Henry, son of William Kitching, was born in Lancashire, England and came to Australia in 1909. At the time of his enlistment in December 1915 he was a farmer at Myall Creek and a member of the Rifle Club there. He left the district with the First Contingent of Inverell’s Kurrajong recruiting march in January 1916.
As a Private with the 33rd Battalion C Company he trained at the Armidale and Rutherford camps prior to departing Australia for England on HMAT A74 Marathon in May 1916. Just before his Battalion went to France in November he was promoted to Sergeant and attended Bayonet Fighting School at Aldershot. During the Battle of Messines in June 1917 he was wounded however within two weeks he had rejoined his unit. Later that year he was promoted to Second Lieutenant.
In 1918 he was wounded again and admitted to 3rd London General Hospital for treatment of a neck wound. Following this he was awarded the Military Cross ‘For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty.’ His citation stated ‘He was wounded in the neck during the advance, but refused to be evacuated until relieved. Throughout he displayed the greatest determination, excellent leadership and splendid courage.’
Lieutenant Kitching returned to Australia in 1919 and was one of nine returned men given a welcome home function by residents and friends at Myall Creek. In 1920 he married Jessie Dufty and lived in the Inverell district until his death in 1949. His name is recorded on the Myall Creek Rifle Club and Myall Creek Memorial Hall Honour Rolls. At Inverell his name is inscribed on the Inverell Honor Roll.
Photo: courtesy of family