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Harold Bernard


Serial No:
Serial No. 2581

2nd Battalion & 45th Battalion

Harold Bernard - Information

Harold Bernard was born in Dunedin in New Zealand, and was living in Mascot working as a groom when war broke out. Harold joined the AIF at Liverpool when he was 19 years old, on the 13th of June 1915. He then left Sydney on the 9th of August 1915 for service overseas on the HMAT Runic. At the time he was posted to the 2nd Battalion as a Private.

Harold arrived at Alexandria, Egypt in late September and was marched into the New Zealand Base. His unit was then sent to reinforce Anzac Cove at Gallipoli on the 3rd of October 1915. A few days later, he was sent to hospital in Tigne due to a knee injury. After recovering, he returned to active service on the 4th of December 1915. The Gallipoli Campaign had ended, and Harold and his unit began spending time training in Egypt. On the 3rd of May 1916, he was taken on strength to the 45th Battalion and shipped to France, landing at Marseilles in June. As the 4th Division was moving into the trenches near Pozières during the Somme Offensive, Harold was wounded on the 5th of August. He received a mild gun shot wound and was admitted to hospital at Boulogne and Ètaples.

In early October, Harold rejoined the 45th Battalion, only to be taken back out of the lines to hospital with a bronchial infection. On the 22nd of November, he recovered from the infection and returned to the lines. In 1917, The Anzacs supported attacks on the Hindenburg Line. Then in June, the 45th Battalion participated in the Battle of Messines in Belgium. During these assaults, Harold was promoted Lance Corporal, and on the 10th of July was promoted to Temporary Corporal when the existing Corporal went missing. Ten days later, he was officially made Corporal, and by September 1917 was promoted to Sergeant during the Third Battle of Ypres.

On the 22nd of September 1917, Harold became ill and was taken to hospital at Rouen before being evacuated to England with severe asthma. Three days later, he was admitted to Weyworth Hospital. In November, while on convalescence in England, Harold was charged and arrested for being absent without leave for four days. He was fined 24 days pay and loss rank, now a Private. On the 20th of December, he was considered unfit for duty and was invalided home due to severe asthma. Harold arrived in Australia the following year of the 14th of February 1918.