Harry Ernest SCANTLEBURY

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SCANTLEBURY, Harry Ernest

Service Number: 4183
Enlisted: 31 August 1915, Adelaide, South Australia
Last Rank: Private
Last Unit: 48th Infantry Battalion
Born: Burra, South Australia, August 1897
Home Town: Burra, Goyder, South Australia
Schooling: St John the Baptist (Catholic) School, Thebarton, South Australia
Occupation: Plumber
Died: Died of wounds, France , 12 April 1917
Cemetery: Bapaume Australian Cemetery
Bapaume Australian Cemetery (Row B, Grave No. 8), France
Memorials: Adelaide National War Memorial, Australian War Memorial, Roll of Honour, Glandore State Wards & Orphans Honour Roll, Willowie Amyton School WW1 Roll of Honor
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World War 1 Service

31 Aug 1915: Enlisted AIF WW1, Private, SN 4183, 16th Infantry Battalion, Adelaide, South Australia
11 Jan 1916: Involvement Private, SN 4183, 16th Infantry Battalion
11 Jan 1916: Embarked Private, SN 4183, 16th Infantry Battalion, HMAT Borda, Adelaide
6 Aug 1916: Wounded 48th Infantry Battalion, Wounded by shell or bullet after relieving the 26th Infantry Battalion in Sausage Valley attempting to take a trench.
12 Apr 1917: Involvement Private, SN 4183, 48th Infantry Battalion

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Biography contributed by Saint Ignatius' College

Harry Ernest Scantlebury was born in Burra, South Australia in August 1897. He was the son of Harry Ernest Sr. and Sarah Ann Scantlebury, and had 2 brothers - George Edward Scantlebury and Frederick William Scantlebury. He was 18 years, 5 foot 5 inches, 137 lbs and he had a plain complexion and brown eyes and brown hair. He was Catholic. He could see the required distance, he had a healthy heart and lungs and was considered fit for active service He attended St John the Baptist school and was a plumber before he enrolled on 31st August 1915. At the time he was single and did not have any children.

He left on HMAT A30 Borda on 11 January 1916 and went on to train in Alexandria, Egypt where he was part of the 16th Battalion and later joined the 48th Battalion. The 48th battalion was raised in Egypt 1916. This process was called “Doubling the AIF.” The 48th Battalion was part of the 4th division and 12th brigade and drew most of their men from South Australia and Western Australia. Significant battle honours include the battle of the Somme 1916-18, Pozières, Bullecourt, and Messines 1917. 

Scantlebury then departed for France where he fought in Pozieres, Bullecourt and Sausage Valley (near La Boisselle). He was wounded on the 6th August 1916 in Sausage Valley by a shell after days of heavy fire and the Australians losing many trenches. The next day he was then taken to the 13th General Hospital in Boulonge and two days later he departed for Manchester on the H.S. “Cambria.” He then spent 4 months in the 2nd General Western Hospital in Manchester. On the 1st November 1916 he went on leave before returning from England on the 16th of December. He later re-joined the 48th Battalion on 12th January 1917. He then proceeded to fight on the Western Front for three months, fighting in battles such as Bullecourt and on the Hindenburg line.

On the 11th April 1917, in the cold, frosty town of Noreuil near Bapaume, the Australians prepared for an attack on the nearby town of Bullecourt, assisted by British tanks. Unfortunately, the attack was late in commencing, as the tanks were late, and as a result the forces came under heavy German rifle and machine gun fire as they advanced, and suffered heavy casualties. Scantlebury was injured with a shrapnel wound to the abdomen and was treated by a nearby field ambulance.  He died of his wounds the next day on 12th April 1917. He is now buried in Bapaume, in the Australian Cemetery (Row B, Grave No. 8), in France. He was missed by his brothers George and Frederick. Harry did his country proud and in return received a British War Medal and a Victory Medal.

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