The AIF Project

John Gordon LETCHER

Regimental number158
Place of birthBallarat East, Victoria
SchoolMount Pleasant State School, Victoria
ReligionMethodist
OccupationLabourer
Address73 Magpie Street, Ballarat East, Victoria
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation21
Height5' 4.5"
Weight144 lbs
Next of kinJohn Letcher, 73 Magpie Street, Ballarat East, Victoria
Previous military serviceServed in the 7th Infantry Regiment, Citizen Military Forces; time expired.
Enlistment date24 August 1914
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name8th Battalion, A Company
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/25/1
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Melbourne, Victoria, on board Transport A24 Benalla on 19 October 1914
Rank from Nominal RollCorporal
Unit from Nominal Roll60th Battalion
FateKilled in Action 19 July 1916
Age at death from cemetery records23
Place of burialNo known grave
Commemoration detailsV.C. Corner (Panel No 19), Australian Cemetery Memorial, Fromelles, France
Panel number, Roll of Honour,
  Australian War Memorial
170
Miscellaneous information from
  cemetery records
Parents: John and Elizabeth LETCHER, 73 Magpie Street, Mount Pleasant, Victoria. Native of Ballarat, Victoria
Family/military connectionsBrother: 414 Pte Alexander James LETCHER, 21st Bn, returned to Australia, 5 April 1919.
Other details

War service: Egypt, Gallipoli, Western Front

Embarked Alexandria to join the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force, Gallipoli, 5 April 1915.

Wounded in action, 25 April 1915 (gun shot wound, shoulder); admitted to No 1 Australian General Hospital, Heliopolis, 25 April 1915; transferred to No 2 Australian General Hospital, Mena, 25 April 1915; to Base Details, Zeitoun, 14 May 1915; rejoined Bn, Gallipoli, 26 May 1915.

Disembarked Alexandria, 7 January 1916 (general Gallipoli evacuation).

Appointed Lance Corporal, 19 January 1916.

Transferred to 60th Bn, 24 February 1916, and taken on strength, Tel el Kebir.

Promoted corporal, 25 March 1916.

Admitted to 15th Australian Field Ambulance, 14 April 1916 (mole in stomach); rejoined Bn, Ferry Post, 21 April 1916.

Embarked Alexandria to join the British Expeditionary Force, 18 June 1916; disembarked Marseilles, France, 29 June 1916.

Reported Missing, 19 July 1916.

Court of Enquiry, held in the field, 4 August 1917, pronounced fate as 'Killed in Action, 19 July 1916'.

Statement, Red Cross File No 1590508, 1739 Pte W. HARRISON, Signaller, HQ Company, 60th Bn (patient, No 9 General Hospital, Rouen), 21 November 1916: 'I knew Letcher well. his No. was 158. On the 19th July the Co. went over at Fromelles at 7 o'clock p.m. When we were crossing No Man's Land I saw Letcher killed by a shell and blown to pieces. There were a very large number of casualties, and we had to retire eventually.'

Second statement, 3368 Pte A.C. HORDERN, 60th Bn, 11 December 1916: 'These 3 men [Hordern and 2 unnamed] were in my platoon and section. Whe we were in No Man's Land on 19th. July a shell burst close to these three who were together in a bunch. Letcher (who was a Cpl.) was killed. I saw the remains of him afterwards byt I saw nothing of the others. I feel sure they were killed.'

Third statement, also by HORDERN (patient, Southall Hospital, London, England), 15 May 1917: 'We were advancing in the big stunt at Fleurbaix and were in No-mans-land (sic). I was next to Jack Letcher when a shell blew him to pieces. I got shell shock same shell, and when I came to I had a look round and could only find a bit of his boot and bits of equipment. This was in July 1916.'
SourcesNAA: B2455, LETCHER John Gordon
Red Cross File No 1590508

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