Hubert Jennings Imrie HARRIS VD


HARRIS, Hubert Jennings Imrie

Service Number: Officer
Enlisted: 28 October 1914, Brisbane, Queensland
Last Rank: Lieutenant Colonel
Last Unit: 5th Light Horse Regiment
Born: Dalby, Queensland, 19 January 1871
Home Town: Wooloowin, Brisbane, Queensland
Schooling: Brisbane Grammar School
Occupation: General Secretary (Qld. Ambulance)
Died: Killed In Action (GSW Neck), Gallipoli, 1 August 1915, aged 44 years
Cemetery: Shell Green Cemetery
Plot 1, Row A, Grave 6
Memorials: Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour, Brisbane Grammar School Boer War Honour Board, Brisbane Grammar School Memorial Library WW1 Honour Board 1, United Service Club, Windsor War Memorial
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Boer War Service

2 May 1900: Involvement AIF WW1, Lieutenant, 2nd Queensland Mounted Infantry

World War 1 Service

28 Oct 1914: Enlisted AIF WW1, Lieutenant Colonel, Brisbane, Queensland
21 Dec 1914: Involvement AIF WW1, Lieutenant Colonel, 5th Light Horse Regiment, Enlistment/Embarkation WW1
21 Dec 1914: Embarked AIF WW1, Lieutenant Colonel, 5th Light Horse Regiment, HMAT Persic, Sydney
31 Jul 1915: Involvement AIF WW1, Lieutenant Colonel, SN Officer, 5th Light Horse Regiment, 'ANZAC' / Gallipoli


The work of fitting out a second Queensland contingent, which has been proceeding for the last three weeks, reached its consummation on Saturday afternoon in the successful embarkation of horses, men, and the necessary supplies. The most notable feature in the present movement has been the absence of all public demonstration and ostentatious display likely to delay the necessary work of preparation.

For long Australians had lived in the dream that they dwelt in some happy Avalon isle, remote from old world disputes, and that the sound of war never would or should come to our shores, and it was therefore natural the entry of Queensland into world-wide responsibilities by the sending of the first contingent should be made the occasion of enthusiastic and patriotic demonstrations.

The sending of the second contingent has been the speedy answer to a sudden call to arms. Horses had to be purchased, volunteers selected, supplies provided, and notwith standing unforeseen delays, the constant aim of Colonel Lyster that the troops should embark on the day originally arranged, has been carried out. The only speeches made to the troops occupied but a few minutes prior to departure, and these were delivered by the representative of her Majesty and Colonel Lyster, the head of the military forces of the colony.

Apart from this the crowds that have each day gathered around the Exhibition Grounds. The spontaneous demonstrations all along the railway line on Saturday afternoon as the train carrying the troops passed, the general interest and enthusiasm displayed in all that related to the camp work, the numerous volunteers vainly seeking to join the contingent; all these things have shown how deep and strong has been the current of patriotic feeling which has sent this second offering of the best and bravest of the sons of Queensland on their mission of danger in the front of battle. The reveille at 5 o'clock on Saturday morning roused the men an hour earlier than usual to the duties of the day. At 9 Captain Thompson, with Lieutenant Crichton, Fox, and Stodart, and 70 men of the contingent, started for Pinkenba with the horses to be shipped on the Maori King.

The work was done under the supervision of Captain Thompson and Veterinary Captain Barnes, and so rapidly was it carried out that eighty horses were taken on board in fifty minutes, the whole time occupied being only about two hours. Though there were over 200 horses in the lines at the camp only 167 are being taken with the contingent, the fitting of the steamer providing only for 169 stalls.

It was close on 2 o'clock before the men were paraded in line to leave for the train, which awaited them at the Exhibition platform. A big crowd had assembled, but there was no unusual demonstration, save in some pathetic farewells to wives, mothers, and sisters. Under the command of Captain Deacon and Lieutenant Harris, the troops marched to the station, headed by the regi mental dingo, which was led by the bugler, and without delay at once took their places in the carriages in their groups of four.

Colonel Lytter and Major King and Lieutenant-Colonel Thomson, P.M.O., were also in the special train, which, through the line being blocked, did not leave until a quarter to 3 in the afternoon. Lieutenant- Colonel Hutchison went down to the steamer by the road. The journey by train was made the occasion for numerous spontaneous demonstrations at the various railway stations. Every house near the line, or even within sight of the train, had its family group, and the cheering at times was so great as almost to drown the rattle of the carriages.

At one of the stoppages the contingent purchased a toy Union Jack from a lad, and to the chorus of " Pay, pay, pay." showered silver and copper coins at his feet. The men themselves were in high spirits, and patriotic songs were sung until the destination was reached. At Pinkenba every movement was made with celerity. The troops were at once formed in marching order, and headed by the Headquarters Band and the Volunteer Band and Pipers, they proceeded to the old camping-ground, whose swampy condition gave evidence of the recent rains. Here the contingent, surrounded by a crowd of about a thousand people, were formed into three sides of a hollow square, and Colonel Lyster addressed them. In a stirring speech, the tone of which, even more than the words, reached the hearts of the men.

The troops then marched to the Government wharf, and were at once embarked. The scene on the wharf and along the river banks, though lacking the display which marked the sending away of the first contingent, was full of stirring interest. The strong sea wind and the white clouds tempered the summer heat, extending the flags which filled every yard of the halyards of the crowded steamers, and breaking the river's surface into riplets and wavelets, which joyously chased each other to break on the shore. The wharf was crowded in every part, and a double line of policemen guarded the entrance against all comers except those who had the permit of Colonel Aytoun. On the adjoining river banks the crowds filled every available space down to the water's edge. The wagons on the railway siding were made to serve as a convenient grandstand, and were crowded with spectators.

The inspiring music of the two bands, which played continuously during the afternoon, assisted friends and troops to forget a little of the sadness which was associated with the departure, and there was the manifest determination on the part of all that the farewell to the Queensland soldiers should be as joyous as possible. The steamer Lucinda, having a large Ministerial party on board, was filled to its utmost capacity, and presented a fine spectacle as it slowly steamed up the river with its flags streaming in the wind, and the conspicuous summer dresses of the ladies.

About half-past 4 o'clock Sir Samuel Griffith, attended by a number of members of the Legislature, arrived, for the purpose of saying a few words to the troops. As the hour was late. his speech to the men, who were speedily drawn up on the wharf, was a brief one. At the call of the Lieutenant-Governor. three cheers were given for the Queen, which were followed by hearty cheers for her Majesty's representative, for the contingent, and Colonel Lyster.

After the departure of the Lieutenant- Governor the work of embarkation, which had been suspended was resumed, and the kitbags, saddles and baggage of the men put on board. The crowd on the wharf increased as the whistle blew the signal for all the visitors to be put on shore. Among the ladies there were few dry eyes, though the tears were those which burn rather than flow down the cheek. The men gathered in striking groups along the ratlines, and every available portion of the rigging: hand was joined in hand as band and troops and the crowd of people joining in the playing and singing several verses of " Auld Lang Syne," while the vessel was released from her moorings.

For a time the emotion became so intense that it was a relief to all when the band struck up the spirited strains of " Rule Brltannia," in which ah joined with enthusiasm as the steamer went out to the middle of the stream. Cheera and responsive cheers came across the widening space ; there was a waving of handkerchiefs, the last messages of farewell, and the second contingent had started on its way.

The Maori King remained In the river all night, the Premier being on board until this morning. The vessel left Moreton Bay on Sunday afternoon.

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Hubert Jennings Imrie HARRIS was born on 19th January 1871 in Dalby, Queensland

His parents were Alfred Edward HARRIS and Jessie Esther Bailey IMRIE

He married Leila Margaret O'MAHONEY on 20th Nov. 1898 in St Nicholas, Sandgate

Hubert first served in the Boer War in the 2nd Queensland Mounted Infantry

He saw action at Poplar Grove , Driefontein, Zand River, Johannesburg, Pretoria, Riet Vlei and Zilikats Nek.  Commanded Contingent November to December 1900.  Australian Mounted Infantry January 1901 to March 1901

He returned from the Boer War on 3rd May, 1901 on ship Tongariro

He was awarded a VD (Volunteers Decoration) and a Queens South Africa Medal with 4 clasps - He was discharged on 17th May, 1901 after 1 year & 1 month service in the Boer War

Hubert enlisted for World War 1 on 19th December, 1914 - he was a Lieutenant Colonel with the 5th Light Horse Regiment - Unit embarked from Sydney on board the transport ship Vestalia on 21st December 1914

He was Killed in Action on 1st August 1915 when a stray bullet hit him in the neck and he died within 10 minutes - he is buried in Shell Green Cemetery, Turkey and also commemorated on the Australian War Memorial

He was awarded 1914-15 Star, British War Medal and Victory Medal in WW1


STORY about the 5th Light Horse Regiment (

INFO on 2nd Queensland Mounted Infantry (

PHOTO of Hubert and further information (


The Queenslander - 4th September, 1915


HARRIS - Killed in action in the Dardanelles, Lieutenant Colonel Hubert J I HARRIS, VD, 5th Light Horse Regiment, loved husband of Leila Margaret Harris, Kedron St. Wooloowin - buried Shell Green Cemetery, Gallipoli, Turkey


The Argus Melbourne -10th August 1915

Lieutenant Colonel Killed.

Brisbane.  Monday -News has been received  that Lieutenant Colonel Hubert Harris VD who left Brisbane in October in Command of the 5th Light Horse, was killed in action at the Dardanelles on August 1st.  He served in South African Campaign and was a particularly popular officer - He leaves a widow and three children