Private John (Barney) HinesPrint Page Print this page


Photographs supplied by Charmaine Yeo

The monument commemorates Private John (Barney) Hines who served in World War One. 

John Hines was drifting around Australia working at different jobs before he joined the Australian Imperial Force in 1915. He was heavily tattooed and gave his age as 28, but was in fact much older.  He was known for his prowess at collecting 'souvenirs' from German soldiers. Hines was the subject of a famous photo taken by Frank Hurley which depicted him surrounded by the loot he had captured during the Battle of Polygon Wood in September 1917. This image is among the best-known Australian photographs of the war.

He was born in Liverpool, England in 1873, but he wasn't called John Hines. He was known as John Heim, and was born Johannes Heim in 1878 to German parents in Liverpool.  John grew up in a community where most people came from an Irish background and he himself married a Liverpool woman with an Irish surname. His parents, Jacob and Dora Heim, came to Liverpool from Germany in the 1860s. His father Jacob was one of the many Germans that worked in Liverpool's sugar refining industry.

Hines served in the Royal Navy in 1896 and the King`s Liverpool Regiment in 1895, as well as working in several different occupations. He was later a merchant seaman and disappears around 1904.  He then reappears as John Hines in the criminal records in New Zealand in November 1904 and eventually moves to Australia in 1915, and volunteered for the Australian Imperial Force in August 1915.

Although discharged due to poor health in early 1916, he rejoined in August that year and served on the Western Front from March 1917 to mid-1918 when he was discharged again for health reasons. During his period in France he proved to be an aggressive soldier, and gained fame for the collection of souvenirs that he amassed. Following World War One, Hines lived in poverty on the outskirts of Sydney until his death in 1958.


Address:Great Western Highway, Waterholes Remembrance Garden, Mount Druitt, 2770
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -33.777214
Long: 150.807691
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Monument
Monument Theme:People
Actual Event STart Date:04-August-1914
Actual Event End Date:28-June-1919


Front Inscription

Top Plaque:
The Face that got the Kaiser`s goat! . When the photo of brazen World War 1 digger John (Barney) Hines, The Souvenir King, fell into the hands of Germany`s Kaiser Wilhelm he promptly put a price on Barney`s head, dead or alive. But the `barbarian` the Kaiser believed typical of Australian troops on the Western Front, spent the rest of his days in Mount Druitt and died in Concord Repatriation Hospital in 1958, age 84. John Hines Road in Minchinbury recalls the lovable larrikin. (Australian War Memorial).

Bottom Plaque: 
2296 Private J. Hines
45 Battalion
2.1.1958 Age 84.

Source: MA,NRWM
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au
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