The AIF Project


Regimental number301
Place of birthFeilding, New Zealand
ReligionChurch of England
AddressAustralian Hotel, Gympie, Queensland
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation39
Height5' 9.75"
Weight146 lbs
Next of kinBrother, Harry Sexton, Kilmeroa, New Zealand
Previous military serviceNil
Enlistment date25 August 1915
Place of enlistmentBrisbane, Queensland
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name31st Battalion, A Company
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/48/1
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Melbourne, Victoria, on board HMAT A62 Wandilla on 9 November 1915
Two ships sailed from Melbourne carrying men from the 31st Battalion Headquarters and Companies A, B, C, and D: HMAT A62,'Wandilla', on 9 November 1915, and HMAT A41, 'Bakara', on 5 November 1915.
Rank from Nominal RollLance Corporal
Unit from Nominal Roll31st Battalion
FateKilled in Action 20 July 1916
Place of burialNew Irish Farm Cemetery (Plot XXXII, Row B, Grave No. 13), St. Jean-Les-Ypres, Belgium
Panel number, Roll of Honour,
  Australian War Memorial
Other details

War service: Egypt, Western Front

Disembarked Suez, ex-HMT 'Wandilla', 7 December 1915.

Promoted Lance Corporal, Serapeum, 26 January 1916.

Found guilty, 1 March 1916, of being absent without leave from 0645 hours, 27 February 1916 until 29 February 1916: awarded 72 hours' Field Punishment No 2.

Found guilty, 1 March 1916, of disobedience of GRO (gambling): severely reprimanded.

Reverted to the ranks, Tel el Kebir, 2 March 1916.

Found guilty, 18 April 1916, of conduct to the prejudice of good order and military discipline, 17 April 1916: awarded 2 hours' Pack Drill.

Found guilty, 12 June 1916, of breaking camp and being found out of bounds without a pass at Moascar, 8 June 1916: awarded 28 days' Field Punishment No 2 by Commanding Officer.

Embarked Alexandria to join the British Expeditionary Force, 16 June 1916; disembarked Marseilles, France, 23 June 1916.

Wounded in action, 20 July 1916.

Previous report of wounded, now, 25 August 1916, to be reported as 'Wounded and Missing, 20 July 1916'.

Court of Enquiry, held in the field, 1 August 1917, pronounced fate as 'Killed in Action, 20 July 1916'.

Handwritten note on B.103: 'Buried in the vicinity of Fleurbaix, Sh.36 N.W.'Statement, Red Cross File No 2460308, 340 Sergeant J.R. GREEVES, 31st Bn (patient, 2nd Southern General Hospital, Southmead, Bristol, England), 3 December 1916: 'On July 19th we were attacking in the direction of Fromelles, and on about 7 p.m. I saw Sexton in No Man's Land. He was lying face down and I am certain he was dead.'

Second statement, 1568 Pte E. JEBBETT, 31st Bn (patient, 1st London General Hospital, Camberwell SW, England), [?] December 1916: I knew Sexton, he was taken prisoner at Fleuraix in abit of a stunt. I got a report from Lieut McClennan in chargeof or of our paltoon on July 20th/16.' Interviewer: Eye-witness: Yes.'

Third statement: 766 Pte W. THOMPSON, 31st Bn, 24 January 1917: 'He died of wounds in the trenches on 19th July. I saw his body next morning. He was buried the same time and at thesame place as [135W.E.] Bain (q.v.).'

Fourth statement, Pte J.F. RYAN, A Company, 31st Bn, 26 May1917: 'Sexton was wounded by a bomb in the German front line trnches and was put over the parapet into No Man's Land. His leg was badly wounded. Stretcher-bearers bound his leg to a rifle and left him there.'

Fifth statement, 259 Pte D. McLELLAN, 31st Bn, 31 May 1917: 'I saw him lying in the trenches near Fleurbaix on the 19th July, 1916. His leg was shattered by shell fire. I heard subsequently hewas taken back to the Dressing Station, but as he did not turn up I concluded he must have been destroyed by shell fire on he way back.'

Sixth statement, Pte J.D. RYAN, 31st Bn: I saw No. 301 Pte Sexton J. wounded in the leg on the 19.7.16[.] He was lifted on to the parados of the captured trench and was attended to by a stretcher bearer. He appeared to be quite cheerful[.] Isaw nothing further of him at all as we evacuated the position.'

Medals: 1914-15 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal
SourcesNAA: B2455, SEXTON James
Red Cross file 2460308

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