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Harold Aubrey Messer


Serial No:
Serial No. 3173

19th Battalion, 4th Battalion & 1st Pioneer Battalion


Harold Aubrey Messer - Information

As the war raged on, Harold was living at 30 King St in Ashfield. He was working as a blacksmith stoker, having completed a 5 year apprenticeship in Meadowbank. At the time, his family was residing at St Mervyns in Ingleburn. When Harold was 19, he decided to enlist in the AIF, signing up on the 8th of August 1915 in Holsworthy. During training, Harold was posted as a Private to the 19th Battalion before leaving Sydney on the HMAT Suevic on the 20th of December 1915.

In early 1916, Harold stepped off the ship in Egypt. Here, he was taken on strength to the 4th Battalion at Tel-el-Kebir Camp. On the 10th of March, he was transferred to the 1st Pioneer Battalion, and later that month, transported from Alexandria to France. Harold and his unit worked tirelessly near the front, helping troops conduct operations. They constructed roads, dugouts, waterways, billets, and even carried wounded, ammo, and participated in the fighting. In early May 1918, he reported sick with trench fever and bronchitis. He was admitted to hospital in Rouen, and was then evacuated to England. By the end of the month, he was admitted to the 3rd Auxiliary Hospital in Dartford. When he was feeling better, he was stationed to the Pioneer Training Battalion. He remained in England until after the war ended. In January 1919, he was transferred to an Australian Motor Transport Unit. However, as a result of his poor health he was sent back to Australia in April for a medical discharge.