John Alexander Trotter

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John Alexander Trotter
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Personal Information
Date of Birth unknown
"unknown" contains an extrinsic dash or other characters that are invalid for a date interpretation.
Place of Birth Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, Northumberland, England
Death 4 May 1918 2nd Morlancourt
"4 May 1918 2nd Morlancourt" contains more than three components required for a date interpretation.
Place of Death 4th Casualty Clearing Station near Halloy-Les-Pernois, France
Age at Enlistment 21 years old
Description 5' 3½" (1.61m) tall ; 122 lbs
55.338 kg
; fresh complexion ; brown eyes ; brown hair
Occupation Farm labourer
Religion Presbyterian
Address Bedfordale, Western Australia
Next of Kin Father , Mr Ralph Trotter
Military Information
Reg Number 2752
Date of Enlistment 17 May 1916
Rank Private
Unit/Formation 48th Battalion, 6th Reinforcements / 12th Brigade, 4th Division
Date of Embarkation 30 Oct 1916 ‒ 28 Dec 1916
Ship Embarked On HMAT A16 Port Melbourne
Fate Wounded in Action 12 Oct 1917 at Passchendaele
Wounded in Action 3 May 1918, and Died of his Wounds 4 May 1918, 2nd Morlancourt
Monument Armadale War Memorial (Bedfordale Panel)
Bedfordale Roll of Honour
Armadale and Districts Roll of Honour
Australian War Memorial
Medals British War Medal
Victory Medal




Pre War

War Service

On entering Blackboy Hill Camp John was initially allocated to the 22nd reinforcement draft for the 16th Battalion, but on 5 Sep 1916 he was transferred to the 6th draft for the 48th Battalion.

Following their arrival in Devonport, England on 28 Dec 1916, he was sent to 12th Training Battalion at Codford to complete his training.

John proceeded overseas to France through Folkestone on 28 Mar 1917, and he spent three weeks at the 4th Division's Base Depot in Étaples before joining the 48th Battalion on 19 Apr 1917 at Henencourt Wood near Fricourt, a small village in the Somme region.

On the night of 11/12 Oct 1917 the 48th Battalion took up position to attack Passchendaele Ridge near Ypres in Belgium. Along with the 47th Battalion, the 48th took their objectives, but as their flanking units did not capture theirs, they were forced to return to their starting positions by late afternoon of the 12th. The 48th Battalion's casualties were 373 killed or wounded of the 621 who participated in the attack. It is not known when John was wounded with a GSW to the foot, but he was patched up at the 69th Field Ambulance and transported back to the 56th General Hospital in Étaples the following day.

On 18 Oct 1917 it was decided to evacuate him to England on the HS Pieter de Coninck where he was admitted to the 2,000 bed Queen Mary Military Hospital in Whalley, Lancashire. On discharge from hospital he was given 10 days furlough after which he reported to No 3 Command Depot in Hurdcott. He spent Christmas there before joining the Overseas Training Brigade at Longbridge-Deverill for a time before finally returning to France via Southampton on 21 Feb 1918.

On 27 Feb 1918 he rejoined the 48th Battalion as it was in the process of moving to billets at Meteren, south west of Ypres in Belgium. When the German forces broke through the allied front lines in the Somme Region in early 1918, the 48th along with most of the Australian troops were sent south to block them from reaching Amiens, a major railroad distribution point.

On 3 May 1918 the 48th Battalion participated in an attack against enemy positions in Monument Wood on the eastern edge of Villers-Bretonneux. The attack was eventually beaten back by a superior enemy force but not before there were significant casualties on both sides. The 48th Battalion lost 159 men, one of whom was John. His wounds were caused by artillery shrapnel, and included major damage to his thigh including a fracture of his femur.

He was initially treated by 12th Australian Field Ambulance before being sent on later that day to the 4th Casualty Clearing Station where he died of his wounds at 3.00pm on 4 May 1918.

John is mentioned in the 1917 Feb-Mar edition of the local Congregational Church newsletter, Drill of the foot-hills.

  • Pernois British Cemetery Halloy-les-Pernois
  • Commonwealth War Graves Commission


Notes

Buried in PERNOIS BRITISH CEMETERY, HALLOY-LES-PERNOIS Plot I, Row B, Grave 20 Son of Ralph and Sarah Trotter, of Bedfordale, Western Australia. A Native of Newcastle-on-Tyne, Northumberland.

A resident of Bedfordale but he had perhaps worked on a farm in the Beenup district. Both John and Ralph are listed on both panels - Beenup and Bedfordale. Possible cause is the family's movement pre war - 1903 - 1906 father Ralph lived at Beenup; 1909 -1910 at Armadale; 1912 onwards at Bedfordale.


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