Harold Corbett

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Harold Corbett
Personal information
Full name Harold William Corbett
Born 1890
Waterloo, New South Wales
Died 3 May 1917
Bullecourt, France
Playing information
Position Halfback
Years Team Pld T G FG P
1911–12 Eastern Suburbs 5 0 0 0 0
1913 Annandale 3 0 0 0
Total 8 0 0 0 0

Harold William Corbett (1890–1917) was a pioneer Australian rugby league footballer and soldier who served in World War I and died on the Western Front.

Rugby League[edit]

Brought up in Sydney's Eastern Suburbs Corbett attended Waverley Public School. He played for the Eastern Suburbs and Annandale clubs of the New South Wales Rugby Football League premiership. Corbett was in the Easts' squad during their first and second premiership years of 1911 and 1912. He was the 56th player to play first-grade for Eastern Suburbs.

His father William Francis Corbett (1857–1923) and brother Claude Corbett were both well-known Sydney sporting journalists.[1]

War service[edit]

Harold also gave his occupation as "Journalist" when he enlisted in the first AIF in 1915. He embarked from Sydney on board HMAT A21 Marere in August 1915 as a Sergeant in the 19th Battalion of the 5th Brigade (New South Wales).[2] The 19th Battalion had been raised in 1915 and was first sent to Gallipoli where it fought against the Turks, before being withdrawn from the peninsula and being sent to France in early 1916, where it served in the trenches along the Western Front as part of the Australian Corps.

In 1917, the 19th Battalion was involved in the attack on German forces after their retreat to the Hindenburg Line. Corbett was killed in action on 3 May 1917 being the first day of battle of Second Bullecourt.[3] He has no known grave but is commemorated at the Commonwealth Memorial in Villers-Bretonneux.

Roll of honour, Australian National Memorial, Villers-Bretonneux cemetery
View from the top of the Australian National Memorial at Villers-Bretonneux cemetery where Corbett and 770 other Australian fallen are honoured


  • Whiticker, Alan & Hudson, Glen (2006) The Encyclopedia of Rugby League Players, Gavin Allen Publishing, Sydney

Online sources[edit]


  1. ^ Cuneen, Chris (1981). "Corbett, Claude Gordon (1885 - 1944) Biographical Entry". Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 8. Melbourne University Press. Retrieved 2009-06-04. 
  2. ^ H Corbett war record
  3. ^ Middleton, David (24 April 2010). "Footy stars taken on battlefield". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 3 January 2012.