John was a 26 year-old labourer when he enlisted 26 October 1915. At this time he was single gave his mother Mrs M Attwood, Short Street, Parramatta as his next of kin. Unfortunately his mother appears to have died while he was at war and his next of kin was changed to that of his brother living in Leigh Street, Edgecliffe.

John was five foot three and had a tattoo of a flag of leaves and clasping hand on his left forearm. He joined the 17 Battalion in France 15 September 1916 but had to go to hospital due to a poisoned hand, a month later he was back in action, and a month after that back in hospital with influenza. On 3 May 1917 John was killed in action in France.

Geoff Barker, Coordinator Research and Collection Services, Parramatta Council Heritage Centre, 2016