John Edwin Ffoulkes DCM

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John Edwin Ffoulkes DCM
Personal Information
Date of Birth not known 1892
Place of Birth Festimog, Wales
Death 17 Oct 1962, aged 70
Place of Death Tinkurin, Western Australia
Age at Enlistment 22 years, 8 months
Description 5'10" (1. m) tall ; 154 lbs
69.853 kg
; fair complexion ; brown eyes ; dark brown hair
Occupation Farm teamster
Religion Methodist
Address Serpentine, Western Australia
Next of Kin Father , Mr Edwin Ffoulkes
Military Information
Reg Number 4030
Date of Enlistment 2 Aug 1915
Rank Corporal
Unit/Formation 16th Battalion, 12th reinforcement / 4th Brigade, 4th Division
Date of Embarkation 22 Dec 1915 ‒ ? Jan 1916
Ship Embarked On HMAT A31 Ajana
Date of Return 28 Feb 1919 ‒ 7 Apr 1919
Ship Returned On HMAT A68 Anchises
Fate Returned to Australia
Monument Serpentine Roll of Honour
ANZAC Memorial Park (Byford)
Medals Distinguished Conduct Medal
British War Medal
Victory Medal

Pre War

Electoral Roll entry - 1917 farm labourer at 'Twrgwyn', Serpentine.

War Service

After three months basic training, John was allocated to the 12th reinforcement draft for the 16th Battalion, and travelled with them as a signaller to Egypt. Soon after arrival he was hospitalised with the 4th Australian Auxiliary Hospital in Cairo on 12 Feb 1916 with mumps. Returned to duty 3 Mar 1916.

John was taken on strength by the 16th Battalion at Tel-el-kebir on 7 Mar 1916 as part of the major reshuffle of units to create addition Divisions for the Western Front. On 1 Jun 1916 he and the battalion embarked on the HMT Canada for Marseilles, France, arriving there on 9 Jun 1916.

On 20 May 1917 he was appointed Lance Corporal, and two days later he was promoted Corporal as the battalion rebuilt its strength in billets at Ribemont and Doulieu.

Awarded the DCM via 1st Anzac Routine Orders No. 88 dated 31 Oct 1917,and from 18 Feb 1918 to 20 Mar 1918 he attended a signal school. Following this training he was on several occasions detached to the 4th Army Signal School. He also enjoyed a fortnight's leave in England from 27 Aug until 14 Sep 1918.

One of the early ones to be sent home, he returned to England on 27 Jan 1919, and was on his way to Australia a month later. John spent four days in 8th Australian General Hospital Fremantle from 23 - 26 May 1919 receiving treatment for a septic hand prior to his discharge, later on the day he left hospital.

Award Comment

The recommendation dated 1 Oct 1917 reads:
"For gallantry and devotion to duty during the operation near Zonnebeke on 26th September 1917.

This NCO was detailed for duty with the Brigade forward party during the attack. The members of this party. including the Officer, were all made casualties whilst advancing (with the exception of Cpl Ffoulkes) and rear communications looked like being disorganised. But this NCO went on to the RED LINE alone, and with splendid courage and fine organising ability, took charge of the Brigade Relay Station, which he successfully maintained, personally repairing and laying telephone lines, and drawing fresh runners to replace those lost, in order to get messages back to Cable Head and Brigade Headquarters from the Battalions. It was mainly due to his untiring efforts that communications were established and maintained. During the early stages his work was all done under heavy machine gun fire and shell fire, in the open, but he went on regardless of all risk, and was absolutely unsparing of self.

Not only on the day of the attack, but throughout the Battalion's tour in the line, this NCO exhibited the dame splendid conduct as on the morning of the 26th.

He is strongly recommended for the highest distinction.[1]

Later reduced to:

Distinguished Conduct Medal

"For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty. He was one of a party detailed to establish forward communications during an attack. The officer in charge and all the party became casualties while advancing, but he went forward alone and established and maintained communication, working under heavy fire with untiring energy and complete disregard of personal safety. He set a fine example of courage and determination."[2], [3]

Post War

In 1920 John married Alice May Preston in Perth. Alice died 3 Apr 1947 in Wongan Hills.

Electoral Roll entries - 1922 - 1958 farmer at 'Tregayan Farm', Wongan Hills


  2. London Gazette 30512 dated 6 Feb 1918
  3. Commonwealth Gazette No 95, dated 27 June 1918.

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