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Page history last edited by Lenore Frost 4 years, 11 months ago

Volunteers of Essendon and Flemington, 1914-1918


Thompson H W    Sgt    391    Harold William         14 Inf Bn    25    Photographer    Married    C of E       

Address:    North Melbourne, Chetwynd St, “Helenville”   

Next of Kin:    Thompson, Jessie, Mrs, wife, “Helenville”, Chetwynd St, North Melbourne   

                                                                  "Dunwear", 6 Tweedside St, Essendon  (by Oct 1918)

Enlisted:    26 Sep 1914       

Embarked:     A38 Ulysses 22 Dec 1914   

Awards: Military Cross


Date of death: 09/08/1918




THOMPSON.-Lieutenant Harold W., 14th Battalion, wounded and gassed in France, in fourth year of active service abroad, and been three  times wounded. Lieutenant Thompson's mother resides at 92 Gore street, and his wife and infant son at Tweedale street, Essendon.

Saturday 2 March 1918
Cite: http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article1643304


History of the 14th Battalion, AIF, by Newton Wanliss, 1929



The relief, however, was barely completed before a small party of C Company men ran into a patrol fight. C.S.M. Harold Thompson, Sgt E J Rule, Pte Bert Showers, and three or four others (accompanied by Capt McGill, of the 19th Battalion, as a guide), went out to establish a listening post in front of our wire. A body of Germans, aware of the locality of the post, had laid a trap, and were awaiting them, and our party had barely left our wire when a volley, fired at point blank range, mortally  wounded McGill and severely wounded Thompson. The unwounded  members of the party, though startled by the unexpected attack, brought  bombs and rifles into play, with the result that three Germans were severely wounded Lieut Jacka, V.C (B Company) went out subsequently with a party,  and brought back the three wounded Germans as prisoners, they proved to  be members of the 231st Prussian Reserve. That was the first brush with the enemy in France.   p 109


POZIERES RIDGE. 1916—August 6 to August 16

On the 10th 2nd Lieut. H. R McKinley and 83 other ranks joined up as  reinforcements, most of them being absorbed by B Company, whose ranks had been greatly depleted during the recent fighting The same afternoon B  Company again took over the firing line (S.M. H. Thompson and Sgt T. H.  Loughead having received commissions, and been posted to the Company)  p 144


1918—June 1 to June 25

The "left party" (B Company personnel. O.C., Lieut. Harold ("Darkey")  Thompson; Platoon Sgt. A S. ("Dolly") Smith, Sgt. W. H. Fletcher, M M ; Cpl. Lewis R. Jones (brother of Capt Reg Jones); Cpl.  Chas Smith, and L/Cpl. S. A. ("Titch") Fosterp 296


Dealing with the adventures of the several parties in detail, the left party, which had a long way to go, had barely started on the heels of the barrage when a flare from an enemy listening post just ahead showed up the raiders Lieut Thompson, seeing that they were observed, took his men forward across the sunken road "at the trail" in extended order. Some of the occupants of the enemy listening posts m front of our advance, bolting back to their trenches, provided excellent  targets for our men. Passing the listening posts, the bodies of several of the enemy (victims of our artillery  and rifle fire) could be seen lying in grotesque attitudes After a considerable advance, our men made a concerted rush, and found themselves up against the enemy's uncut wire Our opponents were in force behind the wire, and there was neither the time nor the means of hacking a way through it.  A brisk interchange of bombs and rifle fire with the enemy then took place. The enemy's hand bombs continually burst among our men—who had spread out and avoided bunching together—happily with little effect. Presently the retiring signal (coloured lights) was given from the rear and our men slowly retired to our lines They had captured a machine gun and brought back two prisoners, besides accounting for several of the enemy. Our losses had been infinitesimal, and did not include any fatal casualties.

p 297


Meanwhile the other three companies were now approaching Morcourt - the 5th Platoon14 (B Company) advancing on the extreme left of the Battalion.  When not far from the village, its O.C. (Lieut Harold Thompson),  accompanied by Cpl. Chas. Smith (acting as platoon sergeant) crossed the road on the left flank of the Battalion, and, climbing a steep bank, found themselves overlooking the Somme River. Between them and the river, and distant about a quarter of a mile, was a party of about two dozen Germans After some hesitation, some of them, in response to Thompson's signals, put up their hands in token of surrender. A few moments later, however, the Last 14th Thompson, who was about to go forward to take them prisoners, fell with a bullet through in the War. his temple, which shattered his skull. He died next day, and was the 41st (and last)  officer of the 14th to lose his life in the war. p 323


Roll of Honour

Lieut H W Thompson, M.C., N Melbourne (V.)—DW.—9th August 1918. p  370


Australian War Memorial - Awards and Medals


For conspicuous bravery during a raid on BOIS-DE-VAIRE on 16th June 1918. this officer organised and led a party of 30 men against the enemy position.  Before reaching his objective he encountered heavy resistance from forward posts, but by his disregard for personal danger and energetic leadership he succeeded in overcoming these posts and in one instance rushed a post of three single-handed killing two while the other was shot trying to escape.  By his personal example and the confidence he inspired he carried his party with fine dash to his objective, inflicting heavy casualties on the enemy, and returned with three prisoners and a machine gun. His tireless patrolling and skilful organizations in the preparatory stages rendered the success of the raid possible.
Raiding party strength  -1 officer 50 O[ther]. R[an]ks

E G Sinclair Maclagan, Major-General commanding 4th Australian Division
19 June 1918



Lt. Harold William Thompson, M.C., 14th Battalion, aged 28 years, died of wounds in France, on 9th August, after four years of active service. He was the husband of Mrs. Thompson of Tweedside street, Essendon.

ROLL OF HONOUR. (1918, August 22). The Essendon Gazette and Keilor, Bulla and Broadmeadows Reporter (Moonee Ponds, Vic. : 1914 - 1918), p. 2 Edition: Morning. Retrieved August 10, 2012, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article74606932


War Service Commemorated

Christ Church Roll of Honour 


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