Hurtle Henry HOLLY


HOLLY, Hurtle Henry

Service Numbers: 4918, 1078
Enlisted: 27 April 1915
Last Rank: Lance Corporal
Last Unit: 27th Infantry Battalion
Born: Hackham, South Australia , 20 September 1895
Home Town: Hackham, Onkaparinga, South Australia
Schooling: Reynella Primary School, South Australia
Occupation: Farmer
Died: Died of Wounds, Belgium, 17 September 1917, aged 21 years
Cemetery: The Huts Cemetery, Belgium
Memorials: Adelaide National War Memorial, Australian War Memorial, Roll of Honour, Morphett Vale Old Reynella School Roll of Honor, Stansbury Dalrymple District Roll of Honor, Stansbury Darymple District WW1 Pictorial Roll of Honour, Stansbury Memorial Institute Roll of Honour, Stansbury War Memorial, Yorketown and District of Melville Roll of Honour
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World War 1 Service

27 Apr 1915: Enlisted AIF WW1, Private, SN 4918, 2nd Division Signals
31 May 1915: Involvement Private, SN 1078, 27th Infantry Battalion, Third Ypres
31 May 1915: Embarked Private, SN 1078, 27th Infantry Battalion, HMAT Geelong, Adelaide
17 Sep 1917: Involvement Lance Corporal, SN 4918, Third Ypres

Name of sixth Child

His name was A.J Holly. It is not known whether he enlisted in WW2. His sister Rose Lelliot, received many letters from the Australian Imperial Force conforming she was next of kin rather than A.J. A.J received Hurtle's medals from war.

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Biography contributed by David Rafferty

Hurtle Henry Holly was born and grew up at Hackham in (probably) 1895, one of six children born to William and Caroline Holly. The Hollys were farmers, and Hurtle gave his religion as Methodist. But his parents died when he was young: Caroline first, with William following in 1900. Records of the family also prominently mention an uncle, J.D. Latty, a Yorketown farmer. We know the names of five of the six children. The eldest sister was Rose Elliott (or Lelliott, wife of Phil), who lived at Torrensville. The second sister was Ruby May, who died in 1911 at Yorketown aged only 20. And Hurtle's youngest sister was Lettie Amelia Sheriff (wife of Alex), who died in 1927 at the age of 33. There was also a boy, Frank, younger than Hurtle, who would also enlist (/explore/people/126913) in 1916. Frank was luckier: he survived the war, rising to be a Corporal, and re-enlisted (/explore/people/571637) in 1941 as a Lieutenant.

The young Hurtle went to school at Reynalla but at the date he enlisted seems to have been living at Yorketown. The obituary written by his sister Lettie mentions that he enlisted there and was a popular player for the Oaklands football club in the district. But when enlisting he gave his address as Torrensville and his sister Rose as his next-of-kin, which suggests he may have enlisted while visiting her. That was in April 1915, at the age of just nineteen, and it was only a month later on 31 May that Hurtle embarked for Egypt. His comrades in the 27th Infantry Battalion may have served at Gallipoli but Hurtle remained in Egypt until he was sent to France. Apart from a brief trip on leave to England, he would spend the rest of his brief life in France or Belgium.

At some uncertain point Hurtle was promoted to Lance-Corporal and seconded to the 2nd Division Signal Company. After a period of rest and training, his unit moved up to the front near Ypres on 12 September 1917. Its task was to bury communication cables, to prepare for the imminent offensive. This was dangerous work which had to be carried out at night. And over the three nights of operations (13/14, 14/15, 15/16 September), it produced casualties: two officers and four Other Ranks killed, and nine Other Ranks wounded. Probably Hurtle was one of those wounded men. He was evacuated behind the lines and died of his wounds on 17 September.

Hurtle Henry Holly was buried at the Huts cemetery near Ypres. His headstone bears the same epitaph as his newspaper obituary notice: "Fighting for home and country / He like a hero fell". He was only 21 years old.