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New Zealand Army 12957

26th Battalion New Zealand Infantry


His wife Sylvia. He was the son of Harry and Annie Trotman of Ogilvy Street Leongatha

1939 in New Zealand

New Zealand

He worked for the Public Works Department

23 November 1941, aged 34 in Libya

He is buried in Knightsbridge War Cemetery Acromal Libya

His name is on the Leongatha Memorial and at Leongatha Secondary College (formerly Leongatha High).

Harry was a member of the Trotman family of Leongatha. He grew up in Leongatha and was a well known local man.

He started school at Leongatha State School in 1913, then went on to Leongatha High School. Harry worked in the Leongatha area after leaving school. During the 1930's, he and his wife Sylvie went to New Zealand where her parents lived and he secured a position with the Public Works Department. Harry worked in road, railway, and bridge construction as a foreman.

Military History

Harry Trotman was a soldier in the 26th Canterbury and Otago Battalion of the New Zealand Expeditionary Force.

In 1939, following the declaration of war with Germany, Harry enlisted in the army with a number of his workmates. The New Zealand forces were sent to North Africa then Greece and Crete. After the German victory in Greece, they were evacuated from Crete and returned to Libya. The New Zealanders with other British troops fought Rommel's German Africa Corps. The operation "Crusader" offensive, which was established to relieve the forces under siege at Tobruk, started in November 1941. The Germans attacked the Sidi Rezegh ridge in force. The New Zealanders struggled in a bloody clash and by nightfall on the 23 November had suffered 450 casualties. Harry was killed in action on that day aged 34.

He is buried in the Knightsbridge War Cemetery Acromal Libya. His four brothers, all of whom attended Leongatha High School, served in the Australia armed forces.


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