John Francis Ullyott

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John Francis Ullyott
Personal Information
Date of Birth 12 Jul 1891
Place of Birth Driffied, Kilham, Yorkshire, England
Death Mar 1966
Place of Death Heidelberg, Victoria
Age at Enlistment 24 years, 6 months
Description 5'8½" (1.74m) tall ; 130 lbs
58.967 kg
; dark complexion ; brown eyes ; black hair
Occupation Farmer
Religion Church of England
Address Church road, Kelmscott, Western Australia
Next of Kin Father , Mr Francis Ullyott
Military Information
Reg Number 5451
Date of Enlistment 3 Jan 1916
Rank Private
Unit/Formation 16th Battalion, 17th Reinforcement / 4th Brigade, 4th Division
Date of Embarkation 17 Apr 1916 ‒ 14 May 1916
Ship Embarked On HMAT A60 Aeneas
Date of Return 7 Feb 1919 ‒ 11 Mar 1919
Ship Returned On SS Lancashire
Fate Wounded in Action 12 Aug 1916 Mouquet farm
Prisoner of War 11 Apr 1917 (initially KIA)
Repatriate to UK via Switzerland 9 Sep 1918
Returned to Australia
Monument Kelmscott War Memorial
Medals British War Medal
Victory Medal

Pre War

Before arriving in Australia, had served for 2 years in the East Riding Yorkshire Yeomanry. Electoral Roll entries - 1916 at Wattle Hill, Kelmscott.

War Service

On entering Blackboy Hill camp he was initially allocated to the Service Corps reinforcement draft, but this was changed on 1 Apr 1916 to the 17th Reinforcement draft for the 16th Battalion.

He was taken on strength by the 16th battalion in Serapeum, Egypt on 26 May 1916. The battalion entered France via Marseilles aboard HMT Canada on 7 Jun 1916 and were moved north by slow moving trains.

On 12 Aug 1916 the 50th Battalion was relieving the 16th in the front line near Mouquet Farm when the enemy unleashed a heavy bombardment. This is likely to be when John received severe concussion, described as shell shock. He was seen by the 7th Field Ambulance and after three days in the 1st Anzac Rest Station he rejoined the battalion which was at Warloy and preparing to move further back from the lines to recover from their losses suffered at Mouquet farm (39 KIA, 19 MIA, and 348 WIA) during a three day stint in the front trenches).

On 5 Mar 1917 John was congratulated by his Divisional Commander for a very satisfactory report on his participation in a training course. On 11 Apr 1917 the 16th Battalion was involved in an attack on the Hindenberg Line at Bullecourt. On the right flank of the battle, many of the 16th Battalion were captured in front of Reincourt after they ran out of ammunition and were unable to make their way back to their own trenches.

John was initially declared as having been KIA on 11 Apr 1917, but on 6 May 1918 his status was altered to POW - held at Gef Laher Wahn near Limburg Germany. This later advice must have caused quite a stir in Kelmscott.

After being captured on 11th Apr 1917, along with about 1,000 other POWs (mainly 4th Division Australians) he spent the first night in a church about 8 miles behind the German front line. The next few days are spent marching from one place to another before arriving at Lille.

At Fort McDonald in Lille, John was locked in a cell shared with 107 others. Early rations were very poor, and they were put to work filling in shell holes in roads made by English shelling. Later at Montagne-du-Nord poor rations continued with extremely hard work caused many to collapse. Many of the prisoners were mistreated in addition to working long, hard hours with insufficient food to maintain their health. The French population gave the prisoners food and clothing whenever possible, but this was severely discouraged by their guards.

After a stint in hospital in Oct 1917 he was placed in a camp where normal POW entitlements and services existed.

On 4 May 1918 he had been transferred to Switzerland, and on the 14th he sent a report of his time in captivity and that of those with him, to the military.

Repatriated to England on 9 Dec 1918, he was admitted to the Paddington Military Hospital for several days - POWs who were interned in Switzerland or Holland were those unable to be effective again as soldiers due to their injuries or illness. John's file doesn't contain his medical records. Granted leave on release from hospital, and then amongst the first to return home.

Discharged at 5th Military District 5 May 1919.

The 294th Casualty List shows John as KIA, previously reported wounded.[1] The West Australian 1 Sep 1917, p.7 corrects this to Prisoner of War.[2]

His military documents include a completed but later cancelled Field Service Form used to report the death of a soldier with details of burial yet to be provided

His Red Cross file contains a record of him being Interned at Lazarette Bar 4, Gottingen. The postcard from him reads "Received no parcels and was in hospital with some illness brought about by a need of food." On 4 May 1918 he was transferred to Switzerland. [3].

Post War

John married Margaret (Goldie) Shepherdson (from Stockport, England) in Perth on 15 May 1920. Twin sons were born Feb 1921 (Edward d. 12 Jan 1950 of poliomyelitis in Sale, Victoria, & William, a bricklayer d.1998). Goldie died in Victoria in Dec 1968.

Electoral Roll entries - 1925 - 1931 He and Goldie are with brother William at "Redmire" Bendering, Corrigin; 1936 - 1949; at Crawford street East Cannington, farmer; 1954 - 1963 at 22 Elm road, SE6 Melbourne, Vic ; 1967 Goldie alone.

During WW2, John served with the Citizens Military Forces with Regimental No W27620.


  1. "WESTERN AUSTRALIA.". The West Australian. XXXIII, (4,712). Western Australia. 10 May 1917. p. 5. Retrieved 25 July 2017 – via National Library of Australia. 
  2. "WESTERN AUSTRALIA.". The West Australian. XXXIII, (4,810). Western Australia. 1 September 1917. p. 7. Retrieved 25 July 2017 – via National Library of Australia. 
  3. "Australian Red Cross Wounded and Missing Files - John Francis Ullyott". Australian War Memorial. 2018. Retrieved 2 May 2018. 

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