US museum to return WWI soldier’s skull to Australian Army

By , on October 4, 2017


A Philadelphia medical museum says the skull of an Australian soldier who was shot in World War I and died days later will be returned to the Australian Army. (Photo by Anastasia R/Flickr, CC BY-ND 2.0)
A Philadelphia medical museum says the skull of an Australian soldier who was shot in World War I and died days later will be returned to the Australian Army. (Photo by Anastasia R/Flickr, CC BY-ND 2.0)

PHILADELPHIA — A Philadelphia medical museum says the skull of an Australian soldier who was shot in World War I and died days later will be returned to the Australian Army.

The Mutter (MOO’-ter) Museum says a military attache for the Australian Embassy will meet with museum officials in the coming weeks to take the skull.

The military attache, Brig. Shane Gabriel, says in a letter to the museum that the remains are those of 27-year-old Pvt. Thomas Hurdis, of New South Wales.

Tuesday’s announcement comes on the 100th anniversary of the soldier’s death.

Hurdis was wounded Sept. 28, 1917, during the Battle of Polygon Wood in Belgium. He died five days later.

Australian politician Linda Voltz has been pushing for the skull’s return. She says it is “reprehensible” that it took so long for the museum to act.