The AIF Project

John James DWYER

Regimental number20610
Date of birth9 March 1890
Place of birthLovett, Tasmania
ReligionRoman Catholic
OccupationLabourer
AddressAllonah, South Bruny, Tasmania
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation25
Height5' 11"
Weight170 lbs
Next of kinFather, Charles Dwyer, Allonah, South Bruny, Tasmania
Previous military serviceNil
Enlistment date4 February 1915
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name15th Battalion, 5th Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/32/2
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Melbourne, Victoria, on board HMAT A20 Hororata on 17 April 1915
Regimental number from Nominal RollCommissioned
Rank from Nominal RollLieutenant
Unit from Nominal Roll4th Machine Gun Battalion
FateReturned to Australia 24 August 1918
Medals

Victoria Cross

'For most conspicuous bravery when in attack. Sergeant Dwyerr, in charge of a Vickers machine gun, went forward with the first wave of the brigade. On reaching the final objective, this non-commissioned officer rushed his gun forrward in advance of the captured position in order to obtain a commanding spot. Whilst advancing, he noticed an enemy machine gun firing on the troops on our right flank, and causing casualties. Unhesitatingly, he rushed his gun forward to within 30 yards of the enemy gun, and fired point blank at it, putting it out of action, and killing the gun crrew. He then seized the gun and, totally ignoring the snipers from the rear of the enemy position carried it back across the shell swept ground to our front line, and established both it and his Vickers gun on the right flank of our brigade. Sergeant Dwyer commanded these guns with grreat coolness, and, when the enemy counter attacked our positions, he rendered great assistance in repulsing them. On the following day, when the position was heavily shelled, this non-commissioned officer took up successive positions. On one occasion, his Vickers gun was blown up by shell fire,but he conducted his gun team back to Headquarters through the enemy barrage, secured one of the reserve guns, and rushed it back to our position in the shortest possible time. During the whole of the attack, his contempt of danger, cheerfulness, and courage, raised the spirits of all who were in his sector of the line.'
Source: 'Commonwealth Gazette' No. 31
Date: 7 March 1918

Discharge date15 December 1918
Family/military connectionsBrother: 863 Corporal Thomas Vincent DWYER MM, 4th Machine Gun Bn, returned to Australia, 5 April 1919.
Other details

War service: Egypt, Gallipoli, Western Front

Joined Bn at Gallipoli, 2 August 1915.

Admitted to 13th Casualty Clearing Station, 13 September 1915 (influenza); transferred to 25th Casualty Clearing Station, Imbros, 13 September 1915. Detached to Police, Gallipoli, 18 September 1915. Admitted to 24th Field Ambulance, 19 September 1915 (influenza); discharged, 13 October 1915.

Disembarked Alexandria, 29 December 1915 (general Gallipoli evacuation).

Appointed Driver from 1 January 1916.

Embarked Alexandria to join the British Expeditionary Force, 1 June 1916; disembarked Marseilles, France, 10 June 1916.

Reverted to the ranks at own request.

Appointed Lance Corporal, 31 December 1917.

Admitted to 5th Australian Field Ambulance, 28 March 1917 (mumps); transferred to Casualty Clearing Station and thence to Corps Stationary Hospital, 28 March 1917; discharged to duty, 14 April 1917.

Promoted Temporary Sergeant, 16 April 1917. Rejoined unit from hospital, 16 April 1917.

Promoted Corporal, 22 April 1917; Temporary Sergeant, 22 April 1917.

Wounded in action, 9 June 1917 (gun shot wound, shoulder and arm), and admitted to 3/2nd West Lancashire Field Ambulance; transferred same day to 53rd Casualty Clearing Station, and thence to 26th General Hospital, Etaples; transferred to 39th General Hospital, Havre, 11 June 1917; to 4th Convalescent Depot, Havre, 18 July 1917; to Australian General Base Depot, Rouelles, 12 August 1917; rejoined unit, 22 August 1917.

Promoted Sergeant, 29 August 1917.

Awarded Victoria Cross.

To England on leave, 18 January 1918; leave extended to 3 February 1918; rejoined unit from leave, 3 February 1918.

Unit designation changed to 4th Machine Gun Bn, 1 April 1918.

Promoted Temporary Regimental Sergeant Major, 9 April 1918; 2nd Lieutenant, 20 May 1918; Lieutenant, 20 May 1918.

Detached to Australian Corps Gas School, 22 June 1918; rejoined unit from detachment, 29 June 1918.

To England on duty, 31 September 1918.

Commenced return to Australia on board HT 'Medic', 24 August 1918; disembarked Melbourne for onward travel to Tasmania, 11 October 1918; discharged, 15 December 1918.

Medals: Victoria Cross, 1914-15 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal
Date of death17 January 1962
Age at death71