Henry (Harry) Gillam

Henry (Harry) Gillam

Henry (Harry) GillamHarry had been working as a miner when he enlisted in March 916, joining the 40th Battalion. He was 26, and married to Ellie, the sister of Tom Garwood.

From August 1917, he was deployed fighting in France and Belgium. He was awarded the Belgium Croix de Guerre for his role in action at Passchendaele in October 1917 when he and his men held their line against a German attack. Harry showed ‘bravery and initiative…of the very highest standard‘ [and] ‘conspicuous ability and gallantry‘.

He was awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal in 1918 when ‘he led and fought his platoon with great courage and judgement‘ and ‘his coolness under fire and devotion to duty…won the unstinted admiration of all‘.  He ended the war with the rank of Regimental Sergeant-Major.

On is return to Tasmania, Harry joined the police force, and was posted around the State. In 1944, he took on a government role for the rehabilitation and employment of ex-servicemen. His son, Kenneth, served in WWII and at the siege of Tobruk.


Harry’s story is part of our exhibition: Our Grateful Thanks and Loving Remembrance, a moving and deeply personal exhibition remembering the soldiers whose names are immortalised on the Ross War Memorial.