The AIF Project

James Aloysius MITCHELL

Regimental number3953
Date of birth9 February 1896
Place of birthHobart Tasmania
ReligionRoman Catholic
OccupationCivil servant
Address206 Harrington Street, Hobart, Tasmania
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation19
Next of kinFather, T P Mitchell, 206 Harrington Street, Hobart, Tasmania
Enlistment date28 June 1915
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name12th Battalion, 12th Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/29/3
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Melbourne, Victoria, on board HMAT RMS Orontes on 24 November 1915
Rank from Nominal RollSergeant
Unit from Nominal Roll41st Battalion
FateReturned to Australia 23 March 1919
Other details

War service: Egypt, Western Front, England

Medals: 1914-15 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal

Trained as an infantry signaller; transferred to 13th Training Bn, Egypt; successively promoted to Corporal, Sergeant, Staff Sergeant. Requested transfer to an active unit, willing to accept reduction in rank to (substantive) corporal. Request approved in mid-1917; sent on one month training course to Kandahar Barracks, Salisbury Plain, Wiltshire. Transferred to 41st Bn (9 Platoon), as Corporal (later Sergeant).

Contracted influenza, invalided to England, 26 June 1918. Transferred to No. 2 Command Depot, Weymouth, December 1918, for reassessment. Detached to AIF Headquarters, 2 December 1918-24 January 1919. Medically unfit for duties; rejoined Bn for return to Australia on board Hospital Ship 'Dongola', 23 March 1919.

Nominal Roll incorrectly states that unit at time of return to Australia was AIF Headquarters. Mitchell was apparently detached to AIF Headquaters because of his pre-enlistment status as a permanent Commonwealth public servant in the Auditor-General's Office; it was thought that his experience would be useful in the London Audit Office concerned with the demobilization process. Subsequent attempts to have the entry on the Nominal Roll changed to show that his unit at the commencement of his return to Australia was the 41st Bn have been unsuccessful.

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