Harry showed value of work

The Northland Age - - Local News -

Pukenui’s Harry Lamb is one of three New Zealand sol­diers who sur­vived World War I whose sto­ries have been re­mem­bered in WW100’s lat­est cam­paign, Find­ing Our Way Back.

He did not re­turn home un­scathed how­ever, but with an ar­ti­fi­cial arm. Grand­son Nigel Her­ring re­mem­bered that some had called him Harry Hook, or Harry Hookum, be­hind his back.

Harry was wounded by ar­tillery fire eight days after his brother died in bat­tle on the West­ern Front. With a shat­tered el­bow, he hauled him­self three miles in knee-deep mud to a field am­bu­lance sta­tion. His arm was am­pu­tated, and he was sent home with the pros­thetic that gave him his nick­name.

As part of his re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion he un­der­went 72 days’ train­ing in short­hand, book­keep­ing and typ­ing, but, with good money be­ing paid for kauri gum, he learned to dig the Far North swamps de­spite his dis­abil­ity.

“Harry is a great ex­am­ple of the Kiwi can-do at­ti­tude,” Mr

"He started with next to noth­ing. Ev­ery­thing he achieved was done by hard work and sheer blood­y­mind­ed­ness. How many other one-armed gum dig­gers were out there?"

Grand­son Nigel Her­ring on Harry Lamb

Her­ring said.

“He started with next to noth­ing. Ev­ery­thing he achieved was done by hard work and sheer bloody-mind­ed­ness. How many other one-armed gum dig­gers were out there?”

Later, granted land at Pukenui un­der the Dis­charged Sol­diers’ Set­tler Scheme, he be­came a suc­cess­ful farmer de­spite the dif­fi­culty of clear­ing and plough­ing land and milk­ing cows with an ar­ti­fi­cial limb.

He gave his name to Lamb Rd, and Lamb’s Bridge, on SH1 at Pukenui.

Se­nior dig­i­tal ad­viser Matthew Tonks said WW100 was de­signed to re­flect New Zealand’s ex­pe­ri­ence on the bat­tle­fields of Tur­key, Europe and the Mid­dle East, and on the home front. Al­most 10 per cent of New Zealand’s pop­u­la­tion served in World War I, and the jour­neys back for those who sur­vived took many dif­fer­ent routes.

The trauma ex­pe­ri­enced by re­turn­ing sol­diers and nurses af­fected them and their fam­i­lies in un­told ways, the gov­ern­ment sup­port­ing them by way of train­ing, loans, land set­tle­ments, pen­sions and re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion schemes.

Pukenui veteran Harry Lamb is one three World War I sol­diers who fea­tured in WW100’s lat­est cam­paign.

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