John Henry Whitfield

From Our Contribution

John Henry Whitfield
Personal Information
Date of Birth not known 1883
Place of Birth Castlemaine, Victoria
Death 15 Jun 1944, aged 61
Place of Death Maylands, Western Australia
Age at Enlistment 34 years old
Description 5'8½" (1.74m) tall ; 150 lbs
68.039 kg
; fresh complexion ; blue eyes ; brown hair
Occupation Labourer
Religion Presbyterian
Address Keysbrook, Western Australia
Next of Kin Wife , Mrs Gurine Whitfield
Military Information
Reg Number 2420
Date of Enlistment 26 Jun 1916
Rank Private
Unit/Formation 43rd Battalion, 4th Reinforcement / 11th Brigade, 3rd Division
Date of Embarkation 30 Oct 1916 ‒ 28 Dec 1916
Ship Embarked On HMAT A16 Port Melbourne
Date of Return 11 Jan 1918 ‒ 4 Mar 1918
Ship Returned On SS Port Darwin
Fate Wounded in Action 9 Jun 1917
Returned to Australia
Monument Keysbrook Roll of Honour
Medals British War Medal
Victory Medal

Pre War

In 1909 at Katanning John married Gurine Marie Waddell, who died on 26 Aug 1967 in Morley aged 84.

Electoral Roll entries - 1910 a labourer, hotel Woodanilling; 1913 - 1916 'Glen Innes' Woodanilling, contractor. At time of enlistment he was living in Keysbrook

War Service

Entered camp on 26 Jun 1916, and on 1 Aug 1916 he was assigned to the 23rd reinforcement draft for the 11th Battalion. A week later this changed to the 7th draft for the 51st Battalion, and then on 5 Sep 1916 to the 4th reinforcement draft for the 43rd Battalion, travelling with this group to England. On arrival in England he was sent to the 11th Training Battalion to prepare for service on the Western Front.

John proceeded overseas to France aboard HMT Golden Eagle from Folkestone on 28 Feb 1917, where on 4 Mar 1917 in the front line near Armentieres he was taken on strength of the 43rd Battalion.

On 9 Jun 1917 the 43rd Battalion was engaged in carrying duties, taking food and ammunition, wire, etc., to the battalions of the 9th Brigade that were holding the front lines. At some point during the day, John was wounded with a gun shot wound to his right buttock. Treated first by the 9th Field Ambulance before being sent to the 53rd Casualty Clearing Station who placed him on a Ambulance Train for Boulogne where he was admitted to the 2nd Australian General Hospital. They immediately took steps to evacuate him to England.

Evacuated to England aboard HMHS St Patrick on 11 Jun 1917 where he was admitted to the Royal Herbert Hospital on the same day. Healing well, on 3 Jul 1917 he was transferred to the 1st Australian Auxiliary Hospital at Harefield. On 20 Jul 1917 he was granted furlough until 3 Aug 1917, when he was to report to the Command Depot in Weymouth. John spent the next five and a bit months bouncing from pillar to post, from one command depot to another, before he was eventually shipped home.

Partially recovered, he was sent back to Australia to recover more fully. Discharged as medically unfit by 5th Military District on 15 Mar 1918.

Post War

John was granted a pension of 20/- per fortnight; his wife Marie 10/-; son Robert 6/6d; daughter Marguerite 5/-; son Edmond 3/3d; and daughter Iris 3/3d per fortnight from 16 Mar 1918. Total of £2/8/- ($4.80 per fortnight)

Electoral Roll entries - 1921 - 1925 labourer at Kondinin; 1931 59 Dane street, Victoria Park; 1937 - 1943 at 205 Peninsular road, Maylands


External Links