Harry Varnham was scarred both physically and mentally by his experience of World War One. In this episode of Great War Stories, his family explain why they believe the trauma of war eventually led him to take his own life decades later. Wounded during the Battle of Messines in Belgium, Varnham returned to the front and was seriously wounded again at Le Quesnoy. He was evacuated to London; he was just 19 when his leg was amputated. Back in New Zealand, Varnham married later in life and had two daughters, but he never overcame the mental scars from his time serving in WWI.
He was troubled all his life. I guess none of us can prove that he definitely committed suicide all those years later because of it, but I believe he did. I believe he was so traumatised.– Mary Varnham, on World War One causing her father to commit suicide
Made with funding from NZ On Air