Harold Edward PITT

PITT, Harold Edward

Service Number: 2862
Enlisted: 1 September 1916
Last Rank: Lance Corporal
Last Unit: 43rd Infantry Battalion
Born: Kent Town, South Australia, 28 April 1885
Home Town: Rose Park, South Australia
Schooling: Rose Park school
Occupation: Clerk
Died: Killed in Action, France, 1 September 1918, aged 33 years
Cemetery: No known grave - "Known Unto God"
Villers-Bretonneux Memorial, Villers-Bretonneux, Picardie, France Also Location on the Roll of Honour ( located at panel 137 in the Commemorative Area at the Australian War Memorial (as indicated by the poppy on the plan).
Memorials: Burnside District Fallen Soldiers' Memorial - Rose Park, Adelaide National War Memorial, Adelaide Savings Bank of South Australia Honour Roll WW1, Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour, Burnside & District - Fallen Soldiers Memorial Trees - Rose Park, Norwood Primary School Honour Board, Rose Park Public School WW1 Honour Board, Tusmore Burnside District Roll of Honour, Villers-Bretonneux Memorial (Australian National Memorial - France)
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World War 1 Service

1 Sep 1916: Enlisted
16 Dec 1916: Involvement Private, 2862, 43rd Infantry Battalion, --- :embarkation_roll: roll_number: '18' embarkation_place: Adelaide embarkation_ship: HMAT Berrima embarkation_ship_number: A35 public_note: ''
16 Dec 1916: Embarked Private, 2862, 43rd Infantry Battalion, HMAT Berrima, Adelaide
1 Sep 1918: Involvement Lance Corporal, 2862, 43rd Infantry Battalion, --- :awm_ww1_roll_of_honour_import: awm_service_number: 2862 awm_unit: 43rd Australian Infantry Battalion awm_rank: Lance Corporal awm_died_date: 1918-09-01

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Son of James PITT and Annie nee JEFFERY

Biography contributed by Adelaide Botanic High School

Howard Edward Pitt was born on April 28, 1885, in Kent Town, South Australia. He is the second son of Annie (nee Jeffery) and James Pitt, with an older brother named Arthur W Pitt who was a Head Teacher at Victor Harbor Public School. Edward grew up in Rose Park, South Australia, and he was educated at Rose Park School. His hometown was at Rose Park, South Australia. When the Great War broke out, Edward was working as a teller in the Adelaide Savings Bank. At the age of 31 and 4 months, on October 9, 1916, he enlisted in the Australia Imperial Force. His next of kin was listed as his mother, Annie Pitt.

Edward joined the 43rd Infantry Battalion with the regimental number 2862. The 43rd Battalion was raised in March 1916 and was South Australia’s contribution to the newly formed 3rd Division. The 3rd Division formed in the UK, on the Salisbury Plain.  Its Commander was to be General John Monash.

After joining the AIF, Edward served at the musketry school in Cheltenham, South Australia, from November 4, 1916, to November 11, 1916. Following his time at the musketry school, he officially joined the 43rd Battalion as a private. He embarked on the ship A 35 "Berrima" from Adelaide and arrived in Devonport, England, on February 16, 1917 for further training.

During his training in England, Edward fell ill with influenza and was admitted to Fargo hospital. After recovering, he temporary joined the 11th Infantry Battalion at Durrington. On July 2, 1917, Edward proceeded to France; however, he transferred out of the 11th Battalion on July 16, 1917 (after 15 days when he moved out the unit, 11th Infantry Battalion involved to the Third Ypres campaign), and was taken on strength by the 43rd Battalion on July 18, 1917. On August 1, 1917, he was promoted to Lance Corporal. Edward then embarked to England for a brief holiday before returning to the war efforts. He joined the gas school on July 21, 1918, for a week before rejoining the 43rd Battalion.

After rejoining the AIF, Edward fought in what is described as "The greatest military achievement of war" the Mont St Quentin war, also known as the Battle of Mont Saint-Quentin. This battle took place on the Western Front during World War I. As part of the Allied Hundred Days Offensive in the late summer of 1918, the Australian Corps broke through the German lines at Mont Saint-Quentin and Péronne after crossing the Somme River. General John Monash commanded the Australian forces. Pitt, a member of the 43rd Battalion in the 3rd Division, played a heroic role in the flanking operation that led to the Australian victory.

Unfortunately, on September 1, 1918, during the Battle of Mont Saint-Quentin, Pitt was killed by enemy fire at the age of 33. He was buried where he fell, beside the trench, approximately 2500 yards (2286m) north of Mount Saint Quentin and 1000 yards (914.4m) north-northwest of Alianess. A comrade who witnessed the moment described Pitt as having thick, dark hair and being a savings bank official in Adelaide.

Upon the news of Pitt's death reaching his family, he was honored as a fallen hero and his death was memorialized in the Roll of Honour at the Australian War Memorial. His name can be found at panel 137 in the Commemorative Area at the Memorial. He is also remembered at Villers-Bretonneux Memorial in Villers-Bretonneux, Picardie, France. 



1914/15 star (NE)

British War Medal (54739)

Victory medal (53906) 



Biography contributed by Faithe Jones

Lance-Corporal HAROLD EDWARD PITT, of the 43rd Battalion Infantry, was killed in action on September 1 in France. He was the second son of Mr. James and Mrs. Annie Pitt, of 'Shares-hill,' Rose Park, and a grandson of the late Mr. W. H. Jeffery, for many years managing printer at 'The Advertiser' Office. Corporal Pitt was educated at the Rose Park school, and, at time of enlisting (September 1, 1916),  was a teller at the Adelaide Savings Bank, where he was very popular with his fellow officers. He saw a lot of hard fighting in Belgium and France, but was always cheerful as to ultimate success, and  while 'burning to be home' resolved to do his part, well. His elder brother, Arthur W. Pitt, M.A. (teacher of the Victor Harbor school), is in France with the Field Artillery.