Horatio Joseph Kelly
Serial No. 278
6th Light Horse Regiment
Horatio Joseph Kelly - Information
Horatio was the first of three brothers to enlist in the AIF. The Kellys lived in Narellan for some time, where Horatio was born in 1892 to Joseph and Hannah Kelly. The Kellys then relocated to Wilton, where Horatio worked as a labourer. Shortly after the volunteer booths were opened, Horatio enlisted in the AIF in Sydney on the 8th of September 1914. He signed up to the Light Horse, and was made a Trooper with the 6th Regiment. He was then sent abroad for war service upon the HMAT Suevic, which departed Sydney on the 21st of December 1914.
Horatio met his unit in Egypt where they would complete exercises with their horses for the next few months. When the troops at Gallipoli were unable to breach the Turkish defences, Light Horse units were mustered as reinforcements. Horatio proceeded to the Gallipoli Peninsula in mid May 1915, where he experienced the horrendous conditions in the trenches, fighting alongside the infantry. He won the respect of those around him, promoted to Temporary Corporal on the 15th of October. He was then wounded on the 16th of November, when he was caught in a bomb blast, severely injuring his left leg. He was evacuated to Egypt, to the Australian General Hospital in Heliopolis. Here, it was uncovered that the blast had fractured both the tibia and femur bones. In mid December, he was moved to the 1st Auxiliary Hospital in Cairo. However, his experience and wounding at Gallipoli affected his health. By April, he was suffering with a dilated heart, frostbite and rheumatism. These symptoms progressed and he was also diagnosed with neurasthenia (a form of shell shock). Consequently, he was sent back to Australia for a medical discharge. He departed Egypt on the 10th of May 1916 and was discharged in September. By November 1917, Horatio was living on Fleet St in Parramatta with his new wife, Mabel Rose. He collected a pension as he continued to be haunted by his war experience. By 1967, Horatio and Mabel relocated to Goulburn.