His DCM Citation reads: "For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty. He attacked an enemy machine-gun single-handed, killing five of the enemy and capturing twelve others. He afterwards captured twelve of the enemy in a dug-out, from which they were about to open fire with machine-gun upon the flank of his platoon. He showed spledid coolness and determination".
Henry sailed from Wellington on Saturday 27th May 1916 bound for Devonport (U.K).
His first major action was at Flers, during the Battle of the Somme. In October 1916, then New Zealand Division moved north to serve around Sailly -sur-la -Lys, where they remained until the end of February 1917. Henry's next move was to cross the border in Belgium and begin tours in the Ploegsteert and Messines sectors.
The Battle of Messines was heralded with an immense bombardment on the German lines by all types of shells, including gas, then finally, nineteen mines were blown along the Messines Ridge that signalled the infantry assault. Henry charged toward the German lines. The assault initially went well, but was held up by the machine gun that he silenced. For his bravery and good work he was awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal. He continued fighting for two days before being relieved to the trenches to the south of Messines.
Fighting continued for some time, and it was on a tour of duty in the front line that Henry was killed. [Extract from "The Ploegsteert Sector", Paul Foster FRSA. 2012.]
Submitted by: Neville Jeffery
Relationship to casualty: My Father's Uncle
Text in italics supplied by Cenotaph Online, Auckland War Memorial Museum