Jack Graham WIGGINS

Jack Graham WIGGINS

Pte. J. Wiggins (Sunday Times, 8/10/1916, p. 9)

Per his military service record (regimental no. 4918), Jack Graham Wiggins was born at Springwood, N.S.W.[1]  He gave his age as 21 years, his marital status as single, and his occupation as labourer.  His description on his Certificate of Medical Examination form was height 5 feet 10 inches tall, weight 9 stone 7 lbs., with a dark complexion, dark grey eyes, and dark hair.  His religious denomination was Church of England.  He claimed that he had no previous military service.

His “Joined on” date on his Attestation Paper was recorded as 9th November 1915, the day the Coo-ees marched from Springwood to Penrith.

He completed his medical examination at Springwood on 9th November 1915, but was not attested until 11th November 1915 at Ashfield (when the Coo-ees were at Ashfield).

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

On 4th January 1916 Private Wiggins was charged with being absent without leave for 7 days. He was fined.

On 21st February 1916 he was charged with being absent from Parade on 19th  February 1916. He was fined.

On his embarkation roll his address at time of enrolment was Sassafras Road, Springwood, N.S.W., and his next of kin is listed as his father, E. Wiggins, at the same address.[2]

On 8th March 1916 Private Wiggins, along with many of the other Coo-ees, departed Sydney on the HMAT A15 Star of England.  He arrived in Egypt on 11th April 1916.

On 19th April 1916 he was transferred to the 45th Battalion in Egypt.

On 2nd June 1916 Private Wiggins left Alexandria aboard the transport Kinfauns Castle bound for France.  He arrived at Marseilles on 8th June 1916.

Private Wiggins served with the 45th Battalion through its first action at Fleurbaix, France, in July 1916, then as it moved to Pozieres in early August 1916.

From the 5th August 1916 until the 8th August 1916 the 45th Battalion was holding front line trenches between Pozieres and Martinpuich, France, until they were relieved, and moved back into support trenches.[3] On 8th August 1916 Private Wiggins was wounded in action, with a gunshot wound to his face.  He was evacuated to the 3rd Casualty Clearing Station on 9th August 1916. On 10th August 1916 he was admitted to the 2nd Australian General Hospital at Wimereux, France.

On 14th August 1916 Private Wiggins was sent by Hospital Ship from Le Havre to England, where he was admitted to the Northampton War Hospital.

On 6th October 1916 he reported back from leave to No. 1 Command Depot at Perham Downs, England.  He then marched in to the 12th Training Battalion camp at Codford.

On 14th October 1916 Private Wiggins departed England for France.

On 5th October 1916 Private Wiggins marched into the 4th Australian Division Base Depot at Etaples, France.

On 29th October 1916 he re-joined the 45th Battalion when it was training at Brucamps, France.

On 5th December 1916 the 45th Battalion was training at Dernacourt, France.[4] On this day Private Wiggins was charged with being absent from parade (fatigue work). He was awarded 168 hours Field Punishment No. 2.

On 23rd December 1916 the 45th Battalion was training at Flesselles, France.[5]  Private Wiggins was charged with being absent without leave from Parade at Dernacourt on 11th December 1916. He was fined 7 days pay.

On 29th December 1916 Private Wiggins was sent to hospital.  On 1st January 1917 the 45th Battalion was still training at Flesselles, France, when Private Wiggins was evacuated to the 8th Australian Field Ambulance with Trench Feet. He re-joined the 45th Battalion on 15th January 1917 when it was manning the front line in the vicinity of Guedecourt, France.

On 12th November 1917 the 45th Battalion was training at Erny St Julien, France.[6] On this day Private Wiggins was charged in a Field General Court Martial with while on active service, deserting his Majesty’s Service. Private Wiggins pleaded not guilty. He was found not guilty of desertion, but guilty of being absent without leave from 10 am on 19th October 1917 to 4 pm on 20th October 1917. The 45th Battalion had been in the front line around Ypres, Belgium, at the time.[7] He was awarded 90 days Field Punishment No. 2 and fined 49 days pay. 65 days of the Field Punishment was later remitted.

On 28th March 1918 the 45th Battalion was in support and front line trenches in the vicinity of Dernacourt, France, during the First Battle of Dernacourt, when Private Wiggins was wounded in action for the second time, receiving a shrapnel wound to his left thigh.[8]  He was admitted to the 13th Australian Field Ambulance. The next day he was moved back to the 56th Casualty Clearing Station, then admitted  to the 20th General Hospital at Camiers, France.

On 1st April 1918 Private Wiggins was placed aboard the Hospital Ship Ville De Liege for evacuation to England. Upon arrival he was admitted to the Norfolk War Hospital at Norwich, England.

On 9th May 1918 Private Wiggins was discharged from hospital, and granted leave to report to the No. 1 Command Depot at Sutton Veny, England, on 23rd May 1918.

On 16th June 1918 Private Wiggins was admitted to the Sutton Veny Military Hospital suffering Influenza. He was discharged on 24th June 1918.

On 6th July 1918 Private Wiggins was transferred to the Overseas Training Brigade at Longbridge Deverill, England. On 3rd August 1918 Private Wiggins departed Folkestone, England, bound for France. On 5th August 1918 he marched into the 4th Australian Division Base Depot at Le Harve, France.

On 11th August 1918 Private Wiggins re-joined the 45th Battalion when it was resting in the vicinity of Sailly-Laurette, France.[9]

On 20th January 1919 the 45th Battalion was at Hastiere, Belgium, when Private Wiggins was charged with using insolent language Towards an NCO. He was awarded 14 days Field Punishment No. 2 and fined 14 days pay.

On 30th January 1919 Private Wiggins was one of a party of 50 men from the 45th Battalion sent to the 4th Australian Division Base Depot at Le Harve, France, to commence the journey to Australia for demobilisation.

On 10th February 1918 Private Wiggins departed Le Harve for England, arriving at Weymouth on 11th February 1919, where he marched into the 3rd Training Brigade.

On 31st March 1919 Private Wiggins was declared an Illegal Absentee, having been absent without leave from 3rd March 1919.

On3rd July 1919 a court martial was held where Private Wiggins was charged with being absent without leave from 0001 3rd March 1919 till reporting back at 1700 on 11th June 1919. He was found guilty and sentenced to 4 months detention. On 28th July 1919 Private Wiggins was admitted to the Lewes Detention Barracks, England.

On 21st August 1919 Private Wiggins was discharged from the Lewes Detention Barracks, with the remainder of his sentence remitted.

On 22nd August 1919 Private Wiggins departed England bound for Australia aboard the HMAT  Anchises.

He arrived in Sydney on 13th October 1919, and was discharged the same day Services No Longer Required.

A welcome home concert was held for ‘J. Wiggins’ and several other local soldiers at Springwood on  27th December 1919.[10]

 

[1] NAA: B2455, WIGGINS JACK GRAHAM

[2] Australian War Memorial. First World War Embarkation Roll, Jack Graham Wiggins, 4918.

[3] Australian Imperial Force unit war diaries, 1914-18 War – AWM4 Subclass 23/62 – 45th Infantry Battalion, August 1916.

[4] Australian Imperial Force unit war diaries, 1914-18 War – AWM4 Subclass 23/62 – 45th Infantry Battalion, December 1916.

[5] Australian Imperial Force unit war diaries, 1914-18 War – AWM4 Subclass 23/62 – 45th Infantry Battalion, December 1916.

[6] Australian Imperial Force unit war diaries, 1914-18 War – AWM4 Subclass 23/62 – 45th Infantry Battalion, November 1917.

[7] Australian Imperial Force unit war diaries, 1914-18 War – AWM4 Subclass 23/62 – 45th Infantry Battalion, October 1917.

[8] Australian Imperial Force unit war diaries, 1914-18 War – AWM4 Subclass 23/62 – 45th Infantry Battalion, March 1918.

[9] Australian Imperial Force unit war diaries, 1914-18 War – AWM4 Subclass 23/62 – 45th Infantry Battalion, August 1918.

[10] SPRINGWOOD. (1919, December 26). The Blue Mountain Echo (NSW : 1909 – 1928), p. 7. Retrieved January 26, 2018, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article108249963

 

2 responses to “Jack Graham WIGGINS

  1. Just wanted to say what a great job you have done with this project over the last few years. I work at the State Library of Queensland and have been involved in WW1 commemorative activities since 2014, particularly in digitising and cataloguing soldier portraits in high resolution, to assist projects such as yours in Queensland. You can see some of our work here: http://qanzac100.slq.qld.gov.au/showcase/soldier-portraits
    If you have any soldiers with a Queensland connection it might be worth checking SLQ’s catalogue.

    • Thank you very much for your kind words, and information about the State Library of Queensland collection. I have had a look at the link you have provided, and digitising and cataloguing the 30,000 portraits from The Queenslander publication is a great achievement. It is fantastic that the State Library of Queensland is also working with the National Archives of Australia to match and connect the soldier portraits with their war service record on the Discovering Anzacs website. There are a few Coo-ees who have ties to Queensland. I put a story on this website for Samuel Mathew Tancred only yesterday https://cooeemarch1915.com/2018/01/26/samuel-mathew-tancred/ who re-enlisted in Queensland in October 1917. When I checked the State Library of Queensland website for his name, I was amazed to find a photograph of him http://onesearch.slq.qld.gov.au/SLQ:SLQ_PCI_EBSCO:slq_digitool1187096! I have added this photograph to his story. (I work as a Cataloguer at my local public library, and have enjoyed participating in our local WWI projects, and digitising and cataloguing photographs of our own local WWI soldiers).

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