Skip to main content

Harry Varnham Great War Story

Video file

The video for this story about Harry Varnham screened on Newshub on 21 April 2017.

Upper Hutt farm worker Harry Varnham was keen to do his bit for the war effort but his experience in the front lines would have a lifelong impact on his mental health. In 1916, although too young, he enlisted in the New Zealand Expeditionary Force. He was sent to the Western Front, where he faced the horrors of trench warfare and was severely wounded, resulting in the loss of his right leg. Harry returned home to New Zealand and built a life for himself, eventually marrying and having children. Sadly, he was never quite the same. War had taken its toll and he struggled to escape the mental scars of his experience. Decades later Harry took his own life.

Further Information



Video: Produced and directed by Anna Cottrell, AC Productions for MediaWorks Newshub. Made with the support of NZ On Air. See full video credits here (pdf)

How to cite this page

Harry Varnham Great War Story, URL:, (Manatū Taonga — Ministry for Culture and Heritage), updated