Photo of Kettering First World War victim tracked down for use on Australian memorial

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Photographs of a Kettering-born soldier who died during the First World War have been tracked down following an appeal featured in the Northants Telegraph.

The Returned Services’ League (RSL) – the Australian equivalent of the Royal British Legion – in the town of Emerald, Victoria, wanted a photograph of Harold Hales, who signed up for the Australian Army in January 1915 at the age of 18 after having headed Down Under in 1914. He died of his injuries a year-and-a-half later.

His next of kin address was given as Argyll Street in Kettering, and the RSL wanted to find a picture of the soldier to adorn its new Anzac Walk memorial, which opens next year featuring plaques with a personal and military history plus a photo of the 32 men local to Emerald who died in the conflict.

An RSL spokesman said: “A digital copy of a photograph of Harold Hales has been sent to us. We can now put a face to the name and we have an image to imprint on Harold’s new plaque.”

Anzac Day is a national day of remembrance in Australia, New Zealand and some other Pacific island nations, taking place on April 25 each year.

It is held to mark the anniversary of the Anzac – Australian and New Zealand Army Corps – expedition in Gallipoli in 1915, meaning next year is the centenary of the remembrance tradition.

Between 75,000 and 80,000 servicemen enlisted in the Australian and New Zealand military died during the First World War.