John Hole SAUNDERS
Per his military service record (regimental no. 5766), John Hole Saunders was born at Parramatta, N.S.W. He gave his age as 18 years and 10 months, his marital status as single, and his occupation as shop assistant. His description on his Certificate of Medical Examination form was height 5 feet 7 ½ inches tall, weight 123 lbs., with a fair complexion, blue eyes, and brown hair. His religious denomination was Methodist. He claimed to have 4 years universal military training and was still serving.
He completed his medical examination on 10th November 1915 at Parramatta, and was attested by Lieutenant R. Howe at Parramatta on 11th November 1915, when the Coo-ees were recruiting at Parramatta. He claimed that he had 4 years military service in the Cadets.
After completing the Coo-ee March he went to Liverpool Camp as reinforcement for the 13th Battalion.
The Cumberland Argus and Fruitgrowers Advocate reported that Private ‘Jack’ Saunders’ was presented with a silver-mounted pipe, fountain pen, and other articles, at a send-off held for him and fellow Parramatta recruit Private Roy McMillan, at Parramatta on Monday 14th February 1916. 
On his embarkation roll his address at time of enrolment was Dersmore, Crimea Street, Parramatta, N.S.W., and his next of kin is listed as his father, J. H. [John Hole] Saunders, at the same address.
On 3rd May 1916 Private Saunders departed Sydney on the HMAT A46 Clan McGillivray, as part of the 18th reinforcements for the 13th Battalion.
He arrived in Egypt in June 1916.
On Te-el-Kebir on 25th July 1916 Private Saunders was charged with conduct to the prejudice of good order and military discipline in that whilst on a route march disobeyed an order directly given by his superior officer. He was awarded 2 days confined to barracks.
On 8th August 1916 Private Saunders departed Egypt bound for England aboard the Transport Megantic.
On 12th December 1916 Private Saunders departed Folkestone, England, aboard the SS Arundle bound for France. He marched into the 4th Australian Division Base Depot at Etaples, France on 13th December 1916.
On 19th December 1916 Private Saunders marched into the 13th Battalion when it was training at Coisy, France.
On 13th January 1917 the 13th Battalion was conducting fatigue duties at Mametz, France, when Private Saunders was evacuated the 5th Australian Field Ambulance sick with Influenza. On 15th January 1917 he was sent to the 38th Casualty Clearing Station, then placed aboard the 25th Ambulance Train for journey to No. 10 General Hospital at Rouen, France.
On 26th January 1917 he was released from hospital and sent to the 4th Australian Division Base Depot at Etaples, France.
He rejoined the 13th Battalion on 16th February 1917 whilst it was training and performing fatigue duties at Mametz, France.
On 11th April 1917 the 13th Battalion was involved in the attack on the Hindenburg line in the 1st Battle of Bullecourt, France, when Private Saunders was evacuated to the 8th Australian Field Ambulance suffering Asthma. He was moved to the 4th Australian Field Ambulance, then sent to the 56th Casualty Clearing Station on the 20th April 1917. On 23rd April 1917 he was transferred to the 11th Stationary Hospital at Rouen, France.
He was discharged from hospital on 26th April 1017 and sent to the 4th Australian Division Base Depot at Etaples, France. Whilst at the 4th Australian Division Base Depot Private Saunders was classified as “PB” [Permanent Base duties].
On 29th May 1919 he departed France bound for England with the status “P.B.”
Private Saunders arrived in Weymouth on 30th May 1917 and marched into the No. 2 Command Depot.
On the 4th of June 1917 he was transferred to the No. 1 Command Depot at Perham Downs, England.
On 9th June 1917 Private Saunders was classified as “B1A4” [fit for overseas training camp when passed dentally fit].
On 13th September 1917 Private Saunders was reclassified as “A3” [fit for overseas training camp, to which transferred for hardening, prior to rejoining unit overseas].
On 14th September 1917 Private Saunders was sent to the Headquarters Depots at Tidworth, England, to perform guard duties.
On 25th October 1917 Private Saunders was temporarily detached for duty at the Administrative Headquarters in London.
On 4th December 1917 Private Saunders was sent to the No. 3 Command Depot at Hurdcott, England. On 5th December 1917 he was reclassified as “B1A3” [fit for overseas training camp in two to three weeks].
On 15th December 1917 Private Saunders was reclassified “A3” [fit for overseas training camp, to which transferred for hardening, prior to rejoining unit overseas].
On 19th December 1917 Private Saunders was transferred to the Overseas Training Brigade at Longbridge Deverill, England.
On 10th January 1918 he departed Southampton, England, bound for France. He marched into the 4th Australian Division Base Depot at Le Harve, France, on 11th January 1918.
On 18th January 1918 Private Saunders rejoined the 13th Battalion on 18th January 1918 when it was training at Locre, Belgium.
On 27th January 1918 the 13th Battalion was at White Chateau was manning the front line near Hollebeke in Belgium when Private Saunders was evacuated to the 13th Australian Field Ambulance suffering Balantitis. He was moved back to the 2nd Australian Casualty Clearing Station. On 29th January 1918 he was placed aboard the 39th Ambulance Train and transported to the 39th General Hospital at Le Havre France, where he was admitted on 1st February 1918. He was discharged on 3rd February 1918, and sent to the 4th Australian Division Base depot at Le Harve.
He rejoined the 13th Battalion on 12th of February 1918 when it was training at Locre, Belgium.
On 9th May 1918 the 13th Battalion was manning support lines near Villers Bretonneux, France, when Private Saunders was evacuated to the 13th Australian Field Ambulance sick. He was moved back to the 61st Casualty Clearing Station then on 10th May 1918 he was placed aboard the 28th Ambulance Train for journey to the 39th General Hospital at Le Harve, France, where he was admitted on13th May 1918.
Private Saunders was discharged from hospital on 16th July 1918 and marched into the 4th Australian Division Base Depot at Le Harve that same day.
He rejoined the 13th Battalion on 3rd August 1918 when it was manning the front line south of Villers Bretonneux, France.
On 7th August 1918 the 13th Battalion was preparing to move forward to participate in an attack on the German lines around Amiens when Private Saunders went absent without leave at 9.30 p.m. He returned at 9.15 a.m. on 12th August 1918. On 22nd August 1918 he was charged with being absent without leave, and was awarded 28 days field punishment No. 2 and fined 33 days pay.
On 15th September 1918 the 13th Battalion was preparing to move forward to the front line when Private Saunders went absent without leave again.
He was located on 18th September 1918 and charged with desertion. On 7th October 1918 a Field General Courts Martial was held where Private Saunders was charged with Desertion. He pleaded Not Guilty. He was found Guilty, and he was sentenced to serve 10 years Penal Servitude.
On 8th November 1918 Private Saunders marched into the No. 1 Military Prison at Rouen, France.
On 17th February 1919 he was transferred to England on SS Nirvana to serve the remainder of his sentence. On 19th February 1919 Private Saunders marched into His Majesty’s Prison at Portland in England.
On 25th April 1919 Private Saunders’ prison sentence was suspended, and he was released and marched into the No. 4 Group at Hurdcott, England, on 26th April 1919.
On 2nd June 1919 Private Saunders departed Devonport, England, aboard the HT Beltana bound for Australia.
He arrived in Sydney on 20th July 1919, and was discharged Termination of Period of Enlistment on 4th September 1919.
 NAA B2455, SAUNDERS JOHN HOB
 ‘The Sheepskin Fund’, The Cumberland Argus and Fruitgrowers Advocate, 19 February 1916, p. 11. Retrieved March 12, 2017, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article86072411
 Department of Veterans Affairs, ‘Army Medical Classifications – World War 1’ in Chapter 5 Abbreviations and Medical Classifications’, http://www.dva.gov.au/consultation-and-grants/advocacy-training/repatriation-handbooks
What a great story!
Thanks for sharing this.
Thank you. My grandfather 🙂