The AIF Project

John Addie FERGUSON

Regimental number3048
Place of birthDunedin, New Zealand
SchoolRavensbourne Public School, Queensland
Other training21
Age on arrival in Australia21
ReligionPresbyterian
OccupationCarpenter
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation26
Height5' 6.5"
Weight145 lbs
Next of kinFather, T Ferguson, Ravenbourne, Otago, New Zealand
Enlistment date14 August 1915
Place of enlistmentGeraldton, Western Australia
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name11th Battalion, 10th Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/28/3
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Fremantle, Western Australia, on board HMAT A32 Themistocles on 13 September 1915
Rank from Nominal RollLance Corporal
Unit from Nominal Roll11th Battalion
FateKilled in Action 24 April 1918
Place of death or woundingFrance
Age at death28
Place of burialNo known grave
Commemoration detailsAustralian National Memorial, Villers-Bretonneux, France

Villers-Bretonneux is a village about 15 km east of Amiens. The Memorial stands on the high ground ('Hill 104') behind the Villers-Bretonneux Military Cemetery, Fouilloy, which is about 2 km north of Villers-Bretonneux on the east side of the road to Fouilloy.

The Australian National Memorial, Villers-Bretonneux is approached through the Military Cemetery, at the end of which is an open grass lawn which leads into a three-sided court. The two pavilions on the left and right are linked by the north and south walls to the back (east) wall, from which rises the focal point of the Memorial, a 105 foot tall tower, of fine ashlar. A staircase leads to an observation platform, 64 feet above the ground, from which further staircases lead to an observation room. This room contains a circular stone tablet with bronze pointers indicating the Somme villages whose names have become synonymous with battles of the Great War; other battle fields in France and Belgium in which Australians fought; and far beyond, Gallipoli and Canberra.

On the three walls, which are faced with Portland stone, are the names of 10,885 Australians who were killed in France and who have no known grave. The 'blocking course' above them bears the names of the Australian Battle Honours.

After the war an appeal in Australia raised £22,700, of which £12,500 came from Victorian school children, with the request that the majority of the funds be used to build a new school in Villers-Bretonneux. The boys' school opened in May 1927, and contains an inscription stating that the school was the gift of Victorian schoolchildren, twelve hundred of whose fathers are buried in the Villers-Bretonneux cemetery, with the names of many more recorded on the Memorial. Villers-Bretonneux is now twinned with Robinvale, Victoria, which has in its main square a memorial to the links between the two towns.

Panel number, Roll of Honour,
  Australian War Memorial
62
Miscellaneous information from
  cemetery records
Parents: Thomas Balfour and Agnes Addie FERGUSON, Main Road, Ravensbourne, Otago, New Zealand
Other details

War service: Egypt, Western Front

Joined 11th Bn, Tel el Kebir, 7 January 1916.

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

Admitted to 2nd Australian Field Ambulance, 9 November 1916 (trench feet), and transferred same day to Dressing Station (scabies); discharged to duty, 24 December 1916.

Admitted to 1st Australian Field Ambulance, 26 January 1917 (scabies); transferred to 1st Australian Staionary Hospital, 28 January 1917; to 1/1 South Midlands Casualty Clearing Station, 15 February 1917 (trouble in groin); to England, 1 March 1917, and admitted to 1st Southern General Hospital, Birmingham, 2 March 1917 (boil on thigh: severe); transferred to 2nd Auxiliary Hospital, Southall, 24 March 1917; discharged on furlough, 27 March 1917, to report to No 1 command Depot, Perham Downs, 11 April 1917.

Admitted to 1st Australian Dermatological Hospital, Bulford, 13 April 1917; discharged to Depot, 20 April 1917; total period of treatment for venereal disease: 8 days.

Proceeded overseas to France, 9 May 1917; rejoined Bn, in the field, 15 May 1917.

Appointed Lance Corporal, 20 May 1917.

Promoted Corporal, 15 July 1917.

Appointed Lance Sergeant, 25 September 1917.

Promoted Sergeant, 12 November 1917.

Killed in action, 24 April 1917.

Medals: British War Medal, Victory Medal
SourcesNAA: B2455, FERGUSON John Addie

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