About Joseph Hardey
Joseph Hardey was born on the 13th July 1893, to Richard and Kathleen Hardey, who lived in North Perth, Western Australia. He was the first-born son of the couple. Joe attended Scotch College in Claremont.
Joe was working as a shell opener in Broome when war broke out. Joe’s medical was performed in Broome by Smythe Yule and Broome Mayor, W. Clarke-Hall signed his attestation paper.
Joe enlisted with the AIF in February 1915, and was assigned to the 28th Battalion, A Company. He left Fremantle aboard the HMAT Ascanius A11 on July 12th 1915. Joe was promoted to Lance Corporal in August and then to Corporal in December. Joe fell sick with influenza not long after arriving in Greece and was hospitalised for a few weeks. He embarked with his unit for Gallipoli per Ivernia from Alexandria on the 4th September 1915. After the AIF evacuated Gallipoli and underwent re-organisation Joe was sent with his unit to Marseilles. After another brief period of hospitalisation he joined the fighting at Pozieres. Joe was reported missing on the 2nd August, but further investigation revealed that he had been killed at Pozieres.
Pozières : The Battle of the Somme
In July 1916 the 28th Battalion, as part of the 2nd Division was involved in a series of attacks aimed at the capture of key German positions and the wearing down of the enemy. By the 23rd July the 1st & 2nd Division had been successful in capturing the Pozières village despite almost continuous artillery fire and repeated German counter-attacks. A further push to take Pozieres heights was planned for the 29th July but the Germans were ready and the attack failed at a cost of 3,500 Australian casualties, including six men from Broome.
We made a charge on the night of Friday July 28th soon after midnight. The various companies went over in a wave. The Germans opened tremendous fire on us with artillery trench mortar, machine gun and every conceivable form of weapon. The men were falling in all directions.