James Candish

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James Candish
Candish James 21919.jpg
Personal Information
Date of Birth c1881
Place of Birth Melbourne, Victoria
Death 1956
Place of Death Coburg, Victoria
Age at Enlistment 34 years, 8 months
Description 5'8¼" (1.73m) tall ; 153 lbs
69.4 kg
; fair complexion ; blue eyes ; fair hair
Occupation Farmer
Religion Church of England
Address Armadale, Western Australia
Next of Kin Mother , Mrs Mary Ann Candish
Military Information
Reg Number 21919
Date of Enlistment 4 Jan 1916
Rank Driver
Unit/Formation HQ 23rd Howitzer Brigade / 3rd Division
Date of Embarkation 20 May 1916 ‒ 18 Jul 1916
Ship Embarked On HMAT A7 Medic Melbourne to Plymouth
Date of Return 4 Jul 1917 ‒ 31 Oct 1917
Ship Returned On HMAT A54 Runic Devonport to Fremantle
Fate Returned to Australia
Monument Armadale War Memorial (West Armadale panel)
Armadale and Districts Roll of Honour
Medals British War Medal

Pre War

On the 1916 electoral roll, James was described as a brickmaker living in Armadale.

War Service

At enlistment James gave Armadale as his address. Entered Blackboy Hill camp as a member of the 47th Depot Company, on 25 Jan 1916 and on 12 Feb 1916 was allocated to the Artillery reinforcements, and sent to Broadmeadows camp in Victoria to complete his initial training. Before embarking he was made a Driver and allocated to the 23rd Howitzer Battery Headquarters.

On arrival in England, James spent time at Magdalen Camp in Winchester, rejoining the 23rd Battery on 13 Oct 1916 at Durington Park, Winchester. On 26 Oct 1916 he was transferred to the 3rd Division Ammunition Column (3DAC) at Larkhill in England, and on 20 Nov 1916 he was transferred to the No 4 Command Depot in Wareham, and reported sick the same day with rheumatism. James was admitted to Wareham hospital. On 3 Mar 1917 he left hospital for No. 2 Command Depot at Weymouth to await a voyage home on HMAT A54 Runic.

On arrival in Perth he was discharged with Rheumatism and debility.

Discharged 5th Military District (Karrakatta) 17 Jul 1917.

James' records are not detailed given the short period of his service. There is no evidence that he had reached France, despite his story about being wounded. Neither is there any entry in his records for units in France, or a window of time during which he could have served in France. Furthermore his records show him as being not eligible for the Victory Medal which was awarded to all who entered an active war zone i.e Egypt, France, or Belgium).

"...James Candish will have a tale to tell when he comes home, for there is more than meets the eye in the brief postcards which he sent to his mother. 'Three of us went straight over to headquarters and to the firing line. I got my despatch through, but I did not get back. Oh that shell! It was a bonzer. It blew my horse's head off, and I got a bit of a scratch on my arm, and I knew no more till I woke up in the hospital..." He was wounded on the 6th September, 1916; convalescent in England." [1]

Post War

On his return from England he moved to Victoria, and on the 1919 Electoral Roll he was living in Brunswick working for a gas company. In 1924 he had married and was now described as a stoker. 1934 address is Dawson street, Brunswick, Victoria, and in 1937 we find that he has moved the family to Box Hill, still employed as a stoker, and by 1949 they are in Ferntree Gully.

At some point he applied for a pension which was rejected on the grounds that he was "not incapacitated from earning a livelihood."


  1. "The Drill of the Foot-Hills" (PDF) (1917). Western Australia. Mar 1917. p. 15. Retrieved 16 May 2017 – via State Library of Western Australia. 

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