Harvey NEWNHAM #619

Harvey Newnham, 9th Infantry Battalion. The Queenslander Pictorial 17 October 1914

Harvey Newnham, originally from Victoria, enlisted age 25 at Toowoomba, where he had been employed as a 'bacon curer'; a keen rifleman he was assigned to the 9th Infantry Battalion. 

Harvey wrote letters home to his sister, where he described his experiences, extracts of which were published in the 'Woodend Star'. "In a day or two we will landing in enemy's country under fire from trenches and forts. The navy will support us, there will be no turning back" - Mudros Island, April 1915.

He collected foreign coins from the Greeks whilst he was on the island and the men practiced disembarking down rope ladders, while they waited their turn to join the others on Gallipoli.

One month after landing at Anzac Cove, Newnham was severely wounded in the leg 28 June 1915. He wrote "In my trip to 'kill the Kaiser' I came off second best, but wouldn't have missed my bit of soldiering for anything."

He had been hit by a shell 100 yards in front of the firing line. As he dragged himself back, his 'plucky' mates encouraged his return to safety. They took him back to their trench through barbed wire and under heavy fire and carried him in an oil sheet to a clearing station. There a doctor splinted his leg and he was carried down to the beach to the Field Ambulance, continually in danger of being shelled and sniped.

Newnham was evacuated first to Alexandria and then to England, where at the 1st Australian General Hospital, Harfield Park he was fitted with an artificial leg. He returned home to his family and friends in May 1916.

Harvey's brother William Frederick Newnham also served, with the 41st Infantry Battalion.

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Marg Powell, Specialist Library Technician, State Library of Queensland


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