Harold BURKE MC

Poppy

BURKE, Harold

Service Numbers: 611, Commissioned
Enlisted: 15 August 1914, Place of enlistment - Eastern Hill, Melbourne Victoria
Last Rank: Captain
Last Unit: 5th Infantry Battalion
Born: St Kilda, Victoria, Australia, 15 August 1893
Home Town: St Kilda, Port Phillip, Victoria
Schooling: Melbourne C of E Grammar School, Victoria, Australia
Occupation: Clerk
Died: Shellfire, St Martins Wood near Proyart, France, 23 August 1918, aged 25 years
Cemetery: Cerisy-Gailly French National Cemetery, France
Plot II, Row A, Grave 19. Inscription - "SOLDAT SANS PEUR ET SANS REPROCHE TOMBE SUR LE CHAMP D'HONNEUR" - translation "FEARLESS AND UNREPROACHABLE SOLDIER FALLS ON THE FIELD OF HONOR"
Memorials: Melbourne Grammar School WW1 Fallen Honour Roll
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World War 1 Service

15 Aug 1914: Enlisted AIF WW1, Private, SN 611, 5th Infantry Battalion, Place of enlistment - Eastern Hill, Melbourne Victoria
21 Oct 1914: Embarked AIF WW1, Private, SN 611, 5th Infantry Battalion, Embarked on HMAT 'A3' Orvieto from Melbourne on 21st October, 1914, disembarking Egypt. After a period of training in Egypt he embarked to take part in the Gallipoli Campaign. He landed with his battalion on 25 April 1915 as part of the second wave. After the withdrawal from Gallipoli and return to Egypt, Burke sailed for France and the Western Front in March 1916 with 5th Infantry Battalion.
9 May 1915: Promoted AIF WW1, Corporal, 5th Infantry Battalion
18 Aug 1915: Promoted AIF WW1, Sergeant, 5th Infantry Battalion
3 Sep 1915: Promoted AIF WW1, Second Lieutenant, 5th Infantry Battalion
12 Mar 1916: Promoted AIF WW1, Lieutenant, 5th Infantry Battalion
1 Aug 1916: Promoted AIF WW1, Captain, 5th Infantry Battalion
27 Oct 1916: Transferred AIF WW1, Captain, 2nd Infantry Training Battalion, Served as Adjutant from 12th December 1916 until 14th January 1917.
8 Jun 1917: Transferred AIF WW1, Captain, 5th Infantry Battalion
16 Sep 1917: Wounded SN Commissioned, 5th Infantry Battalion, Slight gunshot wound to hand
20 Sep 1917: Honoured Military Cross, "During the operations east of YPRES on 20th September 1917 Captain BURKE was in charge of the right support Company. Under heavy shelling, in the absence of the leading Company Commander who had been wounded, this officer, regardless of personal danger, reorganised the right flank of the Battalion. At a critical moment he reorganised men of another Battalion who were in rear and sent them forward to their objective and established a Strong Point in a sound tactical position under heavy fire, At all times he displayed sound judgment and good leadership."
23 Aug 1918: Involvement AIF WW1, Captain, SN Commissioned, 5th Infantry Battalion

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Biography contributed by Sharyn Roberts

Awarded Military Cross

'Powers of leadership and organization at critical time, enabling valuable services to be rendered by Company. Also personal courage and devotion to duty.'

 

Son of George John and Anne Gertrude (nee Daly) BURKE of 37 Brighton Road St Kilda.

Brother of

  • Lieutenant Maurice Francis BURKE - , returned to Australia 1919 (born 1885)  Married Hilda Florence Derry at St Mary's Church Fulham, England on 17th December 1918, Vicar C Bradshaw Foy officiating.  Maurice Burke was a committee member, honorary treasurer, and a trustee of the Melbourne Athenaeum Library.
  • Sister Lalah Mary "Sally" BURKE - Australian Army Nursing Service, returned to Australia 13th April 1919 (born 1887)
  • Major Edmund Louis "Teddy" BURKE (MC) - 4th Field Artillery Brigade, returned to Australia 4th September 1919 (born 1896)  Edmund entered the Royal Military College, Duntroon on 9 March 1913 and graduated, along with the rest of his class, early on 28 June 1915.
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