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Richard Dudley Holman


1st Light Horse Regiment & 54th Battalion

Denham Court

Richard Dudley Holman - Information

Richard Dudley Holman was born in Campbelltown on the 16th of September 1891. He was the only son of Richard Charles and Harriet Holman. Richard Charles left England and migrated to the colonies for a new life. He then married Harriet Mills and settled down in Denham Court. They added to their family, welcoming four children. Richard Charles served in the NSW Mounted Rifles, and helped the Mother Country during the Boer War, where he received the Distinguished Conduct Medal. When Richard Charles returned home he extended his military career, serving as a Major at the Victoria Barracks in Sydney. Because of his father’s position, Richard Dudley, eventually left Campbelltown to attend King’s School in Parramatta and pursued further studies in Melbourne. However, he had big shoes to fill. In 1909, Richard Dudley joined the 2nd Australian Light Horse Regiment as a Trooper. He was then commissioned as an Adjutant with the 9th Light Horse Regiment. Richard then seized an opportunity when war with Germany was declared on the 5th of August 1914. On the 24th of that month, Richard applied for a commission. He then left for war service as 2nd Lieutenant Adjutant with the 1st Light Horse Regiment. He departed Sydney Harbour on the 20th of October 1914 aboard the HMAT Star of Victoria.

Richard arrived at the Australian Base in Egypt in December 1914. After the landings at Gallipoli, the Light Horse was mustered to reinforce the infantry. Richard and his mates then proceeded to join the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force at Gallipoli in May 1915. Taking his place in the trenches and bracing for incessant counter-attacks, he exerted strong leadership skills, and was appointed Temporary Captain at the beginning of July. The 1st Regiment then launched an attack against a Turkish position known as the ‘chessboard’ on the 7th of August. On that day, Richard was wounded with bullet wounds to his leg and arm. Rushed to Egypt, he was admitted to No. 1 General Hospital, and to Heloun Hospital. Upon release from hospital, he was transferred to the 54th Infantry Battalion in March 1916. By the start of June, Richard was promoted to Major, and a few weeks later, was sent to the Western Front in France. Shortly, the Battalion participated in operations during the devastating Battle of Fromelles. Here, on the 19th of July, Richard was wounded in action a second time. He received a perforating bullet wound, which entered his upper right thigh and exited above his knee. He was admitted to the 7th General Hospital and then evacuated to England. Richard was discharged from hospital in August and returned to France in September in time for the coldest winter of the war. The following year, Richard was taken to England before being sent home onboard the HT Beltana in March.

Richard arrived in Sydney in May 1917, and reunited with his family. In 1919, he married Gladys Lane in Sydney. Richard and Gladys had a happy marriage until sadly Gladys passed away in 1957. Richard lived a full and long life, he passed away at the age of 88 in 1979 and was buried at St Mary the Virgin in Denham Court.