John Paterson Henderson

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John Paterson Henderson
Personal Information
Date of Birth 16 Sep 1887
Place of Birth Charters Towers, Queensland
Death 6 Dec 1953, aged 66
Place of Death Kalgoorlie, Western Australia
Age at Enlistment 28 years old
Description 5' 0½" (1.54m) tall ; 144 lbs
65.317 kg
; dark complexion ; blue eyes ; dark brown hair
Occupation Engine driver & mechanic
Religion Church of England
Address Armadale, Western Australia
Next of Kin Mother ; Father , Mrs Janet Henderson 1st enlistment; Mr David Henderson 2nd enlistment
Military Information
Reg Number 6144 & 20882
Date of Enlistment 27 Sep 1915 & 20 May 1918
Rank Sergeant
Unit/Formation 1st enlistment 4th Field Coy Engineers 3rd Reinforcement
2nd enlistment No 9 Section, Sea Transport Staff AAMC
Date of Embarkation 20 Jan 1916 ‒ 27 Feb 1916
Ship Embarked On HMAT A54 Runic Fremantle to Alexandria
Date of Embarkation 5 Jun 1918 ‒ 11 Aug 1918
Ship Embarked On SS Orontes Sydney to Liverpool
Date of Return 12 Nov 1916 ‒ 25 Dec 1916
Ship Returned On HMAT A18 Wiltshire England to Fremantle
Date of Return 15 Sep 1918 ‒ 10 Nov 1918
Ship Returned On HMNZT Arawa England to Fremantle
Fate Wounded in Action 14 Aug 1916 Mouquet Farm, Poziéres, France
Monument Armadale War Memorial (West Armadale panel)
Armadale and Districts Roll of Honour
Medals British War Medal
Victory Medal

Pre War

Electoral Roll entries - 1910 - 1912 at Norseman as a surface hand; 1914 - 1917 an engine driver at 1026 President street, Kalgoorlie;

War Service

Entering Blackboy Hill camp for the first time on 27 Sep 1915, John was allocated to the 20th Depot Company. On 16 Oct 1915 he was then reallocated to the 3rd reinforcement draft for the 4th Field Company Engineers, and he sailed with them to Egypt as an acting Sergeant. On arrival in Egypt he reverted to Sapper.

At Tel-el-Kebir in Egypt he was taken on strength by 15th Field Company - Engineers on 18 Mar 1916, and on 25 Apr 1916 he was promoted to Corporal while at Ferry Post on the Suez Canal. He sailed with his unit from Alexandria on 23 Jun 1916 aboard HMT Kinfauns Castle, disembarking in Marseilles in southern France on 29 Jun 1916.

On 14 Aug 1916 at Ovillers la Boiselle near Pozieres the unit's War Diary records that while attempting to excavate Emu trench, the working party came under heavy enemy shelling, with the work needing to be postponed. John received wounds to his left arm, leg and back. Seen by the 1st Australian Casualty Clearing Station, from 14 - 16 Aug 1916, he was placed aboard an Ambulance Train before being embarked on HMHS Western Australia at Boulogne for England on 19 Aug 1916.

Other than being patched up in the 3rd Western General Hospital in Cardiff, he spent time in the 1st Australian Auxiliary Hospital from 6 - 29 Sep 1916 and then took eight days leave before being transferred to the No.2 Command Depot in Weymouth where he spent from 8 Oct - 12 Nov 1916 awaiting a ship home. John embarked in Portland for Australia where he entered the 8th Australian General Hospital at Fremantle on Christmas Day 1916. It was not until 19 Jun 1917 that he was examined by the Medical Board who recommend discharge, and this occurred at 5th Military District on 4 Jul 1917 as he had been found to be permanently unfit for further service.

His first enlistment had lasted 1 year, 291 days. Granted a pension of 68/- per fortnight from 5 Jul 1917, it was reduced to 34/- fortnightly from 14 Feb 1918, and then cancelled from 6 Jun 1918.

The second time that he enlisted, his records note that he was fit for home service only. However, he was accepted by the Australian Army Medical Corps and enlisted as a Quartermaster Sergeant. He embarked on the SS Orontes on 5 Jun 1918, disembarking at Liverpool on 11 Aug 1918.

On 13 Aug 1918 he marched into the AAMC Training Depot in Fovant. A fortnight later he transferred to the No 2 Command Depot, at Weymouth to be transported back to Australia. Here he was discharged a second time by the 5th Military District on 9 Dec 1918.

Newspapers report that John was seriously wounded not just 'wounded' as earlier reported.[1]

"...went with the same unit as his brother. He was severely wounded on the 19th July and was invalided home; arriving here on Christmas Day, 1916.[2]

Post War

In 1920 John married Louisa May Taylor in East Coolgardie. Louisa May died on 23 Jun 1957 aged 69 in Collie.

Electoral Roll entries - 1923-1926 a farmer in Armadale with Louisa May; 1931 a fitter at Surrey House, Boulder road, Kalgoorlie; 1936-1949, fitter at Hanbury street, Kalgoorlie. 1954 last entry for Louisa May, with daughter Elizabeth, a typist (b. 1923?)

On 16 Apr 1942 John enlisted in he Citizens Military Forcers as W72668 Pte with the 8th Battalion Volunteer Defence Corps, resigning on 5 Jun 1944.


  1. "The Roll of Honor". Sunday Times (Perth) (980). Western Australia. 15 October 1916. p. 9 (First Section). Retrieved 29 June 2017 – via National Library of Australia. 
  2. "The Drill of the Foot-Hills" (PDF) (1917). Western Australia. Mar 1917. p. 11. Retrieved 16 May 2017 – via State Library of Western Australia. 

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