Their bodies are buried in peace; but their names liveth for evermore.
Their Duty Done
A tribute to the men and women of the East Gippsland Region who Died as a result of their participation in World War One : 1914 -1919
1044 Private Daniel Joseph Hardy MM - Cobbannah / Dargo Killed in Action 12 October 1917
The Hardy family were long-time residents of the Cobbannah/Bulgoback area and when the men of Dargo rode through to enlist at Sale in April 1916, Daniel and his brother Percy, also enlisted. Daniel was the eldest child of seven children born to Charles and Sophie Hardy with the children all being born at Stratford. The children were all educated at Wuk Wuk, near Lindenow before taking up farming activities. By the end of 1917, 450 men including the Hardy brothers, had enlisted from the Shire of Maffra and in such close knit and small communities their absences were felt deeply. It reverted to the women and younger siblings to act as farm labourers in their absence. After initial training in Australia the 37 th  Battalion embarked from Melbourne on the Percis on 2 June arriving at Plymouth on 25 July 1916. Four months later they travelled to France and joined the fight. Daniel developed dermatitis, a common complaint among the men, and was admitted to hospital 4 January 1917. He was transferred to the 51 st  General Hospital two days later. His dermatitis didn’t respond to treatment and he was transferred to the 26 th   General Hospital in Etaples for further treatment and re-joined his unit early in February. He spent the next two months on detachment with the 8 th  Army Construction Corp before return to the Field and duty with his unit on 23 March 1917. It appears from Daniel’s records that he often acted as stretcher bearer and assisted in retrieving the injured from the field. At 8.30am on 12 October, at Passchendaele, Daniel was a stretcher bearer during the advance and was killed instantly by a high explosive shell while carrying wounded out from the front line. A fellow bearer carrying the same stretcher testified that he was blown to pieces and we could not bury him. When his brother Percy, who was in the same company, heard that he had been killed he took it upon himself to write home to inform his people.   Daniel was 28 years old when he died and at the end of the war his remains located and re-interred at Tyne Cot Cemetery, Passchendaele. Daniel’s devotion to his duty as a stretcher bearer resulted in him posthumously being awarded a Military Medal. On 25 January his family was notified of the award and his actions were published in the London Gazette on 1 February. The award was for his action on 4 October, the week before his death, when east of Ypres, he displayed conspicuous gallantry in action. He was untiring as a stretcher bearer in attending to wounded under heavy shell and machine gun fire. He voluntarily organised and controlled the other stretcher bearers, and was instrumental in having all the wounded in his neighbourhood rapidly evacuated. His example was a fine inspiration to the other bearers. The following year, in 1919, Daniel’s sister Grace wrote on behalf of her mother to the Department about Daniel’s effects and discovered that they had been despatched home on the Barunga however this vessel was lost at sea, with all cargo, as a result of enemy action on its way to Australia, the officials saying that no hope [should] be entertained of the recovery of the articles so lost. They were, however, able to provide a list of what was lost : his ID disc, letters, testament, metal mirror and comb in case, pencil, stylo pen and a metal chain with bullet attached. In all, six cousins of Daniel Hardy fought in the war; two were killed in action, another was awarded a Military Medal and four returned home. His brother Percy who enlisted at the same time returned safely on 6 July 1919 suffering from shell shock.  Within two months of Percy’s return, their father Charles died, leaving his mother to run the property. Four years later, in November 1923, their mother Sophie wrote to the Department saying I have had no word as yet re my pension, have you forgotten me? I expect to hear soon also to get all of the back pay as it is not my fault I have not been drawing it since my son was killed. I was never notified about it. Sophie hadn’t received Daniel’s medals until 1922 and may have expected that nothing would happen until such time as she had been acknowledged as next of kin with the issuing of the medals. Daniel Hardy is remembered in the Dargo community and on the Wuk Wuk School Honour roll.
….. displayed conspicuous gallantry while under fire