Joseph Bernard Harding

First Name: 
Joseph
Middle Name: 
Bernard
Last Name: 
Harding
Date of Birth: 
Saturday, April 1, 1899
Mother's Name: 
Katherine Harding
Father's Name: 
Joseph McMahon
Date Enlisted: 
Friday, February 12, 1915
Rank at Enlistment: 
Private
Rank at Discharge: 
Private
Unit: 
2nd Battalion
Company: 
C
Service: 
Infantry
Awards: 
1914/1915 Star
British War Medal
Victory Medal
Date of Death: 
Tuesday, July 25, 1916
Place of Death: 
Pozieres, France
Cause of Death: 
Killed in action
Details: 

Joseph Harding was born at Gerringong, N.S.W.

He enlisted for the first time (Service No 1663) on 30th October, 1914, when he was actually 14 years old, having lied on his enlistment papers.  Joseph stated that he was 21 years of age, single, employed as a miner, and his nominnated next of kin was his brother James Harding.  It appears that Joseph did embark overseas and was discharged from service soon after.

Joseph enlisted a second time (Service no 1764), on 12th February, 1915.  These papers record his age as 21 years old, single, employed as a railway fireman, with the same next of kin.  Joseph was now actually only 16 years old.

Joseph embarked from Sydney with the 2nd Battalion on 10th April 1915 on HMAT A8 Argyllshire.  After arriving in Egypt he went on to Gallipoli and arrived on 26th May 1915.

Joseph was admitted to hospital on Gallipoli on 20th June 1915 sick and returned to C Company on 8th July.  On 8th August he was re-admitted to the field ambulance sick but rejoined his unit on 1st October 1915.  On 31st October he was admitted to hospital in Cairo with jaundice.  Joseph re-joined his unit in Egypt on 29th December 1915.

The troops were sent on to France, arriving on 28th March 1916.

On 25th July 1916 Joseph was killed in action fighting at Pozieres.  He was buried at the time in the Chalk Pit but the location of his grave has been lost; Joseph is commemorated on the Australian National Memorial at Villers-Bretonneaux, and at the Gerringong Soldier Memorial Hall, N.S.W.

Joseph was just 17 years old.

Sources: 
NAA: B2455, HARDING J B (Service No 1663)

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