Historical information

James Stewart Noel Harris was born in Rutherglen on 21 March 1905 to John Richards Harris and Jessie Lily nee Prentice. His father was a doctor in Rutherglen. John later entered politics and was knighted for his services in May 1937.

After finishing his secondary schooling James (Stewart) Harris moved to Melbourne to study law, becoming a resident of Trinity College in 1925 and rising to become Senior Student in his final year, 1928-29. He enlisted in the Air Force Cadets at Point Cook in 1925 and transferred to the Air Force Reserve in 1930. On 7th October 1940 James transferred to active service as a Flight Officer. He worked his way up the ranks, being appointed Wing Commander in 1944. He also served as Chief Instructor of the RAAF School of Administration, receiving the RAAF Long Service Commendation. The RAAF School of Administration and Special Duties had moved from Ascot Vale to Trinity College in 1942 meaning that James Harris' service career had returned to the place it began in 1925. In 1945 he requested to be transferred back to the Reserve so that he could resume his civilian life.

On discharge, James returned to Wodonga and resumed his legal career. In the early 1930s he had joined the legal practice of Mr. Edmondstone which had opened for business in High Street, Wodonga in 1886. The practice continued to develop and in 1966 was joined by Lou Lieberman, becoming known as “Harris Lieberman & Co”. Harris Lieberman still operates in Wodonga and Albury.
James Stewart Noel Harris died in Wodonga on 30th November 1978.


This item is significant because it recognises the War Service of a prominent citizen of Wodonga.

Physical description

A colour printed certificate presented to James S. N, Harris in appreciation for his service for "King and Empire" during World War II. The text is surrounded by columns and an arch. The Australian and British flags are at the top as well as representations of the Navy, Army and Air Force. It also features the logo of the Shire of Wodonga above the text. The badge of the Commonwealth Armed Forces is at the centre bottom of the certificate.

This small collection also includes black and white photographs of James Samuel Noel Harris in uniform and also saluting on presentation of an award recognising his service in 1942.

Inscriptions & markings

On Certificate:
James S. N. Harris
as a record and an appreciation of Your Services to King and Country during the Great War which commenced 3rd September, 1939.
Given under the Common Seal of the Shire of Wodonga by the President, Citizens this Councillors and Citizens this
25th day of February 1946
C F Pollard, President