Studio portrait of an Aboriginal serviceman, 5459 Corporal (Cpl) Harry Thorpe MM. Thorpe was born ...

Unit 7th Australian Infantry Battalion
Accession Number P01695.002
Collection type Photograph
Object type Black & white
Physical description Black & white
Maker Unknown
Date made c 1916
Conflict First World War, 1914-1918
Copyright

Item copyright: Copyright expired - public domain

Public Domain Mark This item is in the Public Domain

Description

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.