Harold Earl Dunn
Serial No. 2638
7th Field Company Engineers
Harold Earl Dunn - Information
When the war began, Harold was living at 188 Birrell St in Waverly with his family. Harold was born in Camden on the 3rd of June 1896 to Thomas and Florentine Dunn. He had gained military experience with the 21st Infantry and trained as a carpenter. With the advent of war, Harold witnessed many of his friends and family members leave for overseas. This included his two cousins, George and William Dunn. When he was 19 years old, he decided to enlist in the AIF. He signed up in Sydney on the 1st of September 1915, with his parent’s consent. Harold was made a Driver with the 7th Field Company Engineers, and boarded the HMAT Suffolk in Sydney on the 22nd of December 1915.
Harold eventually joined his unit on the Western Front. They worked hard in and behind the frontlines, aiding operations and taking care of the troops constructing roads, trenches, bridges, billets and waterways. In September 1916, Harold was re-mustered as a Sapper, reverting at his own request. He continued to work tirelessly and proved to be a capable soldier. He was appointed Lance Corporal on the 21st of October 1917. He was then promoted Temporary 2nd Corporal and 2nd Corporal in June and July 1918, respectively. Sadly, Harold was then wounded in action on the 11th of August, with a gun shot wound to his left leg. At the beginning of September, he was invalided to England, to Chitterham Hospital. Here, his leg was amputated below the knee, as there was simply too much damage. When he recovered from the operation in early 1919, he was moved to the 2nd Auxiliary Hospital. For the excellent work he preformed while serving with the engineers and the unfortunate circumstances surrounding his injury; in March 1919, he was mentioned in despatches that passed through the hands of General Sir Douglas Haig Commander-in-Chief.
Harold was sent back to Australia in mid May, and was discharged in February 1920. Unfortunately, the extent of his injury and the need for a prosthetic required lengthy treatment. Although, it would have impeded his work, Harold was lucky being a carpenter. Unlike many others soldiers, he still had his hands. He continued on with his life, and by the late 1920s was residing at No. 1 Stratford on Beunett St in Bondi.