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06 March 2010

Private Harold Braley of Belair

Harold Braley was born in Liverpool, England in 1895 and was raised in the same area, serving with 1st Liverpool Western Cavalry Volunteer Cadets in his teens. He emigrated to Australia and by the age of 20 he had married and was living with his wife Ruby at Karrob Lodge, Belair, and working as a motor driver.

He enlisted on 18 August 1915, and embarked for overseas service on 11 January 1916 with the 13th reinforcements for the 12th Battalion. Upon arrival in Egypt he joined the 52nd Battalion on 3 March 1916. A few weeks later he was admitted to hospital with a serious middle ear infection, and was consequently invalided back to Australia for that reason in May 1916. After six weeks at Keswick Hospital he was discharged for deafness on 23 August 1916, just over a year after he enlisted.

On 12 June 1918 he died of meningitis at Keswick Hospital at the age of 23. The meningitis was found to have been aggravated by his service. By this time his wife Ruby had given birth to a child, and in 1920 Ruby Ann Braley applied for a widow's living allowance. Harold Braley's name is inscribed on the honour roll at All Hallows Anglican Church, Coromandel Parade, Blackwood.
Photograph: Courtesy State Records of South Australia and Miss Jean Alley of Belair

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