2212 Private James Morrish, from Parramatta Soldiers, Cumberland Argus, 1920

James Morrish was a native of England. He arrived in Australia 12 to 13 years before his enlistment on 5 March 1916 with the Australian Imperial Force, 45 Infantry Battalion, 4 Reinforcements at Canterbury, New South Wales. At the time he was 30 years old and married to Jessie Rose Morrish. The couple lived at “Collinda,” Marsden Street, Parramatta; and he was also working as an engineer machinist at Clyde Engineering Works Sydney. In his military papers, James stated that he was born at St. George, Canterbury, Cumberland (Australia) which appears to be the district he enlisted. He is believed to be born in 1886 to parents James and Mary Jane Morrish. On 22 August, he embarked from Sydney aboard the HMAT Wiltshire (A18). By 18 January 1917, James arrived in France as per the ship Henrietta from Folkestone, England. By 3 February, he was taken on strength and became part of the 45 Infantry Battalion.

Sadly, he was killed in action, while stretcher bearing, on 8 June 1917, behind Messines, Belgium, aged 34. He was buried near the Messines village. Post war his body was not recovered and he is remembered with honour on the Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial, Belgium. His widow, Jessie, at the time was one of the worker at St. John’s Church Parramatta. In 1922, she remarried Thomas D. Williams of Ashfield, New South Wales. Jessie passed away on 25 July 1928.

Anne Tsang, Research Assistant & Naga Durga Devi Kona, Volunteer Research Assistant, City of Parramatta, Parramatta Heritage Centre, 2016

Boys who have Fallen or are Wounded. (1917, July 14). The Cumberland Argus and Fruitgrowers Advocate, p. 4. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article86085964