John George (Jack) Ray

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John George (Jack) Ray
John George Ray.jpg
'Jack' Ray at his silver wedding anniversary, 1950.
Personal Information
Date of Birth 5 Apr 1897
Place of Birth Jarrahdale, Western Australia
Death 11 Sep 1969
Place of Death Busselton, Western Australia
Age at Enlistment 21 years, 8 months
Description 5'10" (1.78m) tall ; 145 lbs
65.771 kg
; fresh complexion ; brown eyes ; dark brown hair
Occupation Farm hand
Religion Church of England
Address 35 Packenham street, Mt Lawley, Western Australia
Next of Kin Father , Mr John William Ray
Military Information
Reg Number 7375
Date of Enlistment 10 Jan 1918
Rank Private
Unit/Formation 28th Battalion, 22nd Reinforcement, transferred to the 51st Battalion 20 Aug 1918
Date of Embarkation 13 Mar 1918 ‒ 15 May 1918
Ship Embarked On RMS Ormonde Fremantle to Suez and then from Port Tewfik to Southampton
Date of Return 3 Sep 1919 ‒ 17 Oct 1919
Ship Returned On HMAT A37 Barambah
Fate Returned to Australia
Monument none at present
Medals British War Medal
Victory Medal

Pre War

Family lived in Jarrahdale / Beenup during the 1890s and up until about 1913 at a property named Eden-Dale, before moving to Armadale and then on to Mount Lawley by 1917.

War Service

Entered Blackboy Hill camp on 10 Jan 1918, and after a months basic training was allocated to the 22nd Reinforcement draft for the 28th Battalion He embarked with them for England on 13 Mar 1918. At sea he was admitted to the ship's hospital from 28 - 31 Mar 1918. On 4 Apr 1918 he disembarked at Suez and was then transferred to Port Tewfik, where on 30 Apr 1918 he again boarded the Ormonde, this time for Southampton.

On arrival in England Jack was sent to the 5th Training Battalion at Fovant to prepare for the Western Front. On 4 Jun 1918 he was transferred to reinforcements for the 51st Battalion and sent to the 12th Training Battalion, and then two days later he was admitted to the Codford hospital with measles. Released to training again on 21 Jun 1918, he was again hospitalised from 3 to 18 Jul 1918, this time with influenza.

Jack Ray's travel pass for returned soldiers. Scan donated by Mike Green.

On 15 Aug 1918 Jack proceeded overseas to France through Folkestone, and spent 17 - 19 Aug 1918 at the Australian Infantry base Depot before joining the 51st Battalion on 20 Aug 1918. The battalion at that time was near Rosieres in reserve, engaged on salvaging duties in fine, warm weather, picking up military equipment scattered over the battlefields. On the 24th they were relieved of these duties and after a march to Harbonnieres boarded buses for billets at Rivery. They spent the next two months rebuilding and training in rear areas, much of the month of October spent at Guignemicourt on the outskirts of Amiens. In early November they set off towards the front lines again, and on 11 Nov 1918 were on a train travelling from Peronne to Roisel. Confirmation of the Armistice was not received by this unit until 3:00p.m. on 12th November.

It appears therefore that Jack was fortunate enough not to come under fire while in France.

On 18 Jan 1919 Jack was reassigned as a driver, before on 27 Jan 1919 he again needed treatment from the 13th Australian Field Ambulance for influenza. He was discharged to duty on 7 Feb 1919 and rejoined his unit, only to require further treatment from the 13th Australian Field Ambulance between 18 and 24 Feb 1919. His duties as a driver ceased on 2 May 1919 and on 10 May he left the battalion to begin the return to Australia.

On 17 May 1919 he was hospitalised with VD and on 22 May he was transferred to the 1st Australian Dermatological Hospital at Bulford. Released from hospital on 12 Jul 1919, he spent a few days in Parkhouse before moving to Sutton Veny awaiting a berth on a ship home.

Discharged by the 5th Military District on 10 Nov 1919.

Post War

Jack married Maud E Cunningham during 1925 in the Beverley district. Maud died 2 Oct 1970 in Busselton.

During WW2 Jack enlisted in Kalgarin with Service No. W74463 on 23 May 1942 and served with the 10th Battalion Volunteer Defence Corps, a part of the Citizens Military Forces.


Brother in law of Clarence Roy Champion.

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