Clement HARRISON

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HARRISON, Clement

Service Number: 2890
Enlisted: 18 June 1915, Keswick, South Australia
Last Rank: Private
Last Unit: 10th Infantry Battalion
Born: Kadina, South Australia, 28 June 1896
Home Town: Melton, South Australia
Schooling: Clinton North Public School
Occupation: Farmer
Died: Killed in Action, Pozières, France, 25 July 1916, aged 20 years
Cemetery: No known grave - "Known Unto God"
No known grave
Memorials: Adelaide National War Memorial, Arthurton WW1 Honour Roll, Arthurton WW1 Honour Roll Plaque, Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour, Port Wakefield Memorial Arch, Villers-Bretonneux Memorial (Australian National Memorial - France)
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World War 1 Service

18 Jun 1915: Enlisted AIF WW1, Private, SN 2890, Keswick, South Australia
21 Sep 1915: Involvement AIF WW1, Private, SN 2890, 10th Infantry Battalion, Enlistment/Embarkation WW1
21 Sep 1915: Embarked AIF WW1, Private, SN 2890, 10th Infantry Battalion, HMAT Star of England, Adelaide
23 Jul 1916: Involvement AIF WW1, Private, SN 2890, 10th Infantry Battalion, Battle for Pozières

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Biography contributed by Saint Ignatius' College

Clement Harrison was born on the 28th of June 1896 in Kadina, South Australia, Australia. He was a farmer and he was single when he left for war and this was because of how young he was. He also did not have any children for this reason. It is sad that he did not get to have that life because he went to war. His next of kin was his mother, Mrs Jane Harrison.

 
Clement Harrison was 19 years old when he left for the war on the 21st September 1915. It is not clear why Clement went to war but most people at the time went to war to support their country or because their family encouraged them to. When the war first started, the eligible men were excited to go thinking that it would be a fun experience but as the war went on, stories of how horrible it was started coming back and people started getting scared. Clement enlisted early in the war, only one year after it started, so there was a chance no one had come back and told him about how bad it was.
 
When Clement signed up he would have filled out his form with his information, presumably at his local recruiting depot. Community and public buildings were turned into offices to sign up at. After soldiers were recruited, they had to pass a series of tests to make sure they were properly eligible. These include passing age restrictions, though many lied about their age to be able to fight in the war, nationality criteria, and a medical examination to make sure they were fit enough. Then they had to make a promise by swearing an oath to the King upon a Bible.
 
Clement Harrison was a part of the 10th Battalion and most who were in the 10th Battalion trained in England but according to the health issues listed in his Active Service Form he went to a lot of hospitals in places all over Egypt so he probably trained in Egypt. He was very sick in Egypt, He was admitted to hospital in Cairo for mumps on the 14th of January 1916 and then moved to Heliopolis for mumps on the same date. He was admitted to hospital in Tel-el-Kebir, Egypt for bronchitis on the 16th of January 1916. Then on the 19th of January 1916 he went to hospital (‘siek’ was written nextto it on the sheet) in Tel-el-Kebir. Then he was admitted from Helouan, Egypt at Ghegirch on the 8th of February 1916. All of these medical troubles happened before he went into battle.

Clement’s rank in the war was a Private.  Private is the lowest rank in the army and is usually given to new recruits of the army and they had basic combat training. There was no uniform insignia on their uniform and they were involved in front line combat. Clement Harrison only fought one battle, in which he died in action. This battle was the Battle of Pozieres. Pozieres is a small town in northern France. The battle started on the 23rd of July, 1916 which was about 13 months after Clement was recruited. Unfortunately, Clement died on the 25th of July. His body was never recovered.
 
Clement Harrison did not win any special medals, only ones for participation and enrolment in the war. These include the British War Medal because he ‘Entered theatres of war during specified periods or left places of residence and rendered approved service overseas (www.defence.gov.au)', the Victory medal and the 1914-1915 star medal for signing up in between 1914-1915.
 
Clement was an ANZAC (Australian and New Zealand Army Corps) soldier. The Australian War Memorial website states that ‘Australians displayed great courage, endurance, initiative, discipline, and mate ship’ in the battle at Gallipoli. These are qualities of ANZACS. And from the author’s interpretation, the qualities of an ANZAC would be to be strong, brave courageous and devoted to your peers, your community and your country. Now that there are no survivors of the original ANZAC day campaign, to be an ANZAC is more than being a soldier. The qualities listed can apply to an ANZAC soldier or supporter. The ANZAC spirit is reflected in Clement Harrison throughout his whole story. Him signing up to fight for his country was a sign of ANZAC spirit, him surviving through illness and having to be strong to then go on and fight in the war. Finally, his efforts in the Battle of Pozieres where he died. These are all examples of him showing strength, discipline, bravery and endurance.

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