Historical information

HENRY SMERDON (Harry) HOLMES was born in 1897 at the family property, ’Sauchieburn’, 17 km north of Ballarat, in the Ascot district. He was the youngest of four children. After finishing his education at St Patrick’s College, Ballarat, Henry joined the Holmes family farming interests. At the age of 18 he enlisted and served with AIF in Egypt, France and Belgium 1915-1918. Henry served at the famous battlegrounds of Ypes and Somme in the Australian Army 8th Battalion. He was a Driver with the 4th D.A.C.

According to his Soldier's Pay Books (Cat. No. 20112) Holmes Registration number was 7983. He was Catholic and enlisted in the Third Military District on 17 September 1915, and embarked on 8 November 1915. Holmes was in the 18th AASC Unit with the rank of Driver at that time.

On 15 November 1918 Holmes was promoted to Lance Corporal.

He received leave on:
* 3 August 1917 - London (10 days)
* 19 February 1918 - Paris (10 days)
* 27 August 1918 - London (14 days)

In 1922 Harry married Edith Pickford of 'Yeovil', Clunes, and they lived at 'Sauchieburn' with Henry's brother Willie. In 1933 Harry and Edith built a new timber home 'Launchley' (Ascot) on the rise east of 'Sauchieburn' on the Ballarat - Maryborough Road. The home was built by Con Zilles to the designs of Clegg and morrow.
In 1938 Harry and Edith purchased a property at Derrinallum, Victoria and called it 'Launchley Park' on their first son's return from World War 2. In 1953 Harry purchased William and Charlotte's portion of 'Sauchieburn' for his son, Bill, and daughter-in-law Margaret. (Unpublished notes by Jane Dyer)

Physical description

Black and white photograph of an Australian World War One in uniform and standing in front of a tent in a studio. The soldier is Henry S. Holmes.

Inscriptions & markings

Verso in pen
"The boys say this isn't to (sic) bad so it will show you any changes. Heaps of love to all. Harry