Name: Harold James Rust
Service Number: 5309
Unit Served: 6th Motor Transport Company AASC
On the 12th of July 1915 Harold at the age 24 enlisted in the army. Little did he know that he only had just over three years and four months to live.
Harold was born in Newcastle, NSW in 1891 where he lived for three years. His family then moved to South Australia and from there to Melbourne for a brief period. He then went to New Zealand where he remained for nine years and received his education. Eventually he settled in South Australia where he married Nellie Steer in 1912. He worked as a carpenter and was a member of the Adelaide Salvation Army City Band. At the time of his enlistment Harold and Nellie had two children and lived in Prospect.
On the 18th of November 1915 he embarked for Egypt as a member of the “A” Company of the 32nd Battalion on the H.M.A.T Geelong. They arrived at their destination on the 14th of December and disembarked four days later. In Egypt Harold was transferred to the 8th Field Ambulance on the 14th of March 1916 and two days later was promoted to Lance Corporal. On the 21st of that month Harold left Egypt to join the British Expeditionary Force destined for the Western Front. He became sick with influenza on the 17/7/1916 and was taken to Hospital in Camiers. After recovering Harold joined the 12th Field Ambulance and returned to the rank of Private. Nearly two months later, he was evacuated sick and sent to England on the 3/2/1917 with a ‘pyrexia of uncertain origin’. Harold spent 24 days in hospital with a disease called nephritis and was discharged on the 28th of February, but he soon returned suffering once again from nephritis on the 16/3/17 and spent another 79 days in hospital. Harold was sent back to France on the 14th of June. The following day he arrived at the Australian General Base Depot in Rouelles, and from there he joined the 1st BMTD on the 25th. A short time later (6/7) Harold was transferred to the “K” supply column. Near the end of September 1917 Harold was given the rank of Artifice (craftsmen), which means he was probably used for his skills as a carpenter. On the 7th of February 1918 he was sent on leave to the UK and rejoined on the 24th. Harold was moved to the Australian Corps Troops Mechanical Transport Company on the 12th of March, where he was eventually placed in the 6th Motor Transport Company. He was promoted to Corporal Artifice on the 2/4/18 and on the 9th of October he was promoted to Temporary Sergeant. The war came to an end on the 11/11/1918. While in the field just two days after the ceasefire, Harold was taken to the 12th Australian Casualty Clearance Station with an unidentified illness. Harold survived the war but unfortunately contracted the disease broncho-pneumonia (influenza) and died from it at 11am on the 19th of November 1918. He was buried the following day in the Busigny Communal Cemetery Extension in France.