Next of kin plaque: Lance Sergeant Harold Asmus Fischer, Otago Battalion

Place Middle East: Ottoman Empire, Turkey, Dardanelles, Gallipoli, Sari Bair Area
Accession Number RELAWM09677
Collection type Heraldry
Object type Heraldry
Physical description Bronze
Date made c 1922
Conflict First World War, 1914-1918

Bronze next of kin plaque, showing on the obverse, Britannia holding a laurel wreath, the British lion, dolphins, a spray of oak leaves and the words 'HE DIED FOR FREEDOM AND HONOUR' around the edge. Beneath the main figures, the British lion defeats the German eagle. The initials 'ECP', for the designer Edward Carter Preston appear above the lion's right forepaw. A raised rectangle above the lion's head bears the name 'HAROLD FISCHER'.

History / Summary

Born in Adelaide, South Australia in 1886, Harold Asmus Fischer moved with his family to Melbourne, Victoria in 1889. His parents died while he was still in his early teens. Fischer was working at Invercargill on the south island of New Zealand at the outbreak of the First World War. He enlisted in the New Zealand Expeditionary Force on 18 August 1914 and was posted a private to the 8th (Southland) Company of the Otago Battalion (later Otago Regiment) with the service number 8/375.

The Otago Battalion arrived in Egypt in December 1914. It landed at Gallipoli in the afternoon of 25 April 1915. Fischer survived the fighting at Baby 700 and Krithia in which the battalion suffered heavy casualties. He was appointed lance sergeant on 23 June. Fischer died of wounds received near Sari Bair on 6 August and is buried at No. 2 Outpost Cemetery.

This commemorative plaque was sent to Fischer's eldest brother, Hugo, who lived in Melbourne. Another brother, Lieutenant Frank Reinhardt Fischer was killed in September 1918, while serving with the 6th Battalion, AIF.