World War One – Parramatta Soldiers – Private Alfred George Jessop

World War One – Parramatta Soldiers – Private Alfred George Jessop

Private Alfred George Jessop was born in Parramatta.  According to the Cumberland Argus he attended Pitt Row School, now Parramatta West Public School.

However, his place of association at the time of his enlistment was Tweed Heads near Murwillumbah in New South Wales.

He was a labourer and enlisted for service at the age of twenty two, in Brisbane Queensland on 23 January 1916.

He named his mother Hannah who lived in Tumbulgum on the Tweed River as his next of kin.  He had a brother Ray who lived in Seville Street, Parramatta.

Private Alfred George Jessop embarked for service overseas with 31 Australian Infantry Battalion on 14 April 1916.

Following treatment in hospital for frost bite to his feet and a subsequent foot infection, he re-joined his unit in August 1917.

 Sadly, Private Alfred Jessop was killed in action in the field on 28 September 1917 in Belgium.  His war service record states that he is buried in the vicinity of Polygon Wood near Ypres.

This suggests he was involved in the Battle of Polygon Wood which commenced on 26 September 1917 and which was staged as part of the third battle of Ypres.  The battle cost 5,770 Australian casualties.

His name is engraved on the Menin Gate in Ypres Flanders Belgium.  The British War Medal, Victory Medal, Memorial Scroll and Memorial Plaque were given to his mother.  His name is located on the Roll of Honour at the Australian War Memorial.

References:

“Our Brave Boys on the Battle Fields” The Cumberland Argus and Fruitgrowers Advocate (Parramatta, NSW: 1888-1950), 8 December 1917, page 10.

Australian War Memorial Website Battle of Polygon Wood https://www.awm.gov.au/militaryevent/E153/

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Janet Britton, Volunteer Research Assistant, City of Parramatta, Parramatta Heritage Centre, 2016

 

World War One – Parramatta Soldiers – Victor Earle Brinkman

World War One – Parramatta Soldiers – Victor Earle Brinkman

Victor was the eldest son of Mrs J. Brinkman of Guidlford New South Wales (Myrtle Cottage, Albert Parade, and later “Le Roy” Calliope Street). He was born in Cabramatta and was a Railway Porter when he joined the forces on 7 May 1915 at 22 years of age. He served with the 18th Battalion, Australian Imperial Forces in Gallipoli. Victor died in service in August 1915, and his death was reported in the Cumberland Argus and Fruitgrowers Advocate (31 March 1917): “His death in action on August 27 1915, was communicated to his mother, after he had been reported missing ever since that date. Private Brinkman was a single man and enlisted on May 18, 1915, went into encampment three days later and sailed in the Kanowna (A.61) on June 19, 1915. He had only eight days in Egypt when he was sent direct to Gallipoli. His diary states that he left the base for the firing-line on August 22, 1915.

After fighting for only five days he was reported missing, a cable to this effort reaching his mother on October 13, 1915. The Red Cross Society has been making numerous inquiries since for the anxious mother, and reported to her that her son had been seen lying wounded on the parapet of his trench on the night of August 27, 1915 by another Australian named Private Smee. The next news Mrs Brinkman got was the receipt of her son’s identification disc and diary, which reached her in August last, but the atmosphere was finally cleared, though not in the way the relatives would have wished, by a cable sent to Rev. F. Reed. of Guidlford, on the 5th instant requesting him to inform Mrs Brinkman that her son was now as a result of the court of inquiry, reported killed in action on August 27, 1915. His brother, Private Roy Brinkman who left here when he was 17 years old with the Engineers is now fighting in France with the 5th Division of the Pioneers.”

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Chrissie Crispin – Volunteer Research Assistant – City of Parramatta – Parramatta Heritage Centre – 2016

World War One – Parramatta Soldiers – Private Wallace R. McKenzie

World War One – Parramatta Soldiers – Private Wallace R. McKenzie

Private Wallace McKenzie was a 20 year old shipwright from Sydney. He was the son of Mr J McKenzie and Mrs Jane McKenzie from Granville, New South Wales. He and his family were part of the Church of England. He enlisted on 17 August 1914. He was appointed as Corporal of a platoon on 19 October 1914. He embarked with his unit from Sydney aboard the HMAT Euripides A14 on 20 October 1914. He was promoted to Sergeant on 11 March 1915. He was wounded in action on 6 August 1915. He rejoined his unit on 14 August 1915. He was promoted to second lieutenant on 8 December 1915. He embarked for Alexandria on 23 March 1916. He was promoted to Lieutenant on 22 April 1916. On 24 July 1916 he suffered gunshot wounds to the head and shoulder while in France. He was transferred to England on 27 July 1916 and admitted to an Auxiliary Hospital in Harefield. He was discharged on 22 September 1916. On 17 October 1916 he rejoined his battalion in France. On 13 November 1916 he was mentioned in despatches for distinguished and gallant services by Commander Sir Douglas Haig in the field. On 2 March 1917 he suffered a gunshot wound to the right ankle, and was transferred to England on 5 March 1917 aboard the HS Panama. He was admitted to the 3rd London General Hospital on 6 March 1917. On 28 August 1917 he was admitted to Latchmere House Hospital, England, suffering delusional insanity. On 12 November 1917 he embarked for Australia aboard Themistocles A32 from England suffering from acute mania. He was struck off strength the next day and his appointment was terminated in Australia on 21 March 1918.

Kimberly Russell – Volunteer Research Assistant, City of Parramatta, Parramatta Heritage Centre, 2017

World War One – Parramatta Soldiers – Private Walter Lawrence Murray

World War One – Parramatta Soldiers – Private Walter Lawrence Murray

Private Walter Lawrence Murray was a 19 year old electrician living with his family in Phillip Street, Parramatta. He was the son of Mr and Mrs E. J. Murray. He and his family were of the Church of England. He enlisted at Randwick, New South Wales, on 17 August 1914. He embarked with his infantry from Sydney aboard the HMAT Afric A19 on 18 October 1914. He suffered a gunshot wound on 18 April 1915, and was admitted to Ras-el-tin, near Alexandria, Egypt before being transferred to England on 2 June 1915. He was taken on strength on 8 June 1916. He was charged with being illegally absent on 22 April 1917. He was fitted with a glass eye in Harefield, England, on 3 August 1917. He was charged with overstaying his leave in England from 14 September 1917 to 16 September 1917, and was force to forfeit three days pay. He returned to Australia for discharge on 21 December 1917.

 

Kimberly Russell – Volunteer Research Assistant, City of Parramatta, Parramatta Heritage Centre, 2017

 

 

World War One – Parramatta Soldiers – Trooper Merza Tucker Jeffery

World War One – Parramatta Soldiers – Trooper Merza Tucker Jeffery

Trooper Merza Tucker Jeffery (known as Bob) enlisted on 5 March 1917 at the age of eighteen.  He was single and his occupation was recorded as clerk.

He named his father Harold as his next of kin.  They lived in Harris Street, Granville.

He embarked for service overseas on 2 November 1917 to serve with the 7 Light Horse Regiment 2 Light Horse Brigade.

Trooper Merza Jeffery’s war service records indicate that in early August of 1918 he was dangerously ill and was being hospitalised in Egypt.  The Army Authorities kept his parents informed of his recovery.  In September of 1917, his father wrote to Base Records to express his sincere gratefulness for the receipt of frequent cables informing them of his son’s progress.

The Cumberland Argus reported on his recovery in its edition of 7 September 1918 at page 11.

Trooper Merza Jeffery returned to Australia and was discharged from service in August 1919.  He was awarded the British War Medal and Victory Medal.

A letter from his daughter Robin, which she wrote in 1970 to inquire about his eligibility for the Anzac Medal, indicates that Merza (Bob) Jeffery died sometime in 1955.

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Janet Britton, Volunteer Research Assistant, City of Parramatta, Parramatta Heritage Centre, 2016

World War One – Parramatta Soldiers – Private Horace Frederick Robinson

World War One – Parramatta Soldiers – Private Horace Frederick Robinson

Private Horace Frederick Robinson was a 19 year old clerk from “Roslyn”, Cowper Street Granville. He was born in Kent, England, to John Robinson, and was the younger brother of Henry James Robinson. He enlisted on 20 July 1915 and was assigned to 30 Infantry Battalion. His brother gave his official consent for Horace to enlist as a minor. He embarked with his unit aboard the HMAT “Beltana” A72 from Sydney on 9 November 1915. He embarked from Alexandria aboard the HMAT “Hororata” on 16 June 1916 to join his battalion, and disembarked at Marseilles on 23 June 1916. He was reported missing in France on 19 July 1916. The next day he was reported killed in action in France on 19 July 1916. He was buried in VC Corner Australian Cemetery and Memorial, Fromelles, Lille, Nord Pas de Calais, France. His name is displayed in the Commemorative Area of the Australian War Memorial.

Kimberly Russell – Volunteer Research Assistant, City of Parramatta, Parramatta Heritage Centre, 2017

World War One – Parramatta Soldiers – – Private William Hugh Robertson

World War One – Parramatta Soldiers – – Private William Hugh Robertson

Private William Hugh Robertson was a 22 year old grocer from Wilson Street, Wollongong, New South Wales, when he enlisted. He was born in Nowra and enlisted in Liverpool. He was the son of Mr John Robertson and Mrs Jessie Johnson Wallace. He had two brothers who were also soldiers in the Australian Army. About two years prior to enlisting he moved from Wollongong to Granville, where he was employed as a grocer. He enlisted on the 27 June 1915 and was assigned to the 1 Infantry Battalion, 9 to 12 reinforcements. He embarked with his unit aboard the HMAT “Argyllshire” from Sydney on 30 September 1915. He was taken on strength in Tel-el-Kebir on 6 January 1916. On 13 February 1916 he was transferred to the 53 Battalion. On 19 June 1916 he embarked from Alexandria and disembarked at Marseilles on 28 June 1916. He was wounded in action and reported missing in France on 19 July 1916. He was later discovered to have been killed in action on this day at Pozieres, France. He was buried in the Ration Farm Military Cemetery, La Chapelle-D’armentieres, Lille, Nord Pas de Calais, France. His name is displayed in the Commemorative Area of the Australian War Memorial.

Kimberly Russell – Volunteer Research Assistant, City of Parramatta, Parramatta Heritage Centre, 2017

World War One – Parramatta Soldiers – Private William Lawrence McKay

World War One – Parramatta Soldiers – Private William Lawrence McKay

Private William Lawrence McKay was a 22 year old laborer from the Parramatta branch of the Australian Gas-Light Company. He and his family lived in Cleveland Street, Sydney. He was single and a Roman Catholic. He was the son of Mr H McKay and Mrs Margaret McKay. He enlisted on 1 September 1914. He embarked with his unit from Sydney aboard the HMAT Euripides A14 on 20 October 1914. He was killed in action on 5 July 1915 in Gallipoli, Turkey. He as buried in Shrapnel Valley Cemetery, Gallipoli Peninsula, Canakkale Province, Turkey. His name is displayed at the Australian War Memorial in the Commemorative Area at site 41.

Kimberly Russell – Volunteer Research Assistant, City of Parramatta, Parramatta Heritage Centre, 2017

World War One – Parramatta Soldiers – William Dawson Fisk

World War One – Parramatta Soldiers – William Dawson Fisk

William was the son of G.D. Fisk of Guildford, New South Wales. He was born in Inverell, New South Wales and was a 24 year old shop assistant when he joined the forces on 22 March 1915. He married Miss Ella Virtue (also of Guildford) on 8th April 2015 prior to departing Sydney. He served with 20th Battalion, 5th Brigade at Gallipoli from 16th to 25th of August 1915 before being transferred to hospital in Malta due to a sprained ankle. He rejoined his unit in Gallipoli on 25 October 1915 until disembarking from Mudros to Alexandria, Egypt on 9 January 1916. He was promoted to Temporary Sergeant for six weeks in early 1916 whilst in Egypt and then again later that same year whilst serving in France.

He was involved in a raiding party on the night of 25 June 1916 for which he was awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal (D.C.M.) for: “…conspicuous gallantry when repeatedly rescuing wounded men under heavy fire after a successful raid, [and] throughout the whole raid he displayed great bravery”.

He went missing in action on 26 July 1916 and the Court of Enquiry determined that he had been killed in action on 29 September 1917 . The following account was provided on 9 January 1917 by his Captain, J.A. Broadbent, who wrote from London “He was my bombing sergeant. On 26th [July] last, in the Somme region our Battalion was ordered to make a raid on the enemy trenches. Half the battalion bombers under Fisk were sent also. He had charge of the left storming party, and went over with the others. As far as can be ascertained this party was held up by the enemy wire. Fisk led his men, but although I made exhaustive inquiries afterwards, nobody knows his fate for certain. I have not written his people, in the first place, because I thought he may have been captured and later misplaced his address. In case of his capture he would have written or had someone else write for him. He was posted as “Missing” in the absence of any knowledge of his welfare. As far as his manliness is concerned, his people must know of it, as I do. He was [one] of the finest men, and best soldiers I have ever met. His people also would know that he won the D.C.M. for gallant work in a raid some months previous to the Somme fighting. Although I hope sincerely that he is alive, yet I cannot advise holding out any hope for him. In the particular action in which Fisk took part, there were a large number of casualties and those that remained, could give no information of him.”

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Chrissie Crispin – Volunteer Research Assistant – City of Parramatta – Parramatta Heritage Centre – 2016

World War One – Parramatta Soldiers – Sapper Alfred William Jarman

World War One – Parramatta Soldiers – Sapper Alfred William Jarman

Sapper (military engineer) Albert William Jarman was born in Kent, England and was a shipwright by trade.

He was married to Linda Maude Jarman and they lived in Wentworth Street, Harris Park Parramatta.  They had two children.

Sapper Alfred William Jarman enlisted to serve on 4 January 1916 and embarked for service overseas with the 1 Australian Tunnelling Company on 20 February 1916.

His war service record indicates that in late November 1916 he was treated for an injury to the right foot which he had sustained accidentally while doing carpentry work.

Sadly, he died from wounds he subsequently received in action on 13 June 1917.

Sapper Alfred William Jarman is buried at Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery, Lijssenthoek, Flanders, Belgium.  A photograph of his grave is located on the Australian Tunnellers of World War 1 Website.

The website documents that on 13 June 1917, a shell burst while he and four others were unloading a truck at a place called Lille Gate.  He died sometime later that day at the Second Canadian Casualty Clearing Station from the severe wounds he received from the incident.

Notice of his death is published in the Cumberland Argus of 30 June 1917 at page 10.

Sapper Alfred William Jarman was awarded the British War Medal and Victory Medal.  The medals, a photograph of his grave and a Memorial Scroll were given to his wife.

His name is located on the Memorial Arch at Saint John’s Anglican Cathedral Parramatta and his name is also located on the Roll of Honour at the Australian War Memorial.

Reference

Australian Tunnellers of World War 1 Website   http://www.tunnellers.net/pages/indexpag.html

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Janet Britton, Volunteer Research Assistant, City of Parramatta, Parramatta Heritage Centre, 2016

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