John Thomas Ryle

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John Thomas Ryle
Personal Information
Date of Birth c1873
Place of Birth Manchester, Lancashire, England
Death 22 Nov 1950, aged 77
Place of Death South Australia
Age at Enlistment 43 years, 4 months
Description 127lbs
57.606 kg
; fresh complexion ; grey eyes ; brown to grey hair
Occupation Locomotive driver
Religion Church of England
Address East Cannington, Western Australia
Next of Kin Wife , Mrs Milbrew Maud Mina Ryle
Military Information
Reg Number 954
Date of Enlistment 15 Jan 1917
Rank Lance Corporal
Unit/Formation 5th Australian Broad Gauge Railway Operating Company
Date of Embarkation 29 Jan 1917 ‒ 27 Mar 1917
Ship Embarked On HMAT A28 Miltiades Fremantle to Devonport
Date of Return 28 Oct 1918 ‒ 16 Dec 1918
Ship Returned On SS Sardinia Fremantle to Adelaide by rail
Fate Returned to Australia (medical)
Monument none at present
Medals British War Medal
Victory Medal

Pre War

John married Milbrew Maude Minnie Hawkins 1899 in Boulder, Western Australia. Children: Emily Elizabeth Hawkins Ryle (1900); Josephine Alberta Hawkins Ryle (1903); and Richard John Hawkins Ryle (1905).

Electoral Roll entries: 1912 - 1913 at 62 Glyde street, East Fremantle, engine driver; 1916 Wooroloo, engine driver; 1917 Clackline, engine driver;

War Service

Entered Blackboy Hill camp on 15 Jan 1917 as part of the special recruitment of men qualified for the Railway Corps. Other physical requirements were relaxed. Promoted 2nd Corporal (Fireman) on 19 Jan 1917, he embarked with the rest of the draft on 29 Jan 1917.

On arrival in England they were sent to undertook specialist training at St Lucia Barracks at Borden from 27 Mar 1917, before proceeding overseas to France through Southampton on 11 May 1917.

John was on 3 Apr 1918 detached to the 45th Siege Battery, which consisted of two 9.2 inch (234mm) railway guns. Possibly the cause of his future hearing problems. He returned to the 5th ROC on 13 Apr 1918. From 15 Apr until 18 May 1918 he was detached to the British 264th Company, Royal Engineers.

John reported to Hospital on 19 Jun 1918, with hearing issues, and on 1 Jul 1918 John returned to the UK from Rouelles in France. Three months later it was decided to return John to Australia as a result of deafness. On 26 Sep 1918 he was charged with "neglect of duty in that after being detailed, he failed to keep fatigue party together and to clean up a hedge adjacent to company lines. Reprimanded.

John was discharged at the 4th Military District (South Australia) on 15 Oct 1919 at his wife's request. While John was overseas, his wife had moved back to Adelaide

Post War

Milbrew died on 1 Sep 1938.

Electoral Roll entries: 1939 - 1943 at 45 Ivy street, Ottaway, engine driver


For the story of John's unit on the Western front see "The Cold Footed Mob - A history of the 5th Australian Broad Gauge Railway operating Company" by Tom Goode, Hesperian Press, published 2016.

John is not listed on the Canning, Wattle Grove or Kalamunda Honour Rolls.

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