A century on from the end of World War I we acknowledge their service …
Lest we forget.
Private Povl (Paul) Jorgen Holdensen
Born: 1 April 1893 Denmark. Died: 1957, Melbourne.
Enlisted: 3 June 1916 aged 23.
Served: Western Front.
Born in Denmark, Paul migrated family to Australia in 1898 with his family, who purchased a 320-acre property on the Gembrook Road in Upper Pakenham which they called “Linden”.
Paul worked at Moyles‘ orchard and at 6 feet 3 inches tall and with striking blond hair, he must have appeared like a Viking giant compared to most of the other Pakenham volunteers.
Two brothers, Peter and Lindberg, also volunteered to enlist, but neither saw active service.
In August 1918, Paul took part in the Australian attack on German positions near Villers-Bretonneux. While the 8th Machine Gun Company achieved its objectives on the first day (8 August) without casualty, the next day Paul was severely wounded by shrapnel in the right arm, hand and leg. He was evacuated to England and his war was over.
In May 1919, Paul won a Berwick Shire tender for fencing work in Upper Pakenham.
By 1937, he was living in Dandenong and working as a driver and carrier.
In 1938, he married Muriel Evelyn Dennis of Dandenong and lived in “Four Winds”, Heatherton Road, Dandenong.
This is an extract from Patrick Ferry’s book A Century After The Guns Fell Silent – Remembering the Pakenham District’s WWI Diggers 1914-18.
For more details on this and other profiles in the book, head to the website www.pakenhamww1.com