John William THOMPSON

John William THOMPSON

Per his military service record (regimental no. 4609), John William Thompson was born at Camperdown, Sydney, N.S.W. He gave his age as 25 years and 4 months, his marital status as single and his occupation as laborer. His description on his medical was height 5 feet 2 5/8 inches tall, weight 8 stone 11 lbs., with a dark complexion, brown eyes, and dark brown hair. His religious denomination was Roman Catholic. He claimed that he had no previous military experience. He completed his medical on the 24th October 1915 at Orange, and was attested at Orange by Captain Nicholas on the 24th October 1915.

He was named as one of the recruits who joined the Coo-ees at Orange in the Leader.[1]

After completing the Coo-ee March he went to Liverpool Camp as reinforcement for the 13th Battalion.

On his embarkation roll his address at time of enrolment was 4 Raglan Street, Darlington, Sydney, N.S.W., and his next of kin is listed as his father, J. W. Thompson, Botany, Sydney, N.S.W..

On 16th February 1916 Private Thompson was one of the first group of Coo-ees to embark overseas, and departed Sydney on the HMAT Ballarat A70 as 14th reinforcement for the 13th Battalion.

HMAT Ballarat A70, 18/2/1916. Photograph from the AWM Collection PB0182.

HMAT Ballarat A70, 18/2/1916. Photograph from the AWM Collection PB0182.

During the voyage, Private Thompson (along with several other Coo-ees on the ship) was charged with being absent without leave from on 8th March 1916 whilst at Colombo, Ceylon. He was fined 1 pound.

The HMAT Ballarat A70 arrived in Egypt on 22nd March 1916.

On 1st April 1916 John William Thompson was transferred to the 54th Battalion at Ferry Post.

On 3rd April 1916 Private Thompson was sent to the 15th Australian Field Ambulance sick. He was moved back to the 2nd Casualty Clearing Station later that day. He was placed aboard the 4th Hospital Train and moved to the 1st Australian Stationary Hospital at Ismalia in Egypt. He was transferred to the 1st Australian Dermatological Hospital at Abbassia in Egypt on 4th April 1916. He was discharged from hospital for duty on 6th June 1916.

On 6th August 1916 Private Thompson left Alexandria bound for England. He arrived later that month.

On 31st August 1916 Private Thompson was sent to the Fargo Military Hospital ill with an unstated condition. He was discharged and marched into the 4th Training Battalion at Rollerstone in England on 5th September 1916.

On 2nd November 1916 Private Thompson departed Folkestone, England, aboard the Transport Golden Eagle bound for France. He then marched into the 5th Australian Division Base Depot at Etaples, France the next day. He was taken on strength of the 54th Battalion on 22nd November 1916.

On 8th May 1917 Private Thompson was sent to the 5th Australian Field Ambulance suffering from the effects of an inoculation. He was moved back to the 5th Division Rest Station and rejoined the Battalion on 12th May 1917.

On 1st June 1917 Private Thompson was sent to the 6th Field Ambulance ill with “soft sore”. He was moved back to the 5th Division Rest Station later that day. On 6th June 1917 he was transferred to the 39th General Hospital. He was discharged on 22nd June 1917 and sent to the 5th Australian Division Base Depot at Le Harve, France. He rejoined the 54th Battalion on 26th August 1917.

On 2nd October 1917 Private Thompson went on leave to England. Whilst in England he was charged with being absent without leave from 8th October 1917 till 15th October 1917. He was fined 22 days pay.

Private Thompson returned from leave and rejoined his unit on 26th October 1917.

On 30th November 1917 Private Thompson was charged with being absent without leave from 11th November 1917 till 25th November 1917. He was awarded 28 days field punishment number 2.

On 5th January 1918 Private Thompson was charged with being absent without leave from 0900 on 3rd January 1917 till 2150 on 3rd January 1918. He was awarded 7 days field punishment number 2.

On 11th January 1918 Private Thompson was sent to the 14th Field Ambulance sick and he was transferred to the 39th General Hospital. He was discharged on 26th January 1918 and sent to the 5th Australian Division Base Depot at Le Harve, France. He rejoined the Battalion on 20th February 1918.

On 11th April 1918 Private Thompson was wounded in action, receiving a shrapnel wound to his left hand. He was sent to a Field Ambulance then moved back to a casualty clearing station, then on 12th April 1918 he was admitted to the 12th General Hospital at Rouen, France. He was discharged on 13th April 1918 and sent to the 5th Australian Division Base Depot at Le Harve, France. He rejoined the 54th Battalion on 10th June 1918.

On 25th June 1918 Private Thompson was sent to the 5th Army School of Cookery. On 11th July 1918 he was sent to the Australian Division Base Depot, then on 31st July 1918 he rejoined his unit.

On 21st August 1918 he was received by Assistant Provost Marshal Havre from Paris. On 23rd August 1918 he was placed in custody pending disposal. On 26th August 1918 Private Thompson was charged with being absent without leave from the 0730 on 18th August 1918 till 2240 on 20th August 1918. He was awarded 14 days field punishment number 2.

On 29th September 1918 Private Thompson was wounded in action for the second time, receiving a gunshot wound to his left hand. He was sent to a Field Ambulance then moved back to the 30th Casualty Clearing Station. On 1st October 1918 he was admitted to the 4th General Hospital.

On 12th October 1918 he was placed aboard a Hospital Ship for evacuation to England. He was admitted to the Ontario Military Hospital at Orplington, England later that day.

Whilst in hospital Private Thompson was charged with being absent without leave from 2100 on 21st October 1918 till 1900 on 22nd October 1918. He was fined 1 days pay.

He was discharged from hospital on 29th October 1918 and granted leave to report to the Number 4 Command Depot at Hurdcott in England on 12th November 1918.

On 16th November 1918 Private Thompson was charged with being absent without leave from 1030 on 13th November 1918 till 1000 on 16th November 1918. He was fined 3 days pay.

On 18th November he marched into No. 4 Command Depot at Hurdcott from Army Headquarters in London ex furlough.

On 2nd December 1918 Private Thompson marched into the Australian Army Medical Corps Training Depot.

Private Thompson departed England on 5th January 1919 for return to Australia aboard the Transport Kanowna. He disembarked in Sydney on 14th March 1919. He was discharged at Sydney medically unfit with amputated forefinger left hand, gunshot wound, on 5th May 1919.

[1] ‘The Recruits’, Leader, 25 October 1915, p. 4, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article117842599

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