54 FAIRNHAM, Henry Harnam

Henry Fairnham 2

54 Henry Harnam Fairnham

Henry “Harry” Fairnham age 30 was a fitter and turner working at the Tramway Workshops, in Randwick. Henry and his brother lived Joseph at 123 Abercrombie st , City (Redfern) he was 5 ft 8 “ and described as of a dark complexion with dark hair going grey.

On the 26th May 1915 Henry was on his way towards the beach to draw some stores from the No .1 Clearing station as he was the assistant Quartermaster, when he was blown to pieces by a direct hit by a shell from “Beechy Bill”.

His friend Cpl. Norman Masters,  gave an account of what happened……..

“I knew Fairnham when we joined in Sydney. He was in my section and we called him Harry. I was with him at Anzac. He was killed about 20 yards from the beach. He was on his way to the beach to draw stores , and was assistant Q/Master. He was hit in the back by “Beachy Bill”. The shell passing right through him. I saw him about a quarter of an hour after he was hit, and he was then dead. We buried him near the beach, and his name can be read on the wooden cross reproduced by the “Sydney Mail” of the 1st Dec. He was one of the best chaps and was always talking of his young lady. He was giving up the job he was on, and it was about his last trip”.
Source : (AWM record) Red Cross File No 1030801D

153 Phillip Carmichael, 209 William Cridland and 154 Albert Anderson, good friends of Henry were informants to his death, they stated how…………….. “ Henry was a reserved and quiet man and a great favourite. He was very highly thought of by all.” …………….“he was one of the best”.

He was buried by his close mates, 209 William Cridland and 154 Albert Anderson ,   Initially buried at the Hillside Beach cemetery Vll – Anzac Cove. His name is also remembered on the historic Anzac Cross “Where Heroes Lie” below.

Henry left a will 2 months before his death, leaving all his property and effects to his young lady back home in Australia.

Miss. M Dodds of 156 Everleigh st, Redfern was his lady back home and she received 2 parcels of his personal effects nearly a year after his death at Anzac Cove.
His possessions consisted of a damaged nickel watch, 6 coins, a purse, a key, stud, 3 pens all damaged, a knife, a sovereign case, 2 pocket books and a handkerchief. Also he had some cards, photos and some stones which perhaps were souvinered from the great Pyramids in Egypt. Small momentoes , but these would have been treasures to Miss Dodds.

Exactly one year later on the anniversary of Henry’s death, Miss M. Dodds inserted in the Roll of Honours in the Sydney Morning Herald the following,

FAIRNHAM.-In loving memory of Sapper H. H. Fairnham
Killed in action at the Dardanelles, May 26, 1915.
On Australia’s roll of honour you will find this hero’s name

………. Inserted by M. Dodds.

Source : (AWM record) Red Cross File No 1030801D

His eldest brother 2329 Joseph Huston Fairnham was also in the AIF and a driver.  He was invalided home in 1919, both parents of Henry and Joseph were deceased.  Joseph was later living with his sister in 1920. He received all of Henry’s medals and war correspondence.

Honour Roll

Published Sydney Morning Herald – Saturday 10 July 1915

FAIRNHAM -Sapper Henry H. Fairnham. 1st Field Coy. Engineers, killed in action at the Dardanelles,

May 20, 1915.

He went, admired and honoured by us all, ,

And fell, a hero, midst the deadly strife.

He did not flinch, at sound of Empire’s call,

For King and country laid he down his life.

Inserted by his fellow-workmates, Turning-shop, Tramway Workshops, Randwick.

Sources: AWM, NLA, NAA

Footnotes:

1. “Beechy Bill”…. the name given to the Turkish battery which constantly shelled the beach at Anzac Cove.

Personal Service Records

NAALogo

For information on the service records of those who served in the First World War please see Australian Service Records from World War I on the National Archives of Australia website.

Location on the Roll of Honour

Henry Harnam Fairnham’s name is located at panel 23 in the Commemorative Area at the Australian War Memorial (as indicated by the poppy on the plan).

AWM Map 1
AWM Map 1

Service Number: 54

Rank: Sapper

Unit: 1st Field Company, Australian Engineers

Service: Australian Army

Conflict: First World War, 1914-1918

Date of death: 26 May 1915

Place of death: Gallipoli, Ottoman Empire

Cause of death: Killed in action

Place of association: Sydney, Australia

Cemetery or memorial details: Beach Cemetery, Gallipoli Peninsula, Canakkale Province, Turkey

Source: AWM145 Roll of Honour cards, 1914-1918 War, Army

Roll of Honour name projection

Henry Harnam Fairnham’s name will be projected onto the exterior of the Hall of Memory on:

  • Mon 8 June, 2015 at 5:44 am
  • Mon 20 July, 2015 at 6:10 am
  • Thu 3 September, 2015 at 11:09 pm
  • Wed 28 October, 2015 at 10:03 pm
  • Fri 1 January, 2016 at 3:22 am
  • Fri 26 February, 2016 at 11:02 pm
  • Tue 19 April, 2016 at 2:25 am
  • Thu 2 June, 2016 at 10:16 pm
  • Thu 14 July, 2016 at 7:29 pm
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