John (Jack) Balshaw

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John (Jack) Balshaw
Personal Information
Date of Birth 28 Jul 1893
Place of Birth Bacup, England
Death 20 Sep 1982, aged 89
Place of Death Kelmscott, Western Australia
Description 5'6" tall ; 119lbs
53.977 kg
Address Kelmscott, Western Australia
Next of Kin Wife , Mrs Jane Balshaw
Military Information
Reg Number W3537
Date of Enlistment 21 Jul 1941
Rank Corporal
Unit/Formation W Command RR & GDD (Staff)
Post War Details
Medals 1914-15 Star
British War Medal
Victory Medal

WW1 & Pre WW2

On 5 Jan 1915, giving his age as 21 years, 6 month old, John enlisted at Preston in the British Army for the duration of WW1 with regimental number 73752. On 3 May 1915 following basic training he was posted to the 13th Division's Artillery and served in the No. 3 Section of the 13th DAC in France from 13 Nov 1915 until 3 Jul 1917 as a Driver. On 28 Jun 1917 he sought medical assistance for influenza, and on 4 Jul 1917 he was admitted to the 13th Canadian Field Ambulance and then on to the 1st Canadian General Hospital who on 10 Jul 1917 had him embark on the HMHS Brighton for the Brook War Hospital in Woolwich, England suffering with synovitis to both knees.

Recovered, he was posted again to the Expeditionary Force, joining the BEF in France on 17 Oct 1917 where he was posted to the 86th Brigade on 6 Nov 1917. Granted leave on 19 Oct 1918, he spent 3 days in the care of the 55th Casualty Clearing Station, but remained in France until 14 Mar 1919, before returning to the UK where he was discharged on 31 Mar 1920.

His misdemeanors include an AWOL charge from Midnight 18 May until 5:30pm on 19 May 1915 for which he forfeited the day's pay. Then on 4 Nov 1916 he was awarded 14 days Field Punishment No 1. for insubordination on 31 Oct 1916, and on 18 Nov 1916 he was awarded another 7 days Field Punishment No 1 for ill treating a mule on 15 Nov 1916.

John arrived in Fremantle aboard the SS Hobson's Bay from Southampton on 4 Apr 1929 with wife Jane (18 Jun 1896 - 11 Jun 1975) and 8 year old daughter Mary (b.17 Apr 1920).

Electoral Roll entries: 1931 - 1943 River road, Kelmscott, labourer

WW2 Service

discharged 18 Sep 1947

Post War

Electoral Roll entries: 1949 - 1980 at 44 Buckingham road, Kelmscott, brickmaker. Jane died 16 Jun 1975 in Kelmscott, aged 78.


Field punishment could be awarded by a court martial or a commanding officer for any offence committed on active service. There were two categories of field punishment. Field Punishment No 1. required the soldier to be shackled to a wheel, a tree, or similar immovable object for several hours each day. All offenders awarded field punishment would march with their unit, carry their arms and accoutrements, perform all their military duties as well as extra fatigue duties, and be treated as defaulters.

Jack's ashes, along with those of his daughter Mary Thorne, and her husband Leslie R Thorne were scattered in the sea off Waikiki Beach, Western Australia. A plaque is included in the Waikiki Memorial Wall.

External Links


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