James (Roy) Braidwood MM MID

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James (Roy) Braidwood MM MID
Braidwood James Roy.jpg
Western Mail 6 Aug 1915 page 1s
Personal Information
Date of Birth 21 Apr 1889
Place of Birth Norwood, South Australia
Death 25 Jul 1963, aged 74
Place of Death Sydney, New South Wales
Age at Enlistment 25 years, 4 months
Description 5' 10½" (1.79m) tall ; 135 lbs
61.235 kg
; dark complexion ; brown eyes ; dark brown hair ; two gunshot wounds right upper arm
Occupation Farmer
Religion Church of England
Address River road, Kelmscott, Western Australia
Next of Kin Father , Mr Duncan Henry Braidwood
Military Information
Reg Number 1773
Date of Enlistment 29 Aug 1914
Rank Sergeant
Unit/Formation 8th Battery, 3rd Field Artillery Brigade / 1st Division
Date of Embarkation 2 Nov 1914 ‒ 3 Dec 1914
Ship Embarked On HMAT A7 Medic Albany to Alexandria
Date of Return 13 Aug 1915 ‒ 10 Sep 1915
Ship Returned On HMAT A32 Themistocles Port Suez to Fremantle
Fate Wounded in Action 6 May 1915 at Gallipoli
Returned to Australia
Monument Kelmscott War Memorial (West panel)
Medals Military Medal
Mentioned in Despatches
1914-15 Star
British War Medal
Victory Medal

Pre War

Prior to his enlistment he was farming in East Brookton. On enlistment it is noted that he has two gunshot wounds to his right upper arm [too young to have served in South Africa]. He had also completed 8 years with the CMF.

War Service

On entering camp Roy was allocated to the 3rd Field Artillery Brigade as a Driver, and may have been sent to Victoria to undertake specialist training. His records indicate, however, that he embarked for overseas on 2 Nov 1915. His Unit's War Diary indicates that they and HMAT A7 Medic were in Albany Harbour at that time so his training may have been in Western Australia. Roy embarked for overseas service as a Sergeant.

The battery was landed near Gabe Tepe (Anzac Cove) on the 1st of May. On the 6th, with the battery only partly dug in on a ridge near Gabe Tepe, the guns were run out to a firing position, the required number of shells fired, and then quickly run back to pits dug to provide some protection.

It was around 4:00pm on 13 May 1915, during the removal of the guns back to their pits after firing a second set of 20 rounds, that the enemy, now keenly aware of the gun's position, fired back. A shell landed beside the gun and wounded James in the buttocks, and Gunner Lovell in the chest and right arm. The Battery Commander immediately wrote up Sergeant Braidwood along with another Sergeant for their conspicuous gallantry, in the unit's War Diary. On 13 Jun 1915 special mention in the 1st Division's Orders was made of his acts of conspicuous gallantry and valuable service during the period 6 May and 28 Jun 1915.

Evacuated from Gallipoli on 13 May 1915 aboard the captured German steamer SS Lutzow, later known as HMT Huntsend, Roy was admitted to the 17th General Hospital in Alexandria. On 20 Jul 1915 he was transferred to a Convalescent Hospital at Helouan, a suburb of Cairo.

He was repatriated to Australia on 13 Aug 1915 and later received a Medical discharge by the 5th Military District on 26 Jul 1916 due to shrapnel wound to his left buttock and paralysis of his lower left limb. Given the time gap between his arrival home and his discharge it might be assumed that he spent time in the 8th Australian General Hospital at Fremantle.

Five days after his discharge (1 Aug 1916), Roy seeks to enlist for Home Service. Medical notes record that he had two gunshot wounds to his right upper arm, one shrapnel wound and an operation scar on his left hip and broken knuckle joint on his right hand. He served as a Sergeant Quarter Master with the No 3 Training Battalion and No. 22 Depot Company before being discharged at his own request on 30 Sep 1917. However, a memo on his file suggest that he had claimed to have been hospitalised in the Mount Hospital in December 1919 whilst employed on Home Service. There is nothing in his records to support the claim.

Newspaper Articles


The following promotions have been made in the artillery:- ... Corporals, J. R. Braidwood..[1]


The military authorities expect the troop ship Themistocles with over 700 returned soldiers of the Australian Imperial Force on board to reach Fremantle during this afternoon or evening. The sick and wounded for Western Australia number 70, and it is again extremely satisfactory to record on the advice of the District Headquarters that there are no disciplinary cases among these, also that the whole of the cases of sickness are directly incidental to military service.

With the exception of seven men, the rest of the returning heroes will be removed to the military hospital, Fremantle, in motor cars, which will be provided by the Automobile Club of Western Australia. On this occasion District Headquarters has been instructed by the Defence Department, Melbourne, to permit, as far as possible, facilities for a public reception to the returned men, and accordingly it has been arranged that the soldiers shall reach the wharf at Fremantle about half-past 8 to-morrow morning. A military band will await the arrival of the men at the wharf and as soon as possible after the time stated our sick and wounded will be conveyed in motor cars direct to the military hospital, via the main streets, headed by the band.

The hour mentioned may appear somewhat early, but has been fixed as suiting best the convenience of all concerned. The seven "cot" cases will be removed to the hospital in ambulance vehicles.

The authorities announce that the returned soldiers may be visited at the military hospital, Fremantle after arrival there, on presentation of the necessary pass, which must be procured from District Headquarters, James-street, Perth. The revised list of the men. returning to Western Australia in the Themistocles is, as follows:-..8th Battery, Field Artillery...Sergeant J. R. Braidwood.[2]


London. Nov 5. Sir Ian Hamilton's despatches from the Dardanelles mention the following members of the Australian forces: Artillery.... Sgt J. Braidwood.[3]


The annual picnic and sports this year were held in aid of the Sandbag Fund, and proved a very successful function, the surrounding districts turning out enmass to help the movement. Sergeant Roy Braidwood, at present an inmate of the No. 8 Military Hospital at Fremantle, was also subjected to an eulogy for his bravery, along with many other brave comrades at the front.[4]


Invitations for next Tuesday's luncheon in the Town Hall have been issued by the Soldier's Welcome Home Committee to Anzac heroes as follows:-...Sergeant Braidwood, J.[5]

Although Roy re-enlisted on 1 Aug 1916 - he was deemed 'fit for home service only'. In Oct 1916 he was acting as RQMS to No 3 Training Battalion before being discharged at his own request on 30 Sep 1917 after paying for kit issued to him.

Sgt Braidwood M.M. is the new secretary of the W.A. Association of Soldiers' and Sailors' Relatives.[6]

Award Commentary

Special Mention in 1st Australian Division Orders No 161.

"Act of conspicuous gallantry for valuable service during period 6 May to 28 June 1915."[7]

Military Medal.

"At Anzac as No.1 of a gun which was detailed to be run from its pit by hand up to the parados of the infantry trench, a distance of about 100 yards of which 15 yards were in the open in clear view of the enemy trenches. On arrival at the parados 20 rounds were fired at the enemy works at a range of 350 yards. The gun was then run back to its pit. This operation was carried out on three different occasions".[8]

A more comprehensive although incomplete story is told in the Australian War memorials website. Despatch of 25th August 1915, AIF Gallipoli. Particulars relating to both Sgt Braidwood and Sgt Wallis W.D. read

"These sergeants are brought to notice as representing two gun detachments of the 8th Battery who, after very great difficulty, succeeded in bringing a section of the battery, under the Officer Commanding - Major Bessel-Browne - on to the summit of the 400 Plateau. The guns were dug in, rear of the crest of the hill but it was found that, owing to the shortness of the range and flat trajectory of the guns, it was not possible to engage some works which the enemy had constructed within 350 yards of our infantry trenches and was improving, and which were becoming a source of very great danger. In accordance with the orders of the G.O.C. that these works were to be shelled, on the afternoon of 5th May the guns were run out into the open with drag ropes a distance of 60 to 70 yards, and under terrific cross fire from the enemy's batteries, engaged the works mentioned. After firing 15 to 20 rounds the guns were withdrawn from the open into the emplacements without loss of life or injury to material. On the following morning - 6th May - the G.O.C. desired that this target be again engaged in order to break down the work that the enemy had constructed during the night. The......

(unfortunately the rest of the despatch is not included on the AWM site)

Post War

On his return from France, Roy became a carpenter, living in Nedlands until around 1958 when he was a builder living in Mt Pleasant, before moving by 1963 to Clontarf in N.S.W. Although he died in NSW, he was buried in Karrakatta cemetery.

During 1918 James married Ethel Geddes(1892-1934) in Perth. A daughter, Ida Margaret was born in 1927 and died in 2009. Ethel died in 1934 in Perth aged 42.

During WW2 Roy served in the Militia's 1st (Perth) VDC Battalion with Regimental No. W48406. Taken on strength on 18 Mar 1942, he was promoted Corporal Cook for 'A' Company on 16 Aug 1942 in Nedlands. On 5 Nov 1943 Roy was promoted Sergeant, and on 8 Sep 1944 he was transferred to the 2nd (Fremantle) VDC Battalion. On 1 May 1945 he was, along with the rest of his unit, placed in Reserve.


Records held by Australian Archives do not give any detail of his service from his original enlistment until his wounding at Gallipoli.


  1. "THE EXPEDITIONARY FORCE.". The West Australian. XXX, (3,867). Western Australia. 3 September 1914. p. 7 (SECOND EDITION.). Retrieved 25 May 2017 – via National Library of Australia. 
  2. "WESTERN AUSTRALIA.". The West Australian. XXXI, (4,188). Western Australia. 3 September 1915. p. 8. Retrieved 25 May 2017 – via National Library of Australia. 
  3. "MENTIONED IN DESPATCHES.". The West Australian. XXXI, (4,242). Western Australia. 6 November 1915. p. 11. Retrieved 25 May 2017 – via National Library of Australia. 
  4. "COUNTRY.". The West Australian. XXXII, (4,304). Western Australia. 18 January 1916. p. 4. Retrieved 25 May 2017 – via National Library of Australia. 
  5. "ANZAC DAY.". The West Australian. XXXII, (4,385). Western Australia. 21 April 1916. p. 5. Retrieved 25 May 2017 – via National Library of Australia. 
  6. "SOCIAL NOTES.". The West Australian. XXXIII, (4,873). Western Australia. 15 November 1917. p. 8. Retrieved 25 May 2017 – via National Library of Australia. 
  7. 'London Gazette', Supplement No. 29354 (5 Nov 1915); (Commonwealth Gazette No. 12 - 27th Jan 1916 Page 156, position 22. [Gen Ian Hamilton CIC MED])
  8. London Gazette of 27 Oct 1916 and 'Commonwealth Gazette' No 62 page 918, position 87. Date: 19 Apr 1917.

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