James Francis Ottaway

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James Francis Ottaway
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Personal Information
Date of Birth c1894
Place of Birth Milang, South Australia
Death 23 Feb 1949, aged 54
Place of Death Nedlands, Western Australia
Age at Enlistment 21 years old
Description 5'4" (1.63m) tall ; 126lbs
57.153 kg
; dark complexion ; brown eyes ; brown hair
Occupation Civil Servant
Religion Church of England
Address Maddington, Western Australia
Next of Kin Father , Mr Jabez Ottaway
Military Information
Reg Number 2971
Date of Enlistment 20 May 1915
Rank Corporal
Unit/Formation 5th Pioneer Battalion, 6th Reinforcements
Date of Embarkation 22 Jul 1915 ‒ ?? Aug 1915
Ship Embarked On HMAT A67 Orsova
Date of Embarkation 30 Oct 1916 ‒ 28 Dec 1916
Ship Embarked On HMAT A16 Port Melbourne Fremantle to Devonport
Date of Return 17 Mar 1916 ‒ 30 Apr 1916
Ship Returned On HMAT A11 Ascanius England to Fremantle
Date of Return 15 Nov 1919 ‒ 26 Dec 1919
Ship Returned On HMT Ypiranga
Fate Returned to Australia twice
Monument Gosnells Road Board Honour Roll
Medals British War Medal
Victory Medal



Pre War

War Service

Detailed records for his service with the Medical Corps are missing. What is known is that he enlisted with Service Number 4863 and was allocated to Medical staff at the No.1 Convalescent Depot in Harefield, London. At some point he also served with the No. 2 Convalescent Depot.

He returned to Australia the first time as a member of Nursing Staff on HMAT A11 Ascanius on 30 Apr 1916, having left England on 17 Mar 1916. It would appear that he was then released to duty at the 2nd Military District (Sydney) where he was posted on 28 Oct 1916 to the 6th reinforcement draft for the 5th Pioneers.

On 28 Dec 1916 James returned to England with the Pioneer reinforcements on HMAT A16 Port Melbourne. Following training in England he proceeded overseas aboard HMT Golden Eagle from Folkestone on 28 Feb 1917. After 5 days with the Base Depot at Étaples, James and 148 other reinforcements joined the 5th Pioneers on 7 Mar 1917 near Flers where they were working to shore up trenches in the front lines under constant shelling by German batteries.

On 28 Dec 1917 he was hospitalised with an accidentally broken left wrist, while they were in the Hesdigneul-lès Béthune area rebuilding and retraining. Admitted to the 25th General Hospital on 13 Jan 1918, he was transferred to the No 1 Convalescent Depot in Boulogne on 22 Feb 1918. On 6 Apr 1918 he reported to the Base Depot in Le Havre, before rejoining the 5th Pioneers in the field at Bussy-lès-Daours, near Amiens on 3 May 1918. From 19 Jun until 6 Jul 1918 he was granted leave in England before again rejoining the 5th Pioneers.

On 17 Dec 1918 he arrived in England from France, detached from the battalion for duty with AIF Headquarters. Still having problems with his wrist he spent from 2 - 27 Jan 1919 in the 3rd Australian Auxiliary Hospital before commencing with the Australian Army Pay Corps. On 28 Mar 1919 he was promoted Temporary Second Corporal.

Meant to return to Australia aboard the SS Cap Verde, he returned on the [HMT Ypiranga]]. Discharged by the 5th Military District on 24 Feb 1920.

Post War

In 1930 James married Aisla Lillian Nicholls. Ailsa died on 24 Oct 1936, aged 35 in Como. In 1941 he remarried, this time to Alma Heather Guy.

Electoral Roll entries: 1925 at 87 Rookwood road, Mt Lawley, civil servant; 1929 at 20 Mann street, Cottesloe, civil servant; 1931 at 13 Commonwealth avenue, Balkatta, civil servant; 1939 at 49 Emmerson street, Leederville, civil servant; 1943 at 7 Esplanade mansions, Perth, clerk

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