Rich history in museum

Forbes Museum holds the stories of many of our local service men and women and amongst them is that of Harry Henry Rath.

Rath was awarded the Military Medal for his bravery at Pozieres where he served in 1916.

The Forbes local enlisted in the AIF and served with the 17th Battalion, with history told in The Story of the Seventeenth Battalion AIF by L/Colonel KW Mackenzie MC.

"Runners behaved with conspicuous bravery," the book excerpt at the Museum reads.

"Amongst these were Privates AW McGlashan and M Sharman, H H Rath and C W Ogilvie, who never faltered nor seemed to tire.

"August 16 and 17 found the Seventeenth one more on the move to the forward area, in the vicinity of Pozieres.

"After a night in Sausage Gully the Battalion took over the Sunken Road Trench, near Poziers village, and remained there until the 23rd when it was relieved by the Nineteenth Battalion, in the front line.

"Two days later the 5th Brigade was withdrawn to Tara Hill to act as Divisional reserve.

"On the 28th the Battalion moved back to Warloy, where it stayed until the 31st.

"Here immediate awards of decorations were promulgated.

The Military Medal was bestowed on: Lance-Corporal G Kirkpatrick, Privates H H Rath, C W Ogilvie, A W McGlashan (who subsequently died of wounds), F J Hardy, E Day, N R Bailey and G Shuck."

Twice wounded and returned to service with his battalion in 1917 and 1918, Rath was recovering from a gas shell wound in the 1st Australian Convalescent Depot when the armistice was declared.

He rejoined his unit on November 27, 1918.

They were marched out to England for return to Australia in March 2019.

They shipped out on May 20, 1919, and Rath finally arrived back on Australian soil in July.