Saturday, 22 February 2014

Poppy's WW1 and WW2 details are online!

Army personnel in Gorari, New GuineaArmy TitleArmy Service Badge
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Service Record
NameWARD, HARRY DIXON
ServiceAustralian Army
Service NumberQ120051
Date of Birth6 Aug 1898
Place of BirthMARYBOROUGH, QLD
Date of Enlistment29 May 1941
Locality on EnlistmentCOORPAROO, QLD
Place of EnlistmentBRISBANE, QLD
Next of KinWARD, MARY
Date of Discharge15 Mar 1944
RankSergeant
Posting at Discharge3 AUST DETENTION BARRACK
WW2 Honours and GallantryNone for display
Prisoner of WarNo


How it came up is a mystery, but this morning over coffee Steve and I were chatting about my grandfather, Poppy Ward. He was a pretty silent fella and my memories of him are few. He used to say, 'Look up' all the time and this meant a myriad of things like, get out of the way, yes that's right, not now, and very occasionally look up. He had lost at least one toe to frost bite in THE WAR, he was very tall and my Nanna seemed to love him a great deal.

Anyway I said that he had lied his way into both WWs and I wondered what else I could find out about him.

Online research is bloody amazing. In very short order I found out quite a lot.

He had indeed been in both wars and he finished off WW2 as a sergeant. His mother's name was Eliza Alice. He was born in Maryborough 06/08/1898.

The birthdate seems to be about right but as I imagine he lied about his age both times I am not sure of it's actual validity.

Who was responsible for entering all this data onto a system I wondered? Some of the info was updated as late as 2005. I can only guess at the level of boredom involved in sitting for days and months and years typing in this stuff. I reckon that the original ledger entries were in tiny neat cursive of the day and perhaps these are faded and contained in dented rather somewhat mouldy tombs.

It's rather lovely to think that all these records are now available forever and it is a government expense that I certainly do not find remotely irritating.

I wish I could have found a photo to lead this blog, but the search was not long and I am not expert by any means so it is not out of the question that a photo will appear sometime in the future.