"Nothing on earth can ever repay, for the sacrifice he made that day"
HOCKIN, Stewart Ray Luxmore
HODDINOTT, Herbert Henry
HODGES, Arthur John
HOLBROOK, Thomas Charles
HOLDEN, Thomas George
HOLLAND, Thomas Edwin
HOLLOWAY, Thomas Kent
HOLMES, Harry Hanley
HOLZBERGER, Harold Joseph
HOPKINS, Robert Bramwell
HORROCKS, James Owen
HORROCKS, Stephen Henry
Service no 292
Born Wigan, Lancashire, England
Son of Henry and Mary HORROCKS
Of Forrest Street, Palmyra, Fremantle, WA
Occupation prior to enlistment Mill Hand
Enlisted 02 March 1915
Served on Western Front
Prisoner of War
Died of wounds in Germany on 2 August 1916
Aged 28 years
Buried Achiet-Le-Grand Communal Cemetery Extension IV X 1
HOWELL, George Julian
GEORGE JULIAN "SNOWY" HOWELL V.C. M.M.
1st Battalion, 7th Reinforcement
Place of birth 19th November 1893, Enfield, NSW
Howell was employed as a builder before enlisting on 3 June 1915, alotted to the 7th Reinforcements of the 1st Battalion as a Private, he embarked from Sydney for Egypt on 14 July aboard HMAT Orsova. Joining the 1st Battalion at Gallipoli on 1 November, Howell served on the peninsula until the allied evacuation the following month. Returning to Egypt, the battalion spent several months training in the desert in preparation for service on the Western Front.
The 1st Battalion embarked for France in March 1916, and by April the unit was entrenched in the Fromelles sector. In the third week of July, Howell was severley wounded in the Battle of Pozieres while taking part in the Somme offensive.
In preparation for an attack on the Hindenberg Line at Bellecourt the 1st Australia Brigade, of which the 1st Battalion was part, was attached to the 2nd Australian Division. The attack commenced in the morning of 3 May 1917, with the 2nd Division lined up in conjunction with thirteen other divisions. Despite some progress made early in the attack, the Australian forces were soon held up by strong opposition, and in the evening the 1st Battalion was entrenched in the old German line known as 'OG1'. Three of the battalion's companies occupied the line, while a fourth was placed in reserve. Their position was such that they occupied a wedge into the German line, while two flanks were in German held territory, it was during this engagement that Howell was to perform the act which was to earn him the Victoria Cross
“ At 06:00, Howell, who was in charge of a post to the right of the line, noticed the battalion on the right flank was being forced out of its trench and was beginning to retire. Immediately alerting battalion headquarters, Captain Alexander MacKenzie—who had assumed temporary command of the battalion—hurriedly organised a group of non-combatant soldiers from headquarters together with several signallers to form a defensive line along a road bank in order to fend off the expected German advance. A fierce bombing and grenade fight soon ensued, with both sides suffering heavy casualties. Fearing the Germans would outflank his battalion, Howell climbed onto the top of the parapet and began running along the trench line throwing bombs down on the Germans, all the while being subject to heavy rifle and bomb fire. Forcing the Germans back along the trench, Howell was supported by Lieutenant Thomas Richards who followed him along the trench firing bursts from his Lewis Gun. Soon exhausting his supply of bombs, Howell began to attack with his bayonet until he fell into the trench wounded Howell had been hit in both legs by machine gun fire, and when he was brought into the clearing station some hours later, it was discovered he had suffered at least twenty-eight separate wounds. Due to his actions, the ground which had been lost was soon retaken, and the German attack was later repulsed.”
Howell's multiple wounds at Bullecourt required a prolonged hospitalisation period for treatment, and he was sent to the Norfolk and Norwich War Hospital in England. Promoted to sergeant, Howell returned to Australia on 31 October. Having not adequately recovered from his wounds, he was discharged from the Australian Imperial Force on 5 June 1918 on medical grounds. Howell's father and one of his brothers had also served on the Western Front during the First World War; his father with the 54th Battalion and his brother, Frederick, with the 1st Pioneer Battalion.
In December 1953, following his wife's death, Howell moved from Sydney to Western Australia. Accompanied by his grandson, the pair arrived in the Perth suburb of Applecross, where Howell was to live with his married daughter, Norma. He later moved to Gunyidi, via Watheroo, where he was to reside for a few years before returning to Perth. In 1956, he joined the Australian contingent of Victoria Cross recipients who attended the parade in London's Hyde Park to commemorate the centenary of the institution of the Victoria Cross.
Howell died at the Repatriation General Hollywood Hospital, Perth and was granted a funeral with military honours, before his body was cremated and his ashes interred at Karrakatta Cemetery. Howell's name is commemorated by a plaque in the Western Australian Garden of Remembrance.
Businessman Kerry Stokes spent more than $600,000 for Snowy Howell’s Victoria Cross medal then promptly donating it to the Australian War Memorial. His other medals, which include a Military Medal awarded for gallantry a month earlier, sold for $600,000 the Nobles auction of coins and medals.
War memorial senior curator Nick Fletcher said the Howell medals had passed through the hands of a number of collectors and were displayed most recently at the militaria museum in Maryborough, Queensland. Some of the Howell medals included his medals from from World War II.
Courtesy of Joy Dalgleish