Harold Tennyson PRISK

PRISK, Harold Tennyson

Service Number: 937
Enlisted: 30 December 1914
Last Rank: Sergeant
Last Unit: 9th Light Horse Regiment
Born: Mount Barker, South Australia, Australia, January 1892
Home Town: Hyde Park, South Australia
Schooling: Not yet discovered
Occupation: Carpenter
Died: Natural causes, Adelaide, South Australia, 1 March 1956
Cemetery: West Terrace Cemetery (AIF Section)
Section: KO, Road: 11, Site No: 63
Memorials: Peterborough Roll of Honor WW1, Peterborough War Memorial, Unley Museum Honour Board, Unley Town Hall WW1 Honour Board
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World War 1 Service

30 Dec 1914: Enlisted AIF WW1, Private, 937, 9th Light Horse Regiment
31 Dec 1914: Promoted AIF WW1, Lance Corporal, 9th Light Horse Regiment, Temporary promotion while the reinforcement draft was in training and for the journey to the Middle East - per service record
2 Jun 1915: Embarked AIF WW1, Private, 937, 9th Light Horse Regiment, --- :embarkation_roll: roll_number: '2' embarkation_place: Adelaide embarkation_ship: HMAT Botanist embarkation_ship_number: A59 public_note: ''
6 Aug 1915: Involvement AIF WW1, Private, 937, 9th Light Horse Regiment, The August Offensive - Lone Pine, Suvla Bay, Sari Bair, The Nek and Hill 60 - Gallipoli
8 Jan 1916: Promoted AIF WW1, Corporal, 9th Light Horse Regiment, Provisional promotion to Corporal confirmed 13 April 1916
11 Mar 1916: Involvement AIF WW1, Sergeant, 937, 9th Light Horse Regiment, Egypt and Palestine - Light Horse and AFC Operations, CHeck assignment date to Middle east from Gallipoli
4 Apr 1917: Wounded AIF WW1, Sergeant, 937, 9th Light Horse Regiment, Battles of Gaza , Temporary Sergeant. Wounded by a shell fragment to the foot while on a reconnaissance during the Battles of Gaza. Remained on duty but evacuated to a rest camp
3 Aug 1917: Promoted AIF WW1, Sergeant, 9th Light Horse Regiment
15 Apr 1919: Embarked AIF WW1, Sergeant, 937, 9th Light Horse Regiment, Embarked for return to Australia ex Suez on HMAT Warwickshire
16 Apr 1919: Discharged AIF WW1, Sergeant, 937, 9th Light Horse Regiment

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Biography contributed by Steve Larkins

From RSL-SA records and NAA record.


Harold Prisk was born in Mt Barker in 1892.  As with all WW1 service records the soldier's date of birth was not generally recorded, rather an age in years and months cited.  By the time he enlisted in December 1914, he was 22 11/12, meaning he was born in January 1892 so aged 22.  Harolds's address on enlistment was Park Avenue, Hyde Park and his mother Mrs S.J. Prisk was listed as his next if kin.  He listsed his occupation as Carpeneter and was serving in the Militia 17th Light Horse Regiment. 

He embarked with the 5th Reinforcements for the Regiment from Adelaide on the HMAT Botanist on the 2nd June 1915, bound for Egypt.  While he was in transit and training in Egypt, the 9th Light Horse went into action at Galipoli. 

Harold's unit, the 9th Light Horse saw service at Gallipoli when the Light Horse was deployed as infantry without their horses.  The 9th Light Horse, as part of the 3rd Light Horse Brigade, bore witness to the futile attack of the 10th Light Horse at the Nek on the 7th August 1915.  While they did not take part in the attack (they were scheduled to but it was called off after the slaughter of the 10th Light Horse) they were in support trenches and their CO LTCOL Miel, was killed while observing the charge (see article under 'Units').

The 9th Light Horse was to play a very direct role in a subsequent operation between 25-28 August, the attempted capture of Hill 60, where the 9th Light Horse lost a second CO, LtCol Carew Reynell,  along with many NCOs and men in an unsuccessful attack. 

Harold did not arrive on Gallipoli until the 25th October 1915 after undergoing 'in theatre training' in Egypt with the rest of his reinforcement draft to make up losses sustained at Hill 60.  They remained until the evacuation in December. 

After Gallipoli the Light Horse returned to Egypt and was to make its name fighting in the Sinai Peninsula and in Palestine, and Harold served until the end of the war before being repatriated home.

He undertook specialist courses and was promoted steadily throught the subsequent two years attaining the rank of Sergeant in 

Harold discharged in May of 1919, and presumbaly returned to his trade as a carpenter. He later married Jean and they had children Don, Jean, Ralph, Ruth and Val.  Harold and Jean were in laws to Margaret,Arthur,Des and Alan.

Harold joined the RSL on 26 May 1919 and was variously a Member of sub-branches from Semaphore to Woodville then to Alberton & Rosewater and finally Peterborough.

He died on 1 March 1956 and is buried in the AIF Cemetery at West Terrace Cemetery in Adelaide.

His widow, Jean Prisk, applied for his Gallipoli Medallion in 1967, at which time she was resident in Tennyson Avenue Kuralta Park in Adelaide's inner south western suburbs.


Compiled by Steve Larkins November 2019