William Harold James, known as Harold, was born 21 February 1896. He was the second of three children to Thomas James and Eleanor Jane Chard of Coromandel Valley. He spent his early years working the market garden with his parents. Aged 19 he enlisted for active service with the 10th Infantry Battalion 9-12 reinforcements. He embarked on HMAT BENALLA 27th Oct. 1915 for Egypt. The 50th Battalion was raised in Egypt 26 Feb 1916, 500 of the 10th were transferred to the new 50th including Harold. They arrived in France on 11 June 1916 as part of the 4th Australian Division and fought their first major battle between Aug13th – 15th 1916 at Mouquet Farm where the 50th suffered heavy losses. Harold was promoted Corporal then to Sergeant on the 27th August 1916. Harold was believed to have died 2 April 1917 but four months later he was identified by the Red Cross as a prisoner of war. He returned to Australia and died 13 April 1968. Information provided by a family member.
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