Hector Holmes

First Name: 
Hector
Last Name: 
Holmes
Date of Birth: 
Friday, September 29, 1893
Mother's Name: 
Ansley Holmes nee Lusted
Father's Name: 
Thomas Holmes
Date Enlisted: 
Friday, September 17, 1915
Rank at Enlistment: 
Private
Rank at Discharge: 
Private
Unit: 
56th Battalion
Company: 
B
Service: 
Infantry
Awards: 
Military Medal
British War Medal
Victory Medal
Date of Death: 
Tuesday, June 7, 1966
Place of Death: 
Boolaroo, N.S.W.
Details: 

Hector Holmes (Service No 3555) was born in Darkes Forrest, N.S.W.

At enlistment Hector was single, 23 years old, worked as a farm labourer and lived in Branxton, N.S.W.  He embarked from Sydney on HMAT A60 Aeneas with 20th Battalion, 8th Reinforcement on 20th December 1915.  After arriving in Egypt Hector was transferred to 56th Battalion on 16th February 1916.

He arrived in France on 29th March 1916 and was assigned as a Bomber with B Company, 56th Battalion.

On 20th July 1916 Hector was posted as missing: He has been with in the second line German trench when ordered to retire to the first line German trench.  The last to leave, Hector continued to toss bombs to allow others to escape.  When he arrived at the first line, the Germans had recaptured it and had taken a number of prisoners, at which point Hector was also taken prisoner.  He was sent to a number of prisoner-of-war camps and ended up in Duisburg camp in the Rhineland, Germany.

On Friday 26th October 1917 Hector and Private H L Thomas (Service No 2466) of 30th Battalion escaped from the prisoner of war camp they were interrred in.  They arrived in Holland cold wet hungry and tired on Tuesday 30th October 1917 after travelling only at night.

The two men were kept in Holland under quarantine for some days, and Hector finally arrived in England on 21st November 1917.

He was returned to Australia in June 1918 and discharged, medically unfit, on 31st August 1918 due to pleurisy.

In 1920 Hector was awarded the Military Medal for showing gallant conduct and determination displayed in escaping.  Commonwealth Gazette No 38 dated 29th April 1920.

On 10th July 1926 Hector married Alice Davidson and the couple raised 3 children.

Hector died in 1966, his service is commemorated on the Branxton War Memorial near Cessnock, N.S.W.

His brother Reginald Holmes  (Service No 944) also served.

Sources: 
NAA: B2455, HOLMES H 3555

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