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My father Harry Varnham was badly wounded at Le Quesnoy and soon afterwards was operated on and had one leg amputated. He had previously been injured on the Western Front and had spent at least a year recovering from gangrene at the NZ soldiers hospital at Waltham-on-Thames. Like many men, he was sent back to France late in 1918. He never recovered from the war, suffered depressive episodes throughout his life, and committed suicide in 1970. My sister and I remember him as a kind but troubled father who found consolation in being with other 'diggers' at the Wellington RSA. While war heroes are praised and the dead commemorated, the walking wounded like our father receive little attention in official histories.
Public - Mary - Child - 23 November 2018