Updated: Jul 11, 2021
John was born in Penola South Australia on 10th June 1872. He joined the South Australian Police Force on the 1st May 1900. As a member of that Force, he was transferred to the Northern Territory on the 1st February 1904.
He arrived in Darwin on 23rd February 1904. He served at the Timber Creek Police Station from 28th July 1904 until June 1908. He then moved to Palmerston until he took up duties at the Brocks Creek Police Station in May of 1909. He sailed from Darwin back to Adelaide on the 29th August 1910, the reason being listed as illness. He spent several months in a private hospital. He resigned from the South Australian Police Force 1st January 1911.
It is interesting to note that John had to personally request reimbursement of the 12 pounds fare he had to pay personally to travel by ship from Darwin to Adelaide. Reimbursement of his passage was begrudgingly approved with the comment ‘it was the practice’.
Forty three year old John, who listed his occupation as a labourer, enlisted as No.748 in the Third Squadron, First Australian Remount Unit on the 6th October 1915. He embarked to Egypt on the 12th November 1915. He was classified as vision defective but he was still recruited. The army no doubt recognised the value to them derived from his farrier skills and other experience with horses.
Accordingly, he was attached to a remount support unit. The remount units provided replacement horses to the Light Horse Regiments in the field and looked after wounded and sick horses, they also broke in and trained remounts. John’s service was mainly in Palestine and Egypt. He was admitted to hospital suffering from influenza from the 23rd November until the 19th December 1918. He departed Port Said, Egypt on HMAT Burma on the 26th March 1919 arriving in Australia on the 27th May 1919.
John’s military service ended with his discharge on the 20th October 1919. He was residing in Loxton in South Australia on the 22 December 1924 when he signed for his war medals. His file includes a scribbled notation detailing that he had died on the 20th July 1953.