The AIF Project


Regimental number2460
Date of birth--/04/1887
Place of birthGrahamstown, via Gundagai, New South Wales
SchoolGrahamstown and Adelong Public Schools, New South Wales
Other trainingHe was working as an employee of the railway when he enlisted, but information given by his wife via the Roll of Honour Circular indicates that he also had training as a school teacher.
OccupationPlate layer
AddressGemalla, New South Wales
Marital statusMarried
Age at embarkation29
Height5' 6"
Weight158 lbs
Next of kinWife, Mrs Ruby Stella Melrose, Police Depot, Wollongong, New South Wales
Previous military serviceNil
Enlistment date15 May 1916
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name54th Battalion, 5th Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/71/3
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Sydney, New South Wales, on board HMAT A60 Aeneas on 30 September 1916
Rank from Nominal RollCorporal
Unit from Nominal Roll54th Battalion
FateDied of wounds 24 April 1918
Age at death from cemetery records31
Place of burialSt. Sever Cemetery Extension (Block P, Plot IX, Row D, Grave No. IB), Rouen, France
Panel number, Roll of Honour,
  Australian War Memorial
Miscellaneous information from
  cemetery records
Son of John and Jessie Melrose; Husband of Ruby S. Melrose of 'Osterley', 37 Osborne Road, Manly, New South Wales

Military Medal

'In the attack on this Battalion sector on 15.5.1917, in front of REINCOURT, Private MELROSE jumped over the parapet with a supply of bombs and bombed the enemy bombers out of a position on the right flank. The Lewis Gun, of which private MELROSE was No. 1, was temporarily out of action at the time. The example of Private MELROSE opened the way for other bombers to follow. Private MEROSE also volunteered for and performed good work in bombing down a sap, at that time held by the enemy. His influence proved a splendid incentive to the other men.'
Source: 'Commonwealth Gazette' No. 189
Date: 8 November 1917

Other details

War service: Western Front

Embarked Sydney, 30 September 1916; disembarked Plymouth, England, 19 November 1916.

Proceeded overseas to France, 21 December 1916; taken on strength, 54th Bn, 16 February 1917.

Promoted Lance Corporal, 8 June 1917.

Awarded Military Medal, 9 July 1917.

Sent for training in England in early 1918, he rejoined his unit on 12 April 1918.

Wounded in action, 19 April 1918 (gassed), and admitted to 55th Casualty Clearing Station; transferred to 5th General Hospital, Rouen, France.

Died of wounds, 24 April 1918.

His personal effects were among the 5500 packages (comprising the personal effects of over 5000 soldiers) lost when the HMAT 'Barunga' was lost by enemy action at sea. The loss of the 'Barunga' was the only instance in which any personal effects of deceased members of the AIF were lost in transit to Australia.

Medals: Military Medal, British War Medal, Victory Medal
SourcesNAA: B2455, MELROSE John

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