Rehabilitation embroidery : Private J Hartnett, 13 Battalion, AIF

Accession Number REL35980
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 cream cotton repp ground, using white, blue, red and brown cotton embroidery thread in stem and long stitch. The embroidery shows a King's crown with crossed Union Flag and Australian blue ensign within a laurel wreath. A red edged blue scroll above the flags bears the word 'FOR ENGLAND HOME AND BEAUTY' in brown, and a similar scroll beneath the flags reads 'AUSTRALIA WILL BE THERE'.

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 before he was discharged as unfit for further service, on 11 August 1916.