Henry Spencer DENMAN

DENMAN, Henry Spencer

Service Number: 69
Enlisted: Not yet discovered
Last Rank: Private
Last Unit: 10th Infantry Battalion
Born: Not yet discovered
Home Town: Magill, Campbelltown, South Australia
Schooling: Not yet discovered
Occupation: Labourer
Died: Adelaide , 9 February 1962, cause of death not yet discovered, age not yet discovered
Cemetery: North Brighton Cemetery, S.A.
Memorials: Magill Honour Board
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World War 1 Service

20 Oct 1914: Involvement Private, SN 69, 10th Infantry Battalion
20 Oct 1914: Embarked Private, SN 69, 10th Infantry Battalion, HMAT Ascanius, Adelaide

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Henry Spencer Denman was born in Adelaide, South Australia in 1894. He had three brothers and a sister. Before enlisting into the war, he was single with no kids and worked as a labourer. When he enlisted in 1914 he was placed in the 10th infantry battalion with the service number of 69. He was a private until April 1916 when he was promoted to lance corporal. He was promoted to corporal soon after on 23rd August 1916. At this stage he had been moved from the 10th battalion to the 12th battalion. At some stage his service number was changed from 69 to 22. It is unclear why this happened.

Henry trained in Egypt and was there for roughly 8 weeks before the first battle started. While in the 10th battalion he fought in the battles that took place in Gallipoli. Later he fought on the Western Front. The first major action on the Western Front in France was at Pozieres in the Somme Valley. After this the battalion fought at Ypres in Flanders before returning to the Somme for winter. He moved into the 12th battalion which was also fighting in the same area as the 10th. In 1917 the battalion were part of the brief advance that followed the German army’s retreat to the Hindenburg Line. Later the battalion returned to Belgium to fight in the battle that became known as the 3rd battle of Ypres. However, in April 1917 Denman sustained a gunshot wound to the left leg which fractured his tibia. He took no further part in the War and returned to Australia on the 26th of August 1917. He was then discharged from the army on the 9th of November. 

Mr Frisby Smith made an inquiry to find out how Henry’s recovery was going and whether he had survived his injury during the battle on the 10th of April 1917. There was a reply to this letter documented. It was written by the Honorary Secretary in the War Office. The letter said that Henry was recovering well and would be out of hospital in the next 10-14 days. In late 1917 Henry returned to Australia and was discharged from the army on the 9th of November in 1917. 

Henry displayed many qualities of an ANZAC. These qualities included courage, determination, bravery, mateship, loyalty and support for other members of the battalion. A true ANZAC was prepared to do anything he could to help his battalion and fellow soldiers. He was courageous in each battle, determined to do what he could to fight for his country and he was brave in the heat of the battle when he was wounded with a gunshot injury to his leg.

Henry was awarded three medals. These included the 1914/15 Star Medal, British War Medal and the Victory Medal. The Star Medal was a campaign medal awarded for service in World War I. All men who served in World War I were issued with the British War Medal. The soldiers regiment and number are inscribed around the rim of the medal. The combination of a Star, British War and Victory Medal were fairly common place.

There is little information on his post war life. He died on 9th February 1962 and was buried at North Brighton Cemetery in Adelaide.



Pearson History 2012, Pearson Australia, Melbourne.

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South Australian Red Cross Information Bureau n.d., Henry Spencer Denman, accessed 2 March 2016, <https://sarcib.ww1.collections.slsa.sa.gov.au/soldier/henry-spencer-denman>.

 Australian War Memorial n.d., 10th Battalion, accessed 7 March 2016, <https://www.awm.gov.au/collection/RELAWM07941.083>.

 Australian War Memorial n.d., H16157, accessed 9 March 2016, <https://www.awm.gov.au/collection/H16157/>.