Harold Augustus Randolph ATKINS

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ATKINS, Harold Augustus Randolph

Service Number: Officer
Enlisted: 17 September 1915, Holdsworthy, NSW
Last Rank: Second Lieutenant
Last Unit: 1st Infantry Battalion
Born: Bathurst, New South Wales, 2 April 1889
Home Town: Bathurst, Bathurst Regional, New South Wales
Schooling: Bathurst Superior Public School
Occupation: Customs Officer
Died: Killed in action, France, 23 July 1916, aged 27 years
Cemetery: Villers-Bretonneux Military Cemetery
Villers Brettoneux Memorial
Memorials: Bathurst Public School Roll of Honour, Villers-Bretonneux Memorial (Australian National Memorial - France)
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World War 1 Service

17 Sep 1915: Enlisted AIF WW1, SN Officer, 1st Infantry Battalion, Holdsworthy, NSW
1 Apr 1916: Involvement 1st Infantry Battalion, Battle for Pozières
1 Apr 1916: Embarked 1st Infantry Battalion, SS Makarini, Sydney
23 Jul 1916: Involvement Second Lieutenant, 1st Infantry Battalion, Battle for Pozières

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Biography contributed by Elizabeth Allen

Harold Augustus Randolph ATKINS was born on 2nd April, 1889 in Bathurst, NSW to John ATKINS and Mary MacEVOY who were married in 1869 in Bathurst.

He first entered the Education Department as a teacher from Bathurst having completed his earlier training at the local Public School. He afterwards left the service and entered the Customs Department in Sydney.  Later he went to the Liverpool camp as a Corporal but soon gained a commission as 2nd Lieutenant.  He was with a party that went to Rabaul and upon his return he set out for overseas as a 2nd Lieutenant

He had previous service for 6 months with the AN and MEF (New Guinea) - He was a Private & later a Corporal & his service number at the time was SN693 - he embarked from Sydney on HMAS Berrima on 19th August, 1914 for Rabaul and his term ended and he was discharged on 4th March, 1915 & had served from 11th August 1914 to 4th March 1915

Harold re-enlisted in Holdsworthy, NSW as an acting 1st Lieutenant on 17th September, 1915 with the 16th Battalion and embarked on the ship Makarini on 1st April, 1916 and then joined the 1st Battalion in France on 13th July, 1916

Harold was Killed in Action in an attack on Pozieres on 23rd July, 1916 & his body was never recovered - His name is memorialised in the Australian War Memorial, the Villers Brettoneux Memorial, The Baulkham Hills WW1 Memorial, & the Willlliam Thompson Masonic Schools Memorial

He received the 1914-15 Star, British War Medal & Victory Medal

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Article from the National Advocate (Bathurst) NSW Thursday 10th August, 1916 page 5

On July 23, another Bathurst soldier, Second Lieutenant Harold Atkins, youngest son of Mr. J. Atkins of Russell St was killed in action in France.  The tragic news was received from the Defence Department yesterday and was broken to Mr. Atkins by the Rev. C.J. Allen.   Widespread sympathy will be felt for the stricken father who however has the consoling knowledge that his son died a heroes death.  The deceased Lieutenant , who was about 23 years of age and was employed in the Customs Department in Sydney enlisted at the outbreak of war and took part in the Rabual expedition as a Corporal.  On returning to Australia he qualified for a higher rank and went to Egypt as Acting First Lieutenant.  only a few days ago his father received a letter from the dead soldier expressing his pleasure at getting away from Egypt for France and mentioning as a fortunate circumstance that only the late arrival of a train by ten minutes prevented him from being sent to another part of Egypt.  Had that train arrived on time he would not have been sent to France.  An elder brother of the deceased, Private Douglas Atkins quite recently joined the Bathurst Camp.

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