Henry (Harry) MOTTRAM



Service Number: 5147
Enlisted: 8 February 1916, Melbourne, Victoria
Last Rank: Private
Last Unit: 59th Infantry Battalion
Born: Havelock, Victoria, May 1889
Home Town: Havelock, Central Goldfields, Victoria
Schooling: Havelock State School
Occupation: Labourer
Died: Died of wounds, Polygon Wood, Belgium, 27 September 1917
Cemetery: Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery
Plot XXIV, Row G, Grave No. 7A
Memorials: Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour
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World War 1 Service

8 Feb 1916: Enlisted AIF WW1, Private, SN 5147, Melbourne, Victoria
1 Apr 1916: Involvement AIF WW1, Private, SN 5147, 5th Infantry Battalion, Enlistment/Embarkation WW1
1 Apr 1916: Embarked AIF WW1, Private, SN 5147, 5th Infantry Battalion, HMAT Suffolk, Melbourne
21 Jul 1916: Transferred AIF WW1, Private, 59th Infantry Battalion
26 Sep 1917: Wounded AIF WW1, Private, SN 5147, 59th Infantry Battalion, Polygon Wood, Shell Wounds (back and legs)
27 Sep 1917: Involvement AIF WW1, Private, SN 5147, 59th Infantry Battalion, Third Ypres

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Biography contributed by Paul Trevor


Mrs. Mottram, of Havelock, is in receipt of the following letters respecting the death of her son, Private H. Mottram:

"4/11/17, 59th Battalion, A.I.F. My Dear Mrs. Mottram,- I do not know you personally, and I expect you will be surprised to hear from me, but I would like to tell you a few things about your brave son, who has given his life for his country. I have been very closely associated with him for the past year, and I have had every opportunity for judging his fine character. My duty as bombing officer of the 59th Battalion only calls for a few men (eight) to assist me. The work is always risky, and sometimes very dangerous. I had 1000 men to choose from, and your son was one of those eight, and I am not telling you any lie when I say that I think he was one of the bravest men I have ever seen in his own quiet way, and I have seen some of Australia's best. He always did his duty well, and I never saw him beaten by anything. I have seen bigger and stronger men than he give up, but they hadn't the heart that he had. During the past summer he seemed to be getting run down a bit, but his 'Blighty' leave came through, and I think he enjoyed it very well, as he came back looking very fit. I then got him transferred to brigade headquarters, so that he would not have to go into the line so often, but in the big battle of Polygon Wood the shell fire was very heavy, even far back behind the lines. Your son had been guiding some mules (carrying ammunition) up to the line. When he was returning the shell caught him and deprived the Empire and Australia of one of the best soldiers and gamest men, who died the finest death that any young man can die to-day. You must not grieve or be depressed, Mrs. Mottram, because your son has been called away. The young men of the present generation have a big burden to bear, and many brave men must die in order that this awful war shall never occur again. That is their duty to the future generations to come, and they are doing it nobly in France to day. I know that you at home have the hardest part to bear, and I would like to think that you are proud of your son because I know that he was very worthy of your pride. Any details that you would like to know about your son I will be only too pleased to supply. I had the honor to be your son's officer, and hope to be your sincere friend. C. BLANDFORD, Lieut."

"Belgium, 29/9/17. Dear Mrs. Mottram, I very much regret having to tell you of your son, Harry's, death. He died of wounds received in action on night of 26th September. He passed away at 2.15 a.m. on morning of 27th September. He has been with us since he came to France, and was a very popular boy in the battalion; also a fine soldier, and died doing his duty under the heaviest of fire. No man can die better than that. His mate, Cpl. Hill was wounded about the same time, but not very seriously, and will be in England by now. Am returning three letters sent to Harry, which you will know more about than us. We have to tender to you our heartfelt sympathy in your very sad bereavement, and can assure you his fine qualities and comradeship will be missed by everyone he came in contact with, who deeply mourn the loss. Yours sincerely, 4638, F. WHITCHURCH, 59th Battalion, A.I.F., Abroad; 3721. G. K. DAVIS, 59th Battalion. A.I.F."' from Maryborough and Dunolly Advertiser 7 Jan 1918 (nla.gov.au)