The AIF Project

John MURPHY

Regimental number2389
Place of birthJamestown, South Australia
True NameMARTIN, John
ReligionRoman Catholic
OccupationLabourer
AddressSpalding, South Australia
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation25
Height5' 8.25"
Weight172 lbs
Next of kinMother, Mrs Kate Murphy, Spalding, South Australia
Previous military serviceNil
Enlistment date22 June 1915
Place of enlistmentKeswick, South Australkia
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name27th Battalion, 5th Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/44/2
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Adelaide, South Australia, on board HMAT A32 Themistocles on 13 October 1915
Regimental number from Nominal Roll2389A
Rank from Nominal RollPrivate
Unit from Nominal Roll27th Battalion
FateKilled in Action 2 September 1918
Place of burialNo known grave
Commemoration detailsAustralian National Memorial, Villers-Bretonneux, France

Villers-Bretonneux is a village about 15 km east of Amiens. The Memorial stands on the high ground ('Hill 104') behind the Villers-Bretonneux Military Cemetery, Fouilloy, which is about 2 km north of Villers-Bretonneux on the east side of the road to Fouilloy.

The Australian National Memorial, Villers-Bretonneux is approached through the Military Cemetery, at the end of which is an open grass lawn which leads into a three-sided court. The two pavilions on the left and right are linked by the north and south walls to the back (east) wall, from which rises the focal point of the Memorial, a 105 foot tall tower, of fine ashlar. A staircase leads to an observation platform, 64 feet above the ground, from which further staircases lead to an observation room. This room contains a circular stone tablet with bronze pointers indicating the Somme villages whose names have become synonymous with battles of the Great War; other battle fields in France and Belgium in which Australians fought; and far beyond, Gallipoli and Canberra.

On the three walls, which are faced with Portland stone, are the names of 10,885 Australians who were killed in France and who have no known grave. The 'blocking course' above them bears the names of the Australian Battle Honours.

After the war an appeal in Australia raised £22,700, of which £12,500 came from Victorian school children, with the request that the majority of the funds be used to build a new school in Villers-Bretonneux. The boys' school opened in May 1927, and contains an inscription stating that the school was the gift of Victorian schoolchildren, twelve hundred of whose fathers are buried in the Villers-Bretonneux cemetery, with the names of many more recorded on the Memorial. Villers-Bretonneux is now twinned with Robinvale, Victoria, which has in its main square a memorial to the links between the two towns.

Panel number, Roll of Honour,
  Australian War Memorial
111
Other details

War service: Egypt, Western Front

Taken on strength, 27th Bn, Tel el Kebir, 12 January 1916.

Found guilty, 21 February 1916, of being absent without leave from Tattoo, 13 February, to 1700, 20 February 1916: awarded 28 days' Field Punishment No 2, and forfeiture of 8 days' pay.

Found guilty, 22 February 1916, of being absent from Defaulters' Parade: awarded 7 days' Field Punishment No 2.

Found guilty, 4 March 1916, of being absent from 0400 parade, 3 March 1916: awarded 14 days' Field Punishment No 2.

Found guilty, 13 March 1916, of conduct to the prejudice of good order and Military Discipline: awarded 14 days' Field Punishment No 2 (sentence to be partly concurrent with previous sentence).

Embarked Alexandria to join the British Expeditionary Force, 16 March 1916; disembarked Marseilles, France, 21 March 1916.

Found guilty, 3 April 1916, of (1) being absent from parade; (2) being absent from his billet; (3) being absent from parade; failing to obey an order: awarded 28 days' Field Punishment No 2.

Admitted to 6th Field Ambulance, 28 April 1916 (ingrown toe nail), and transferred to 8th Casualty Clearing Station (onychia); to Australian Hospital, Wimereux, 1 May 1916;to No 5 Convalescent Camp, 3 May 1916; discharged to Base Details, 4 May 1916.

Found guilty, 7 May 1916, of being absent without leave from 8.30 pm, 5 May, to about 8.30 pm, 6 May 1916: awarded 14 days' confined to camp, and forfeiture of 2 days' pay.

Found guilty, 11 May 1916, of being absent from Defaulters' Roll Call: awarded 7 days' confined to camp.

Rejoined 27th Bn, in the field, 12 May 1916.

Wounded in action, 4 August 1916 (left hand and right thigh); admitted to 4th Australian Field Ambulance, 5 August 1916, and transferred to 3rd Casualty Clearing station; to St John Ambulance Brigade Hospital, 10 August 1916; to England, 12 August 1916, and admitted to 2nd Western General Hospital, Manchester; discharged, 7 September 1916.

Found guilty, 5 October 1916, of being absent without leave from 3 pm, 25 September, till 5.35 pm, 30 September 1916; awarded 7 days' confined to camp, and forfeited 6 days' pay.

Reported back to No 1 Command Depot, Perham Downs, 6 October 1916.

Tried by District Court Martial, Wareham, 31 March 1917, on charges of (1) conduct to the prejudice of good order and Military Discipline in that he at the Railway Hotel, Wareham, on 24 February 1917 created a disturbance by throwing glasses about the Bar and struggling with soldiers in the Bar; (2) resisting an escort whose duty it was to have him in charge in that he at Wareham on 24 February 1917 when under escort of the Military Picquet at the Railway Hotel resisted the said escort by struggling violently; pleaded Not Guilty to both charges; found Guilty on both counts: awarded 60 days' detention, and forfeiture of 91 days' pay.

Marched in to Overseas Training Depot, Perham Downs, 3 August 1917.

Found guilty, 11 September 1917, of being absent without leave from 9.30 pm, 27 August, until 1 am, 8 September 1917: awarded 18 days' Field Punishment No 2, and forfeited 33 days' pay.

Proceeded overseas to France, 25 September 1917; marched in to 2nd Australian Division Base Depot, Etaples, 26 September 1917.

Found guilty, Etaples, 1 October 1917, of being absent without leave, 6 am, 30 September, until apprehended by Military Police at 9 am, 30 September 1917: awarded 28 days' Field Punishment No 2, and forfeiture of 28 days' pay.

Rejoined Bn, Belgium, 2 November 1917.

Wounded in action (second occasion), 29 April 1918 (shrapnel wound, left leg), and admitted to 6th Australian Field Ambulance, and transferred to Casualty Clearing Station; to Ambulance Train, 1 May 1918, and admitted to 3rd Stationary Hospital, Rouen, 2 May 1918; transferred to England, 3 May 1918, and admitted to 5th Southern General Hospital, Portsmouth, 4 May 1918 (wound: slight); transferred to 3rd Australian Auxiliary Hospital, Dartford, 24 May 1918; discharged to No 4 Command Depot, Hurdcott, 27 May 1918.

Found guilty, Hurdcott, 21 June 1918, of being absent without leave from 10 pm, 21 June, to 9.45, 24 June 1918: awarded 7 days' confined to barracks, and forfeited 4 days' pay.

Marched in to Overseas Training Brigade, Longbridge Deverill, 15 July 1918.

Proceeded overseas to France, 3 August 1918; rejoined Bn, in the field, 9 August 1918.

Killed in action, 2 September 1918.

Medals: British War Medal, Victory Medal
SourcesNAA: B2455, MURPHY John
Red Cross File No 1860509T

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