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John Edmund Harris was born in Sebastapol , was 24 years of age, unmarried, and employed as a letter carrier when he enlisted in Ballarat on 18th August 1914. That was the first day that enlistments opened in Ballarat. John Harris had served in the militia unit in Ballarat for some years through the name changes from 70th Regiment to 7th Australian Infantry Regiment. He had been a Sergeant in the Transport Section of the militia unit, and so he was enlisted in the rank of Sergeant. As part of the reorganisation the Battalion Transport Officer was included in the draft sent to form the 60th Battalion. Sergeant John Harris was promoted Lieutenant and appointed Transport Officer for the 8th Infantry Battalion on 12th March 1916.
Lieutenant Harris was wounded in action on 28th July 1916, but remained on duty. Life in the Transport Section of a Battalion in the front line was quite dangerous. Resupply had to be as far forward as possible, and then by carrying party if necessary. John Harris was admitted to 5th Australian Field Ambulance on 6th December 1916 suffering from a fever, and was discharged to duty 4 days later. He continued his duties as Battalion Transport Officer until he suffered an accident with a horse on 6th July 1918. He was accidentally crushed by a horse. The accident left Harris with a severe fracture of his right femur. Tree No. 52 , an elm was planted in his honour in the Ballarat Avenue of Honour on the 4th June 1917 by Miss A Richardson, a Lucas 'girl'.
His name appears in the Avenue of Honour, Buninyong
Tree No. 2 in the Sebastapol Avenue of Honour.