James Murray Whiteley

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James Murray Whiteley
photo courtesy Kim Fletcher
Personal Information
Date of Birth unknown
"unknown" contains an extrinsic dash or other characters that are invalid for a date interpretation.
Place of Birth Pyap, South Australia
Death 13 Nov 1951, aged 57 (Suicide)
Place of Death Victoria Park, Western Australia
Age at Enlistment 21 years, 9 months
Description 5' 10½" (1.79m) tall ; 161 lbs
73.028 kg
; fair complexion ; grey eyes ; brown hair
Occupation Axeman
Religion Roman Catholic
Address Armadale, Western Australia
Next of Kin Father , Mr Joseph Whiteley
Military Information
Reg Number 2941
Date of Enlistment 22 Jul 1915
Rank Sergeant
Unit/Formation 16th Battalion, 9th Reinforcement, transferred to 12th Brigade Machine Gun Company later designated 4th Machine Gun Battalion.
Date of Embarkation 4 Oct 1915 ‒ 27 Oct 1915
Ship Embarked On HMAT A20 Hororata
Date of Return 4 Jun 1919 ‒ 16 Jul 1919
Ship Returned On SS Bremen
Fate Returned to Australia
Monument Armadale War Memorial (West Armadale panel)
Armadale and Districts Roll of Honour
Medals 1914-15 Star
British War Medal
Victory Medal

Pre War

War Service

Soon after entering Blackboy Hill camp, James was allocated to the 9th reinforcement draft for the 16th Battalion, and sailed with them to Egypt.

He joined the 16th Battalion at Ismailia where the battalion was reforming after its time on Gallipoli. Soon after, the formation of two new Australian Divisions resulted in James joining the 48th Battalion on 13 Mar 1916. Eight days later, he was reallocated to the newly formed 12th Brigade Machine Gun Company which marched to Serapeum on the Canal via Mahsama and Moascar.

After two months on the canal, the unit proceeded to Alexandria where on 2 Jun 1916 they sailed for France, arriving 11 Jun 1916 in Marseilles. On arrival in France, he was sent on a course at the School of Instruction.

On 22 Aug 1916 at Berteaucourt Les Dames, north west of Amiens, he was appointed Lance Corporal, and on 29 Dec 1916 promoted Temporary Corporal while his unit was in Fremont near Amiens. Further promoted to Temporary Sergeant near Fricourt east of Albert on 15 Feb 1917, which was confirmed on 28 Mar 1917 while the unit was resting at Le Sars, midway between Bapaume and Albert.

On 31 Dec 1917 James was detached for duty with the Australian Machine Gun Depot. Spent most of 1918 as part of the permanent cadre at the Australian Machine Gun Training Depot near Grantham in England. He also spent some time in hospital with mumps during Feb/Mar 1918 and at Park House in June 1918 with Influenza.

Returned to France via Dover on 2 Oct 1918, and joined the 4th Machine Gun Battalion near Reincourt. In Dec 1918 he began to have problems with his right knee and it was the middle of March 1919 before he was fit to rejoin his unit.

Discharged 5th Military District 7 Sep 1919.

"...Went to Egypt and afterwards to France, where he fought as a machine gunner through the July and August engagements, 1916. Now Lance-Corporal."[1]

Post War

On 3 Mar 1928 James married Lexie Dorothy McNabb in Perth. Lexie was granted a divorce on 2 Mar 1942 on the grounds of constructive desertion, and she married Dr William Horner Nelson by special licence on 20 Feb 1943. 1933 birth notice for daughter Elaine Dorothy gave address as 7 Kent street, Victoria Park; (1 other child ?).

1920 Post Office Directory - farmer in Armadale; Electoral Roll entries - 1925 a timber worker at 88 mile camp, Hotham; 1928 a mill hand at Jarrahwood; 1931 he is on the government trams and living at 25 Hovea terrace, South Perth. 1933 birth notice for daughter Elaine Dorothy gave address as 7 Kent street, Victoria Park; 1936 - 1937 at 30a Leonard street, Victoria Park, still working on trams; 1943 - 1951 James alone at 10 Litchfield street, Victoria Park, tramway employee.


  1. "The Drill of the Foot-Hills" (PDF) (1917). Western Australia. Mar 1917. p. 12. Retrieved 16 May 2017 – via State Library of Western Australia. 

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