Per his military service record (regimental no. 4849), Jack Morris was born at Pennant Hills, N.S.W. He gave his age as 18 years and 1 month, his marital status as single, and his occupation as rivetter. His description on his medical was height 5 feet 4 ½ inches tall, weight 134 lbs., with a fair complexion, grey eyes, and light hair. His religious denomination was Wesleyan. He claimed that he had 4 years previous V.T. experience. He completed his medical on the 11th November 1915 at Parramatta, and was attested at Parramatta on the 11th November 1915. A note in his service record from his mother Annie Morris gave permission for her son Jack Morris to enlist in the Australian Expeditionary Force, dated 11th November 1915.
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 Sorrell Street, Parramatta, N.S.W., and his next of kin is listed as his widowed mother, Mrs. A. [Annie] Morris, Sorrell Street, Parramatta, N.S.W.
On 8th March 1916 Private Morris departed Sydney on the HMAT A15 Star of England, along with many of the other Coo-ees, arriving in Egypt on the 11th April 1916. On the 19th April 1916 he was transferred to the 45th Battalion at Serapeum. On the 23rd April 1916 he was sent to hospital sick. He rejoined the 45th Battalion on 1st May 1916.
On 2nd June 1916 Private Morris left Alexandria aboard the transport Kinfauns Castle bound for France, arriving at Marseilles on 8th June 1916.
Private Morris served with the 45th Battalion through its first action at Fleurbaix in France in July 1916, then as it moved to Pozieres in early August 1916. It was whist the 45th Battalion was in action in the vicinity of Pozieres, France, that Private Morris was killed in action on the night of the 5th/6thth of August 1916. His official date of death is the 6th August 1916. He has no known grave.
He died in the Battle of Pozieres on the same day as three Coo-ees in the 4th Pioneer Division – Oliver Harmon, another Coo-ee who joined at Parramatta, John Tarlington, who joined the Coo-ees at Blayney, and Karl Alex Frederick Neilson, who joined the Coo-ees at Springwood.
His death was reported in The Cumberland Argus and Fruitgrowers Advocate (9/9/1916 p. 4) as follows:
‘The Late Private Jack Morris.
The only son of a Parramatta widow.
One of the very sad cases of the losses of brave young soldiers was that when it was officially reported early this week to Mrs. Morris, widow, of Sorrell-street, Parramatta North, that her only son, a well-known Parramatta lad, Private Charles John (“Jack”) Morris, who enlisted at Parramatta with “the Coo-ees,” had been killed. Private Morris was born at Pennant Hills, and he would have been 19 years of age, had he lived, on the 28th of October. He was educated at the Brothers’ School, Parramatta North. His last letter was received three weeks ago, and was dated June 24. He had been to Egypt, and had then gone on to France, and was at the time of writing at the back of the fighting line, and within the sound of the guns. He left four sisters. He was reported to have been killed in action on the 5th or 6th of August.’
Private Morris is remembered on the Villers-Bretonneux Memorial, France.
Private Morris’ name is commemorated on panel 140 on the Australian War Memorial First World War Roll of Honour.
Private Morris’ name is also listed on the Parramatta War Memorial (under C. J. Morris).