The AIF Project

Henry William PURNELL

Regimental number871
Place of birthGeelong Victoria
AddressMoorabool Street, Geelong, Victoria
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation21
Next of kinFather, Robert Purnell, Moorabool Street, Geelong, Victoria
Enlistment date22 June 1915
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name13th Light Horse Regiment, 2nd Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll number10/18/2
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Melbourne, Victoria, on board HMAT A57 Malakuta on 10 September 1915
Rank from Nominal RollGunner
Unit from Nominal Roll5th Field Artillery Brigade
FateKilled in Action 29 May 1918
Age at death from cemetery records24
Place of burialFrenchencourt Communal Cemetery (Row D, Grave No. 2), France
Panel number, Roll of Honour,
  Australian War Memorial
Miscellaneous information from
  cemetery records
Parents: Robert and Helen PURNELL, Hermitage road, Geelong, Victoria

Military Medal

'For gallantry and devotion to duty at RIBEMONT on 16th May, 1918. Gunner PURNELL with two others endeavoured at great personal risk to himself, to put out blazing ammunition exploding charges and primers in a gun pit. The heat and fumes drove him back repeatedly but each time he returned and continued his efforts, at one time rolling clear of the conflagration, shells which had become dangerously hot. finding that it was impossible to put out the fire, he with two others went into the blaze again and manhandled the gun clear of the fire. This man's courage undoubtedly was of great assistance in preventing the destruction of the Howitzer.'
Source: 'Commonwealth Gazette' No. 23
Date: 12 February 1919

Other detailsMedals: Military Medal, 1914-15 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal

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