The Blind WW1 Soldier


Frank Horace Barnett was born in Brighton England around 1889. He migrated to Queensland around 1910 and obtained work at CSR Co Ltd. in Bundaberg. In 1914 he relocated to the Town of Windsor, just before WW1 broke out.  Frank enlisted in the AIF, July 1915.

On the battlefield In France, 3 July 1916, (in the area of Mouquet Farm), Frank was severely wounded when his both eyes, as well as his hands, were hit by shrapnel. He was transferred to a Hospital in England, and it was found that his eyes had been destroyed. Frank was returned to Australia in July 1918.

The Town of Windsor had always given great support to their local servicemen. The citizens and council rallied around to give support to Frank and his wife, (who he had married soon after he returned from England).

Mr F Marsden, an Albion Timber Merchant donated two acres of land in Wesley St Lutwyche, and the Town Mayor, William Jolly, set up a building fund to collect donations to build a house on this land. Local residents and other sympathisers provided the nearly four hundred pounds to buy the materials. The council were able to organise local builders and tradesmen to donate their services to construct this home.

On Saturday 14 December 1918 the completed home was presented to Private Frank Barnett and his wife by Queensland Governor, Sir Hamilton Goold-Adams.  Windsor Town Mayor William Jolly and the lady Mayoress, along with all the local aldermen and their wives, and a large crown of local residents, witnessed the presentation.

Frank and his wife named their house “Brighton”.

A son was born in 1919. Frank learnt the art of typewriting and enjoyed poultry farming.

Frank passed away in 1944 and his wife lived on in the house until her passing in 1959.

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