Henry John Giles

First Name: 
Henry
Middle Name: 
John
Last Name: 
Giles
Mother's Name: 
Mary Jane Giles
Father's Name: 
Henry Giles
Date Enlisted: 
Wednesday, February 24, 1915
Rank at Enlistment: 
Private
Rank at Discharge: 
Sergeant
Unit: 
19th Battalion
Company: 
A
Service: 
Infantry
Awards: 
Military Medal
Mention In Despatches
1914/1915 Star
British War Medal/Victory Medal
Date of Death: 
Sunday, September 1, 1918
Place of Death: 
Mont St Quentin, France
Cause of Death: 
Died of wounds
Details: 

Henry Giles (Service No 233) was born in Northampton, England, around 1894.  His family moved to Australia after his birth.

When Henry enlisted he 21 years old, single, worked as a labourer, and lived at Helensburgh, N.S.W.

Henry embarked from Sydney on board HMAT A40 Ceramic with A Company, 19th Battalion, on 25th June 1915.  After arriving in Egypt he was sent on to Gallipoli on 16th August 1915.  On 9th October 1915, Henry was  promoted.

Henry served at Gallipoli till the evacuation.  After serving at Gallipoli, the Battalion was sent to the Western Front to serve.

On 19th December 1916, Henry was promoted to Sergeant and went on to have a distinguished career. 

He was admitted to hospital in France on 25th March 1917 with influenza but returned to his unit soon after.  He attended courses and had leave but seems to have spent long periods in combat areas.

Due to his stocky stature Henry was known to his mates as 'Nugget'.  On 9th April 1917 he was mentioned in Sir Douglas Haigs dispatches for his actions in combat.  On 31st March 1917 Henry was awarded the Military Medal for conspicuous gallantry near Worlancourt on 18th August 1916, when he was in charge of a bombing attack on Malt Trench.

Henry was wounded in action on 12th April 1918 with shrapnel wounds to his head and shoulder but after being treated he was returned to his unit.  On 31st August 1918, in the early morning, he was waiting for the attack on Mont St Quentin to begin, when a shell exploded and he was wounded a second time with shrapnel wounds to his neck.  He was evacuated to 61st Casualty Clearing Station for treatment, but at 6pm on 1st September 1918 he died from these wounds.

Henry is buried in St Sever Cemetery Extension, Rouen, France: Block R, Plot II, Row R, Grave 16.

Sources: 
NAA: B2455, GILES H J

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