Posted 17 July 2012 - 07:50 AM
I have copies from the National Archives of Australia the service papers for my great uncle John James Holden. On the ‘Attestation Paper of Persons Enlisted for Service Abroad’ it states that John was born at Barrow in Furness and at the time of his enlisting, on 1th December 1917, his father, my great grandfather, was living at Station Cottages, Silverdale, Lancashire (which I already knew) and John was living at ‘Meagrove’ or ‘Mesgrove’ (not sure which as I cannot make out the typed letter), Coraki, New South Wales, Australia. However, what was not known was that John, prior to emigrating had served for ‘4 years in the Territorials “Kings Own”’. It would appear from the service records that he was in the 15/31st Battalion and his service number was 5281.
Now what puzzles me is the following:
As far as my father was aware, from what his dad, John’s brother, had told him, John had emigrated to Australia prior to WW1 starting yet on his service papers, dated 1st August 1919, it states that he was awarded the 1914/15 Star as well as the British War Medal and the Victory Medal. I have not as yet been able to find out why he was eligible for the 1914/15 Star; do you think this is an oversight by the Australian Army/Government?
The Papers show that he left Australia from Sydney on 2nd March 1918, arriving at Southampton on 15th May 1918, and proceeding to France on 8th August 1918. Can anyone tell me whether he would have been involved in any fighting or would he have just been in a reserve unit held at the back seeing no action?