ANZAC Centenary 2014-2018: Sharing Victoria's Stories

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WWI Stories – William Patrick Harris

Patricia Di Stefano shares the story of her Great Uncle, William Patrick Harris.

My Great Uncle, William Patrick Harris, was on the first voyage of the Orvieto from Port Melbourne to Egypt in 1914.

He sadly lost his life on the Gallipoli landing on 25 April 1915 – he was only 25.

He was the only son of Thomas and Rosa Harris of West Melbourne. My mother was named Orvieto in his memory when she was born in 1916. I have a postcard photo of Great Uncle William (he is the one on the left) and a soldier friend taken when they were out of the trenches. It was sent to his sister, my grandmother. The writing on the back of the card has faded somewhat but it basically says “you can see I’m pretty thin but I will soon pick up now we are out of the trenches”. That was the last contact my grandmother had with her brother.

Private William Patrick Harris_Postcard 2  Private William Patrick Harris_Postcard

Private William Patrick Harris Memorial Plaque