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2010-04-19

An ANZAC tale.


I was doing a bit of checking out some of my family war service and now realise ANZAC day is coming up next Sunday, so a post isn't out of order.

My Mother's Mother's brother was killed in France on the 24th March 1917.
4881 John McGregor enlisted in the 57th Battalion on the 1st December 1915, his Mother had died 12 years earlier in childbirth when my Grandmother was born, the family was never well off and enlisting was probably the best thing that had ever happened to him. He was quickly promoted to Sergeant, which with his social position was probably as high as he could have achieved, and by accounts was a brave natural leader.
A member of his platoon was shot by a German sniper and Jack was shot in the head when he went to rescue him. Some sources have him shot by sniper, others have him being hit by a shell fragment, I believe the sniper to be the truer account.
His luck had run out as he was wounded previously on the 15th July 1916 with gunshot to the shoulder and back.
According to his Captain he had been recommended for a D.C.M prior to his death but I don't think my family ever heard anything of that, he did well enough to manage a promotion from his starting position in life.

Records of places are rather hard to research from online records but now once again I can thank Earth Google for letting us see the world. The photo shows the cemetery at Beaumetz-les-Cambrai in the Somme at France, however I believe it was a couple of km further down this road at the village of Doignies where he was killed, sorry but no street view available thus far, however I believe him to have been buried close to the big tree in the background. Later to be transferred to the Villers-Bretonneux Memorial.

The Tour de France pushbike race has a stage from the town of Cambrai this year and I shall take a bit of particular interest in that one.

2 comments:

  1. Jim, here is a link that you may like to look at.

    http://www.awm.gov.au/research/people/roll_of_honour/person.asp?p=489760

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  2. Well done Ken, I should have mentioned that a lot of war record info can be found online and that I had done a bit of looking earlier.
    www.naa.gov.au and ww2roll.gov.au are also good-uns.

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