Frederick Harrison snr enlisted in Liverpool, Sydney, on 11 July 1915, aged 44 years. He served for two years, before being invalided home from Egypt with severely fractured ribs. He was serving with the Imperial Camel Brigade in Abbassia when he sustained his injuries.
Born in Bradford, England, in 1864, Frederick served two years with the West Lancashire Yeomanry before migrating to Australia in 1885. He settled in the Shadforth district and married Annie Eliza Totten in Orange in 1890. Frederick and Annie had five children, all of whom were born in the Orange district.
Frederick was employed as a miner at the Wentworth Mine at Lucknow, and played cricket for the town’s team. In August 1897 he was appointed vice-president of the Lucknow branch of the Australian Miners’ Union as the mine employees made the decision to strike in protest of intrusive searches and accusations of theft. Fred was subsequently appointed assistant secretary of the Strike Committee.
By the late 1890s Frederick had moved his family to Neutral Bay in Sydney.
Fred embarked for overseas service on 9 November 1915, a private in the 30th Battalion, 1st Reinforcement. He disembarked in Suez on 11 December and was transferred to the British Camel Corps at Abbassia on 24 January 1916. He served with the Camel Corps for almost a year before sustaining the wounds that would see him invalided home. On 5 February he was admitted to 54th Casualty Clearing Station at El Arish with fractured ribs. He was transferred to the 24th Stationary Hospital and the 14th Australian General Hospital before rejoining his unit on 10 April 1917.
Frederick was hospitalised again in early May and on 11 July 1917 – exactly two years after enlisting – boarded HT Port Sydney in Suez for return to Australia. He disembarked in Sydney on 14 August 1917 and was discharged from the Australian Imperial Force due to medical unfitness on 21 September 1917.
Frederick died in Mosman on 14 November 1945, aged 81 years.
Frederick’s sons Thomas, Richard, and Frederick jnr also served in WWI. Frederick jnr was invalided home in November 1915; Richard returned to Australia in February 1919 and Thomas was killed in action in France in July 1918.