Harold Ernest ARGUS

ARGUS, Harold Ernest

Service Number: 1134
Enlisted: 28 December 1915, Adelaide
Last Rank: Sergeant
Last Unit: 43rd Infantry Battalion
Born: Tallygaroopna, Victoria, Australia , 9 January 1887
Home Town: Kyabram, Campaspe, Victoria
Schooling: Parkin College, South Australia
Occupation: Clerk
Died: Killed in Action, Belgium, 4 June 1917, aged 30 years
Cemetery: Strand Military Cemetery, Ploegsteert, Wallonie, Belgium
Strand Military Cemetery Plot 111, Row D, Grave 11
Memorials: Adelaide National War Memorial, Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour, Keswick Prospect Methodist Sunday School Honour Board WW1, Prospect Methodist Sunday School Honour Roll
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World War 1 Service

28 Dec 1915: Enlisted AIF WW1, Adelaide
9 Jun 1916: Involvement AIF WW1, Sergeant, 1134, 43rd Infantry Battalion
9 Jun 1916: Embarked AIF WW1, Sergeant, 1134, 43rd Infantry Battalion, HMAT Afric, Adelaide

From “The Forty-Third” The Story and Official History of the 43rd Battalion A.I.F.

Left with the Battalion in June 1916, and remained with D Company throughout his service in France. He was a fine type of man, splendidly built, whose courage seemed to rise as the danger increased. A born leader, he inspired confidence in his men and ever was in the place where the work was hottest and a leader most needed. He acted as Platoon Sergeant and did splendid work in the trench warfare around Armentieres and Ploegsteert Wood.

For two or three days before the opening of the great battle of Messines practice barrages were put down under cover of which daylight raiders issued from our front lines and put it across “Fritz”. The idea was to secure identification, discover if the Boche were changing his order of battle and to destroy the morale of his front line troops. Going over in daylight even under a barrage was no child’s play but required great nerve.

It was in one of these daylight raids on the 4th June 1917 that Sergeant Argus was killed. Unfortunately the raiding party lost the barrage, and the enemy machine guns coming into action at barely 200 yards, played great havoc with our men. He lies buried in the famous Ploegsteert Wood.

From P34 - Preparations for Messines, Sgt Argus is the Sergeant referred to:
On the 4th Lieutenant Coleman and thirty other ranks attempted a daylight raid into the enemy line at Broken Tree House, but as only a few hours notice had been given previous reconnaissance and preparation were impossible. The party was conveyed by lorry to Ploegsteert Wood then filed along CTs to the front line, from which they commenced at 2pm to move across No Man’s Land. Heavy rifle and machine gun fire was directed against them on leaving the parapet, and after proceeding one hundred yards they suffered casualties and were definitely checked. The process of returning the wounded proved most difficult as enemy fire covered any attempted movement, necessitating some remaining in shell-holes until nightfall. The officer and one sergeant were killed and eleven other ranks wounded.

He is buried at Strand Military Cemetery, Ploegsteert Wood

From “The Forty-Third” The Story and Official History of the 43rd Battalion A.I.F. by Capt. E J Colliver MC & Lieut. B H Richardson Rigby Limited 1920. Pages 34, 212, 235, 238

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43 Battalion

Rank - Sergeant

20 July 1916 disembarked Marseilles

29 December 1916 to hospital - mumps

 Medals: British War Medal, Victory Medal

Son of Son of William Bassett Argus and Mary Ann Trewin. Native of Victoria, Australia. Brother of Henrietta Walsh, Allan Street, Kyabram, Victoria