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Lemme, Harold William (1888–1917)

Harrold William Lemmie, c. 1916 photographer unknown

Harrold William Lemmie, c. 1916 photographer unknown

Winner (Melbourne), 24 October 1917, p 8

Some time back it was my painful task to record the death of Harold Lemme, who represented Victoria on several occasions in interstate matches, and in addition endeared himself to all by the charm of his personality, and who physically was one of the most hand some young fellows that ever stepped on to a court. I am now able to give an account of the manner of his passing, from which it appears that it was a result of one of those bits of bad luck that must be expected. A man goes through all the big dangers, and then, almost in sight of safety, he gets his finish.

On the night of Tuesday, September 18, his battalion was moving up to the line near Ypres, and had passed through several areas where the Hun was paying particular attention with his shells. The most dangerous area was passed, and the battalion had almost reached its destination, when a stray shell landed about 20yds away from the platoon of the informant, who was the lieutenant of the platoon. Lemme was hit, and though the regimental doctor was handy and immediately went to his aid, it was useless, for death was practically instantaneous. He was hit in the head, and could have known nothing of what happened. He lies buried where he was hit, and a cross marks the grave. His platoon officer states that he was missed very much, and that he was known as a brave soldier.

Harold Lemme at the time of his death was a non-commissioned officer, but had been recommended for a commission, which he would undoubtedly have received had he survived. It is mentioned that he enlisted in spite of a serious motor cycle accident, from which the doctors thought at first he would not recover, and he did not do so for a long time, and when he enlisted the doctors thought that his injuries would unfit him for active service. When in England he arranged several cricket matches, and became so popular that the Mayor of Andover invited him to act as the best man for his daughter. In cricket he played with St. Kilda, and was known as their most dashing batsman, scoring a century against South Melbourne in a Pennant match. He was placed in charge of 100 men from Salisbury Plain to represent Australia in London to receive the colors and shield presented by a citizen of London to the Australian Army, and while in charge of the guard at Salisbury was personally complimented by General Birdwood. A man of many parts who lies in a hero's grave in the fair fields of France.

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'Lemme, Harold William (1888–1917)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, http://oa.anu.edu.au/obituary/lemme-harold-william-22888/text32297, accessed 21 November 2017.

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