• Denning Roy Howard : SERN 213 : POB Manilau NSW : POE Paddington NSW : NOK F Denning W

Denning Roy Howard : SERN 213 : POB Manilau NSW : POE Paddington NSW : NOK F Denning W
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Barcode:
3501047
Series:
B2455

Image courtesy of National Archives of Australia

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Comments
    • amaanrafiq17
    • Tuesday, 14 June 2016

    I researched about Roy Howard Denning for my assessment and i found a lot of information about him. Roy Howard Denning was born in Marulan, NSW on the 23rd November 1888 to father William Denning and mother Eliza Denning. He lived in Narrabeen in NSW. Roy Denning’s parents moved to Yass so Roy went to the Yass district school. He was of the congregational religion. Roy Howard Denning used to work for Clyde Engineering company as a carpenter until he joined the Australian Imperial Force (AIF). His service number was 213. Roy Denning was a handsome man. He had fair complexion, grey eyes and light brown hair. He was also 1.62 metres tall weighing around 55 kilograms. Roy Denning was 26 years and 10 months old when he enlisted. He enlisted in Sydney on the 7th September 1914. Roy Denning’s first unit was 1st field company engineer with rank of Sapper. He departed from Australia on 18th October 1914.The boat Roy Denning’s went on was called HMAT AFRIC A19.The places he travelled to were Gallipoli Bay, Istanbul, Malta, France and England. When Denning’s first joined the Australian Imperial Force he did not know what to expect. In his own words he said: “I had no idea what a sapper was, however I had placed myself unreservedly in the hands of the military to be sent to any part of the world. They could order me to go to my death if necessary. They could have me shot if I refused to obey orders. I had thought of all this and signed my name.” Roy was a very compassionate man and deep down he was a gentle soul. He willing to be a soldier even though he was untrained and unprepared. Roy Howard Denning landed at Gallipoli on 25 April 1915 and he was shot on his back during the shooting and he was evacuated to the Malta hospital to treat the wound to his back. He re-joined his unit on 23rd October 1915. During his enlistment Roy Denning was promoted to second corporal then corporal and on 3rd April 1917 he was promoted to sergeant. He detached from field activity on 3rd March 1918 but later re-joined on 10th Mach 1918. He returned to Australia on15th November 1918 and reached Sydney on 26th of December 1918. Roy Howard Denning was discharged from the AIF on 24th February 1919 because of medical issues. War is tough on the soldiers. The war took its toll on Roy. When he returned to Sydney it has been recorded that he looked older beyond his years and there was a sadness and distance in his gaze. The war had left Roy with bruised remnants and his family became innocent victims as they lived with Roy’s struggle to rebuild himself after the war. Roy once described the living environment as harsh and dangerous. Not only trenches were under threat or attack from guns and bombs but they there were many health risks. Trenches were often muddy and waterlogged and they were always crawling with rats and lice. Diseases were extensive and some examples were trench fever (infection caused by louse faeces) and trench foot (infectious and swelling of feet exposed to long periods of dampness and the cold). Roy was devastated by the outbreak of World War II. He was afraid that his own son would be called up for war and he would suffer constantly from sleeplessness, hives and nightmares about war when he came back. Roy denning died at the age of 87 on 23rd August 1976. He died of old age. Roy’s legacy to all of us is a book called “Anzac Digger- An Engineer in Gallipoli and France. “He tried to get his work published in the early 70s but publishers were not interested in the First World War at the time. Roy and his wife did not get to see their hard work published before they died. Their daughter Lorna finally got the book published in 2004 Amaan Rafiq