29 January 1920

Other detailsMedals: Military Cross, Bar to Military Cross, Distinguished Conduct Medal, British War Medal, Victory Medal

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