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Cenotaph

Record detail

Full Name
Harry John Laurent
Rank Last Held
Lieutenant Colonel
Forename(s)
Harry John
Surname
Laurent
Also Known As
Henry Laurent
War
  • World War I, 1914-1918
  • World War II, 1939-1945
Serial No.
24/213
Gender
Male
Date of Birth
15 April 1895
Place of Birth
Tarata, Taranaki, New Zealand
First Known Rank
Rifleman
Occupation before Enlistment
Engineer
Next of Kin
J.M. Laurent (father), Lake Road, Hawera, New Zealand
Marital Status
Single
Enlistment Address
Care of J. Campbell, Tokaora, New Zealand
Enlistment Date
May 1915
Age on Enlistment
20
Military District
Wellington
Body on Embarkation
2nd Battalion, New Zealand Rifle Brigade
Embarkation Unit
A Company
Embarkation Date
9 October 1915
Place of Embarkation
Wellington, New Zealand
Transport
Vessel
Maunganui or Tahiti or Aparima or Navua or Warrimoo
Destination
Egypt
Nominal Roll Number
Vol1
Page on Nominal Roll
407
Military Training
Officer training in October 1918, commissioned 2nd Lieutenant in February 1919.
Campaigns
  • Egypt
  • France
Military Awards
Victoria Cross (VC)
Award Circumstances
Sergeant Laurent was awarded "for conspicuous bravery, skill and enterprise" when, during an attack at Gouzeaucourt Woods on 12 September 1918, he was in charge of an advance group, leading a party of twelve. The squad advanced quickly to attack a German support line that was being strongly held. In the initial attack and in the subsequent hand-to-hand fighting he displayed initiative and leadership, his squad killing a number of the enemy and captured an officer and 111 other ranks at the cost of just four casualties. (from Grant Anderson (1999) Decorations for outstanding gallantry)
Wounds and Diseases
Slightly wounded in action in France in October 1916.
Discharge Date
1949
Last Unit Served
New Zealand Military Forces, Home Service Section, Hawera Area Defence Unit
Place of Death
Hastings,Hawke's Bay, New Zealand
Date of Death
1987
Age at Death
92
Year of Death
1987
Memorial Name
Dunedin, Victoria Cross winners' plaque, Queens Gardens, Dunedin, New Zealand
Biographical Notes
Harry Laurent was recalled for service in October 1939 and served in home defence until his retirement with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel in August 1945.
Description of Image
  • Group photograph, Mr Laurent is on the left beside fellow VC winners Leslie Andrew and John Grant.
  • Portrait, Sergeant H.J. Laurent, VC from Hawera, The Auckland Weekly News, November 28, 1918.
  • Portrait of Harry Laurent in uniform provided by Ross Beddows 2007.
Additional Information
  • Listed at Archives New Zealand as LAURENT, Harry John, VC [Victoria Cross] - WWI 24/213, WWII - Army
  • His medals are held by the National Army Museum, Waiouru, New Zealand
Further References
Sources Used
  • Auckland Weekly News, 1918
  • Nominal Rolls of New Zealand Expeditionary Force Volume I. Wellington: Govt. Printer, 1914-1919
  • Anderson, G. (1999). Decorations for outstanding gallantry. Auckland, The author.
  • Harper, G. & Richardson, C. (2006). In the face of the enemy: The complete history of the Victoria Cross and New Zealand. Auckland, NZ: HarperCollins NZ.
  • The Register of the Victoria Cross. (1997). (3rd ed.). Cheltenham, UK: This England.
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