John Buckland

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John Buckland
Personal Information
Date of Birth c1896
Place of Birth Jarrahdale, Western Australia
Death 7 Jul 1917
Place of Death Messines area, Belgium
Age at Enlistment 19 years, 2 months
Description 5'11½" (1.82m) tall ; 146 lbs
66.224 kg
; fresh complexion ; brown eyes ; brown hair
Occupation Mill hand
Religion Methodist
Address Jarrahdale, Western Australia
Next of Kin Father , Sylvanus Thomas Buckland
Military Information
Reg Number 320
Date of Enlistment 8 Jan 1916
Rank Private
Unit/Formation 44th Battalion B Company / 11th Brigade, 3rd Division
Date of Embarkation 6 Jun 1916 ‒ 21 Jul 1916
Ship Embarked On HMAT A29 Suevic
Fate Killed in Action 7 Jul 1917 Messines area
Monument Jarrahdale War Memorial
Menin Gate Memorial
ANZAC Memorial Park (Byford)
Australian War Memorial
Medals British War Medal
Victory Medal

Pre War

War Service

Ten days after entering camp, John was allocated to B Company of the 44th Battalion that was being raised in WA at the time. While with the 44th Battalion, during training in England, John was AWOL on 18 Oct 1916. Awarded 1 day's field punishment and loss of 2 day's pay. On 25 Nov 1916 the unit proceeded by train to Southampton and during that night embarked for France, disembarking in Le Havre at 6:30 am on 26 Nov 1916, before moving into reserve positions at Steenwerck.

During the night of 5th/6th July the battalion relieved the 42nd battalion in the front lines in the Messines sector. Browning's book 'The Westralia Battalion' described how John lost his life
"The entire Brigade front was subjected to heavy barrages at 10:30pm, 11:30pm and 1:00am by 5.9-inch artillery, until aggressive retaliatory barrages reduced the enemy's fire. Private J. Buckland was killed and several men were evacuated wounded during the exchange of fire."[1]
The lack of a body indicates that he may have been buried in a temporary grave that could not be located after the war. Memorialised on the Menin Gate Memorial (Panel 27).

Pension awarded to his mother Margaret of 40/- fortnightly from 18 Sep 1917. His father was awarded 30/- per fortnight from 30 Mar 1918.

  • photo Linton Reynolds 2015
  • Section of 44th Battalion panel

  1. 'The Westralia Battalion - The Unit History of the 44th Battalion A.I.F.', Neville browning, Advance Press, 2004, page 150

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