Rehabilitation embroidery : Private J Hartnett, 13 Battalion, AIF

Accession Number REL35979
Collection type Heraldry
Object type Heraldry
Physical description Cotton
Maker Hartnett, James
Place made Australia
Date made c 1916
Conflict First World War, 1914-1918

Rehabilitation embroidery, on a grey cotton ground, using white, blue, yellow, red and black cotton embroidery thread in stem, chain and satin stitch. The embroidery shows the colour patch of 13 Battalion, AIF, with a yellow Anzac 'A' in the centre, within a laurel wreath surmounted by a King's crown. Beneath, on a red edged blue scroll, is '13TH BATTALION' in yellow.

History / Summary

Made by 42 Private James 'Jimmy' Hartnett, as part his rehabilitation in Australia while recovering from wounds received at Gallipoli. Hartnett was a 27 year old bootmaker when he enlisted for service in the AIF in Sydney, on 12 September 1914. He was assigned to A company, 13 Battalion, and sailed for Egypt on 22 December 1914 aboard HMAT A38 Ulysses. After training in Egypt 13 Battalion landed on Gallipoli on 25 April 1915. On 2 May, at Pope's Hill, Hartnett received severe shrapnel wounds to the ankle, shin, knee and groin. In addition he fell 20 feet after he was hit. He was evacuated from Gallipoli and reached hospital in Egypt on 8 May. By 21 May he was able to write to his mother to tell her of his injuries, but before his letter could reach her she was mistakenly informed by telegram that her son had died of his wounds on 29 May. While the army rectified the error on its own records two days later, noting that Hartnett was dangerously ill, it was some time before his mother was informed that her son was, in fact, alive. James Hartnett was repatriated to Australia on 29 July 1915, but spent a further year undergoing treatment in military hospitals in Australia before he was discharged as unfit for further service, on 11 August 1916. This embroidery would have been made in Australia in 1916 after approval had been given for Gallipoli veterans to wear an Anzac 'A' on their uniform colour patches in recognition of their service in the campaign.