Per his military service record (Depot), John Williams was born at Orange, N.S.W.[1]  He gave his age as 33 years and 4 months, his marital status as widower, and his occupation as miner. His description on his Certificate of Medical Examination was 5 feet 6 inches tall, weight 8 stone 12 lbs., with a dark complexion, grey eyes, and brown hair. His religious denomination was Roman Catholic. He claimed that he had no previous military service.

John Williams left from Gilgandra to join the Coo-ees.

Dr Henry Peet signed the ‘Preliminary Medical Examination section’ on his initial Application to Enlist in the Australian Imperial Force form (addressed to the Recruiting Officer at Dubbo) at Gilgandra on 22nd October 1915. John Williams listed his postal address on this form as ‘Gilgandra’.

A. H. Miller, Organising Secretary of the Gilgandra-Sydney route march, from the Gilgandra Recruiting Association, sent a telegram from Gilgandra to Major Wynne, Gilgandra Coo-ees, Orange, stating that he ‘forgot [to] send Williams medical papers sending today mail to Orange’.[2]

John Williams completed his medical examination, and was attested by Captain T. A. Nicholas, at Orange on 24th October 1915 (while the Coo-ees had a rest day at Orange).

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

On 14th December 1915 Private Williams was charged with being absent without leave from 8th December 1915 till 14th December 1915. He was recommended to be discharged.

On 15th December 1915 Private Williams was discharged not likely to become an efficient soldier.


[1] NAA: B2455, WILLIAMS J

[2] Telegram from A. H. Miller to Captain Wynne October 1915 in: Alex Halden (Joe) Miller papers mainly relating to the Gilgandra Coo-ee Recruitment March, New South Wales, 1912-1921, 1939. Gilgandra Coo-ee Recruitment March correspondence and papers, 1915-1939.

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