Handcarved frame for embroidery : James Hartnett

Place Oceania: Australia, New South Wales, Sydney
Accession Number REL35981
Collection type Heraldry
Object type Heraldry
Physical description Wood
Maker Hartnett, James
Place made Australia: New South Wales
Date made 1920s
Conflict First World War, 1914-1918

Hand made wooden picture frame, with 90mm wide sides, with sprays of roses in high relief carved into each side. The lower lever of the background has a fine poker work finish. Made by James Harnett in the 1920s as a frame for one of the rehabilitation embroideries he had made in 1916 or 1917 while recovering from wounds received on Gallipoli while serving with 13 Battalion, AIF.

History / Summary

Made by Jimmy Hartnett in the 1920s to contain one of the embroideries he had made as part of his rehabilitation from wounds received on Gallipoli. 42 Private James 'Jimmy' 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.