Image copyright: Copyright expired - public domain
Public Domain Mark This image is in the Public Domain

ID number P01695.002
Collection Photograph
Object type Black & white
Maker Unknown (Maker)
Date made c 1916
Physical description Black & white


Studio portrait of an Aboriginal serviceman, 5459 Corporal (Cpl) Harry Thorpe MM. Thorpe was born at the Lake Tyers Mission Station, near Lakes Entrance, Victoria. He enlisted at Sale on 12 February 1916, and embarked on 4 April 1916 aboard HMAT Euripides from Melbourne. He joined the 7th Battalion in France in July 1916. He was wounded in action at Pozieres in 1916 and Bullecourt in 1917. In January 1917 he was promoted to Lance Corporal (LCpl). On the night of 4 - 5 October 1917 LCpl Thorpe was conspicuous for his courage and leadership during operations at Broodseinde, near Ypres, in Belgium. For his 'splendid example' he was promoted to Corporal and awarded the Military Medal, although the original recommendation was for the Distinguished Conduct Medal. During the advance on 9 August 1918 at Lihons Wood, south west of Vauvillers, France, a stretcher bearer found Thorpe shot in the stomach. He died shortly after and is buried in the Heath Cemetery, Harbonnieres, France, with his friend William Rawlings, another Aboriginal soldier who won the Military Medal, and was also killed on the same day.