Basin, Gustrow POW camp : Private H Horner, 3 Machine Gun Company, AIF

Place Europe: Germany, Gustrow
Accession Number RELAWM10295.001
Collection type Heraldry
Object type Personal Equipment
Physical description Enamelled steel
Maker Unknown
Place made Belgium
Date made c 1914-1917
Conflict First World War, 1914-1918

Small blue enamelled steel basin with a lip for pouring and two raised handles. The handles and rim are enamelled black.

History / Summary

Associated with the service of 245 Private Herbert Horner. Horner was born in Riverton, South Australia in 1874 and was working as a farmer when he enlisted in the 4th Machine Gun Company, AIF, on 24 February 1916 aged 41. He embarked for England on 18 July aboard HMAT Seang Bee with the company's 3rd reinforcements. Horner proceeded overseas from England to France, arriving at the Machine Gun Base at Favreuil on 3 December. Horner transferred to the 3rd Machine Gun Company on 18 December.

Horner was taken prisoner during the First Battle of Bullecourt on 11 April 1917 . He was reported missing in action by his Commanding Officer on 15 April, but was not officially confirmed as a prisoner of war until 2 June. Horner was initially interned at Friedrichsfeld in Germany before transferring to Gustrow in December 1917. It was at Gustrow prisoner of war camp that Horner was given this basin by some Belgians prisoners.

Horner worked at the Gustrow Sugar Factory for two weeks in January 1918 before being sent to Billenhagen where he worked in a forest collecting firewood. Horner was then sent to Tessin where he worked on a local farm feeding cattle, horses and collecting firewood. He was transferred to another farm in Weteindorf from which he escaped. However, he soon after handed himself in to the authorities. He remained at Weteindorf until the end of the war.

Horner returned to the main military camp at Gustrow to await repatriation via Denmark. He arrived in Copenhagen in December 1918 and sailed for England aboard SS Frederick VIII, arriving on 30 December. He sailed for Australia aboard HMAT Marathon on 19 April 1919 arriving in Western Australia on 31 May.