Private David Bernard Harford

Service number 3844
Birth Date 1886-10-28
Birth Place Australia: Western Australia, Albany
Death Date 1917-03-31
Death Place France
Final Rank Private
Service Australian Imperial Force
  • 51st Australian Infantry Battalion
  • 51st Australian Infantry Battalion
  • 51st Australian Infantry Battalion
Conflict/Operation First World War, 1914-1918

David Bernard Harford was born at Albany, Western Australia, on 28 October 1886. His mother would later state that "he was born in a spring cart at Albany after us doing a journey of [fourteen] hundred miles." Previous to the First World War, Harford had distinguished himself as a capable rifleman, winning several prizes in rifle club competitions while also taking up work as a miner and general labourer. The 28-year-old enlisted with the Australian Imperial Force on 14 July 1915 and departed Fremantle with the 28th Infantry Battalion aboard HMAT Miltiades on 12 February 1916.

On arriving in Egypt Harford noted in his diary his surprise at seeing gum trees lining some of the streets in Cairo. After being sent to England for further training he was deployed to the Western Front with the 51st Infantry Battalion. The unit fought its first major battle at Mouquet Farm in August and September where it suffered huge casualties. For the remainder of 1916 and throughout the bleak winter Harford and his battalion alternated between front-line duty, training, and labouring behind the line. During this time he continued to document his experiences at the front in his diary. Early the next year the Australian forces in France cautiously pursued the German Army as it withdrew to the heavily fortified Hindenburg Line. On 31 March 1917 Harford sustained a gunshot wound and died that same day whilst being treated by the 5th Australian Field Ambulance. David Bernard Harford is buried at Pozières British Cemetery at Ovillers-La Boisselle, France.



Date of birth 28 October 1886
Date of birth 28 October 1886
Date of enlistment 14 July 1915
Date of embarkation 12 February 1916
Date of death 31 March 1917
Date of death 31 March 1917
Date of outcome 31 March 1917