WEEKES, Henry Hallam

Henry’s parents, William and Selina Weekes, registered his birth at Tenterfield NSW in 1890.  When he enlisted in January 1916, Henry gave his address as Riverstone, Bonshaw, NSW. He was a twenty five year old Labourer and had previously been rejected due to his chest size.

Henry was one of nineteen men to leave Inverell together on 1 February 1916.  Many of these men had signed up at the recruiting rally held just before the First Contingent of The Kurrajongs left Inverell on 12 January 1916. He became a member of the 33rd Battalion, C Company, which trained at Armidale and Rutherford prior to sailing from Australia on HMAT A74 Marathon in May 1916. 

After nine weeks at sea, the Battalion arrived in England where further training was undertaken at Salisbury Plain before going to France in November. Henry was appointed Lance Corporal in August 1917.  He had two bouts of illness and in April 1918 was gassed. This resulted in him being invalided back to England where he was admitted to 1st Southern General Hospital, Birmingham for treatment. He returned to his unit in August and was wounded in action a month later. Again he was returned to England and admitted to Beaufort War Hospital, Bristol with a gunshot wound to his leg.

Private Weekes returned home in April 1919 on the ship Derbyshire and was medically discharged in June. The following year he married Trilby Phifer, sister of his fellow soldier, Oswald Phifer, who was best man.  They lived at Bonshaw where Henry had the license for the Hotel, until moving to Queensland to live.  Henry died in 1964. His name is inscribed on the Bonshaw Honor Roll. 

Photo: Private Collection