Enlisting in Cape Town on the 16th of August 1915 at 19 years of age, Harry Quitowitz of Salt River began his journey to the Western Front. The only surviving child (Albert died 8 years old in 1908) of his Mother Maria and his unknown father. Interestingly, Harry listed his religion as church of England, however he was Jewish and is listed within The British Jewry Book of Honour (listed as Qoitowitz). Harry disembarked from the “Golden Eagle” on the 29th of June 1916, likely saving his life as he arrived too late to participate in the battle of Delville wood. Harry was a frontline infantryman, who was attached to Trench mortars.
On the 10th of November 1917 Harry was wounded by shrapnel in the right arm, being treated first by 2nd Australian general hospital in Boulogne before being transferred to the South African Medical hospital at Richmond outside of London. Harry returned to France on the 5th of March 1918 and was wounded on the 8th of May 1918. Harry was again transferred to the South African Medical hospital at Richmond from the 2nd Australian general hospital in Boulogne after suffering multiple gunshot wounds to the Abdomen, right forearm and thigh, and left side of the scalp. He was diagnosed with Tachycardia in July also, whilst at Holly Park Hospital in North London and given his B.2 health status.
Harry was transferred then to a labour company and remained in the UK, not returning to France. Harry arrived back home to South African after 3 years and 264 days of service on the steamer Crieta and was discharged on the 6th of May 1919. Harry sadly suffered heavily due to his injuries, and even though requests were made to receive a more adequate pension, these were declined. Harry’s mother died sometime in June 1923 and was buried at Maitland road cemetery on the 17th of that month. Maria’s death certificate lists her a widow, but no trace could be found of Harry’s father.
This group is accompanied by extensive documentation, including several different sets of Harry’s enlistment & discharge documents, medical examination documents in relation to his pension, and the associated first-hand account of his injuries and service.