Ralph Osborne HARWOOD


HARWOOD, Ralph Osborne

Service Number: 2360
Enlisted: 11 May 1915, Enlisted at Liverpool, NSW
Last Rank: Private
Last Unit: 3rd Infantry Battalion
Born: Liverpool, England, 1896
Home Town: Wickham, Newcastle, New South Wales
Schooling: Wickham Public School, Wickham, New South Wales
Occupation: Fitter & Turner
Died: Killed in action, Gallipoli, 30 November 1915
Cemetery: Shell Green Cemetery
Plot 11, Row B, Grave 3 Headstone inscription reads: He died for England
Memorials: Australian War Memorial, Roll of Honour, Waratah Memorial Gates
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World War 1 Service

11 May 1915: Enlisted AIF WW1, Private, SN 2360, Enlisted at Liverpool, NSW
14 Jul 1915: Involvement Private, SN 2360, 3rd Infantry Battalion, 'ANZAC' / Gallipoli
14 Jul 1915: Embarked Private, SN 2360, 3rd Infantry Battalion, HMAT Orsova, Sydney

Runs in the family

My father (Ralph Osborne Harwood's brother) often told the story how we (and guessing Ralph as well) were related to a British Victoria Cross winner during the Indian Mutiny. My own research suggests it was Major John Buckley VC (born 24 May 1813 – died 14 July 1876) who was awarded the medal during the defence of the magazine at Delhi on 11 May 1857. I note that none of Major Buckley's children survived so I'm guessing the relationship is somewhat distant.

What's in a name?

My name is Graham Osborne Harwood and Ralph Osborne Harwood was my uncle. My father was not able to tell me much about his brother as he was only a couple of years old when his brother died at Gallipoli except to say that he was very much missed by his family.

My story is that I inherited the middle name. In my youth I hated that name and wished it were something more normal. In my middle age, after learning (or re-learning) that I had been named in honour of my uncle and that he had fought an died at Gallipoli, I came to embrace my middle name and feel a sense of pride whenever I got to use it.

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Biography contributed by Carol Foster

Arrived in Australia aged 2 years

Son of Ralph Osborn Harwood and Mary Frances Harwood of 10 Kerr Street, Mayfield, Newcastle, NSW. Brother of Edtih Annie Lucy Thornton nee Harwood of Warners Bay, NSW

Medals: 1914-15 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal

Had been apprenticed to Sutcliffe & Co. of Newcastle, NSW for 2 years

He was serving in the Royal Australian Navy Reserve before he enlisted

His mother wrote that he was the grandson of Major T.N.J. Buckley VC which Major Buckley earned for blowing up and ammunition dump during the Indian Mutiny