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Private J Harrison 17/1/1915 870 14th Battalion


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As we often see on the Forum a friend of mine has aksed me to look into the service record of his great grandfather. My friend seems reluctant to use the internet for some reason so I said I would look into it for him.

The man in question is Private J. Harrison with a date listed somewhere with his name of 17/1/15 and a possible reg number of 870 of the 14th Battalion. This is all the info he has and it has come down through the usual path of uncles cousins and great aunts word of mouth. The only other info I have is that his family is largely from London which area in particular I do not know. If anyone can help it would be great if not I will keep looking. I have done the usual medal search and census lookups but I don't think my knowledge or assumptions are stretching as far as they needs to narrow down this case.(There were a lot of J.Harrisons invloved in WWI.

Anyway thanks in advance for your time

Regards Daveo

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This is your man.


Initials: J

Nationality: Australian

Rank: Private

Regiment/Service: Australian Infantry, A.I.F.

Unit Text: 14th Bn.

Date of Death: 17/01/1915

Service No: 870

Additional information: Son of Mrs. E. Harrison, of Burnley, Victoria.

Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead

Grave/Memorial Reference: Pres. 143.


From the CWGC web-site.


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Hi Daveo

The above James HARRISON was born in Inglewood, Vic c1893 to James & Emily Harrison.

He is not listed on the Inglewood Memorial (which I’m researching), as the family appear to have moved out of the area when he was quite young, as he had received his schooling at the Gravels Hill School in Bendigo. He was Church of England by faith and stated his occupation as Horse Driver.

At the time of his enlistment 1/10/14, at the age of 21yrs 3mths, the family were living in Templeton St, Castlemaine (his parents later moving to 106 Stawell St, Burnley).

James joined the 14th Battalion (G Coy), and sailed with them on the A38 HMAT Ulysses, leaving Melbourne 22/12/14 via Albany.

He was discharged in Albany 29/12/14, medically unfit with a hernia, and died there 17/1/15 of an intestinal obstruction.

Capt Blackburne AAMC had this to say: “He was suffering from intestinal obstruction caused by stenosis following on an attack of appendicitis three years ago. His only chance was an operation, but he died about 12 days subsequently.”

James was buried with full military honours at the Albany (Old) Public Cemetery, WA.

His 56 page Service Record is available to view on-line at the National Archives website.

In the Roll of Honour Circular it’s noted that James’ uncle is W.H. Roberts (MM). I am researching a William Henry ROBERTS (MM) of Inglewood – and at this stage I do know that his sister Emma married a HARRISON. I’ll look into this further, next time I’m at the library to confirm the relationship.

Cheers, Frev

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