The AIF Project

John Woods WHITTLE

Regimental number2902
Date of birth3 August 1883
Place of birthHuon Valley, Tasmania
ReligionRoman Catholic
OccupationPermanent Force
Address13 Remount Depot, Launceston, Tasmania
Marital statusMarried
Age at embarkation32
Height5' 8.5"
Weight182 lbs
Next of kinWife, Mrs Emily M Whittle, c/o A Roland, Rosebank, Middleton Channel, Tasmania
Previous military serviceServed for 3.6 years, Senior Cadets; 5 years, Royal Navy; 1 year in South African War; 1 year, Australian Field Artillery.
Enlistment date6 August 1915
Place of enlistmentClaremont, Tasmania
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name26th Battalion, 6th Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/43/2
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Brisbane, Queensland, on board HMAT A48 Seang Bee on 21 October 1915
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Melbourne, Victoria, on board HMAT A38 Ulysses on 27 October 1915
Rank from Nominal RollSergeant
Unit from Nominal Roll12th Battalion
Other details from Roll of Honour CircularWar service: appointed Corporal, 14 March 1916; Lance Sergeant, 13 April 1916; Sergeant, 14 October 1916. Taken on strength, 12th Bn, 1 March 1916. Wounded (1), 18 June 1916; (2) 19 March 1918; (3) 25 July 1918.
FateReturned to Australia 24 August 1918
Miscellaneous information from
  cemetery records
Plaque in New South Wales Garden of Remembrance

Victoria Cross

'For conspicuous bravery and devotion to duty on two occasions. When in command of a platoon, the enemy, under ocver of an intense atillery barrage, attacked the small trench he was holding. Owing to weight of numbers the enemy succeeded in entering the trench, and it was owing to Sergeant Whittle personally collecting all available men and charging the enemy that the position was regained. On the second occasion when the enemy broke through the left of our line, Segeant Whittle's own splendid example was the means of keeping the men well in hand. His platoon were suffering heavy casualties and the enemy endeavoured to bring up a machine gun to enfilade the position. Grasping the situation, he rushed alone across the fire swept ground and attacked the hostile gun crew with bombs before the gun could be got into action. He succeeded in killing the whole crew and in bringing back the machine gun to our position.'
Source: 'Commonwealth Gazette' No. 169
Date: 4 October 1917

Distinguished Conduct Medal

'For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty. He showed great initiative in reorganizing his men and capturing an enemy strong point, which was holding up the advance.'
Source: 'Commonwealth Gazette' No. 133
Date: 21 August 1917

Discharge date15 December 1918
Other details

War service

Admitted to 1st Auxiliary Hospital, Heliopolis, 14 January 1916; discharged to duty, 17 January 1916. Taken on strength, 12th Bn, 1 March 1916. reverted to ranks, 9 March 1916. Promoted Corporal, 14 March 1916.

Embarked Alexandria to join the British Expeditionary Force, 29 March 1916; disembarked Marseilles, 5 April 1916.

Promoted Lance Sergeant, 13 April 1916.

Wounded in action, 21 June 1916 (gun shot wound, right arm), admitted to 3rd Field Ambulance, and transferred to 1st Australian Casualty Clearing Station; to 15th General Hospital, Camiers, 22 June 1916; to England, 23 June 1916, and admitted to 1st Eastern General Hospital, 24 May 1916; to 1st Auxiliary Hospital, Harefield, 30 June 1916; discharged to No 1 Command Depot, Perham Downs, 4 August 1916; proceeded overseas to France, 21 August 1916; rejoined unit, 16 September 1916.

Promoted Sergeant, 14 October 1916.

Admitted to 3rd Australian Field Ambulance, 30 November 1916 (infected larynx), and transferred same day to New Zealand stationary Hospital, Amiens; by Ambulance Train No 24, 1 December 1916, and admitted to 1st General Hospital, Etratat, 2 December 1916; discharged to duty, 10 December 1916; rejoined unit, 18 December 1916.

Awarded Distinguished Conduct Medal.

Admitted to 3rd Field Ambulance, 20 April 1917 (psoriasis); transferred to 56th Casualty Clearing Station, 21 April 1917; discharged to duty, 23 April 1917; rejoined unit same day.

To 3rd Training Bn, England, 6 May 1917. Admitted to Fargo Military Hospital, 18 May 1917 (psoriasis); discharged to duty, 24 May 1917. Admitted to Fargo Military Hospital, 3 August 1917 (psoriasis); discharged to duty, 18 August 1917. Proceeded overseas to France, 25 August 1917.

Awarded Victoria Cross.

Found guilty by Field General Court Martial, Havre, 1 October 1917, of (1) while on Active Service drunkenness, 27 September 1917; (2) while on Active service conduct to the prejudice of good order and Military Discipline in that he at Havre on 27/9/17 when the C.O. was addressing the parade on which the accused was present called out in a loud voice "But we are good soldiers though" or words to that effect: sentenced to be reduced to the ranks. Period under detention: 4 days.

Rejoined unit, Belgium, 8 October 1917.

Wounded in action (2nd occasion), 19 March 1918 (shrapnel wound, right finger), and admitted to 1st Australian Field Ambulance; transferred to 2nd Casualty Clearing Station, 20 March 1918; to 53rd General Hospital, Boulogne (date not recorded on B103); discharged to No 1 Convalescent Depot, 27 March 1918; discharged to duty, 28 March 1918; rejoined unit, 11 April 1918.

Found guilty, 30 April 1918, of conduct to the prejudice of good order and Military Discipline: mutilating Pay Book: reprimanded by CO, 12th Bn.

To 2nd Army Central School, 9 June 1918; rejoined unit, 13 July 1918.

Wounded in action (3rd occasion, 25 July 1918 (shrapnel wound, right elbow); admitted to 3rd Australian Field Ambulance, 26 July 1918; transferred to 1st Australian Casualty Clearing Station, 26 July 1918; to 30th General Hospital, 26 July 1918; to England, 31 July 1918, and admitted same day to Central Military Hospital, Eastbourne; transferred to 3rd Australian Auxiliary Hospital, Dartford, 14 August 1918.

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

Medals: Victoria Cross, Distinguished Conduct Medal, 1914-15 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal
Date of death2 March 1946
Age at death63
Place of burialRookwood Necropolis

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