John Aubrey Nunn MC

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John Aubrey Nunn MC
Nunn John Aubrey.jpg
Personal Information
Date of Birth 29 Oct 1883
Place of Birth Waterloo, Sydney, New South Wales
Death 15 Aug 1978, aged 94
Place of Death Armadale, Western Australia
Age at Enlistment 32 years, 7 months
Occupation Licensed Surveyor
Religion Church of England
Address NOK Goldsmith road, Claremont, Western Australia
Next of Kin Wife , Mrs Rose Patience May Nunn
Military Information
Reg Number Captain
Date of Enlistment 1 Apr 1916
Rank Captain
Unit/Formation 3rd Pioneer Battalion
Date of Embarkation 6 Jun 1916 ‒ 26 Jul 1916
Ship Embarked On HMAT A62 Wandilla
Date of Return 1 May 1919 ‒ 15 Jul 1919
Ship Returned On SS China
Fate Wounded in Action 22 Aug 1918
Monument Banjup War Memorial
Medals Military Cross
British War Medal
Victory Medal

Pre War

In 1909 John married Rose Patience May Smith in Northam. John served with both Artillery (4 years as a Senior Cadet) and 6 months as a provisional Lieutenant in the Infantry of the Citizens Military Forces prior to enlistment.

Electoral Roll entries 1910 - Keane street Peppermint Grove, surveyor; 1914 "Royston", Saladin street Claremont.

War Service

Following enlistment as a Temporary 2nd lieutenant, John was sent to Victoria to complete his training before he embarked for England from Melbourne. Appointed Lieutenant soon after his enlistment, and promoted to Captain on 1 May 1916.

While with the 3rd Pioneer Battalion at Larkhill, England he was posted to the Pioneer Training School in Reading from 24 Oct - 16 Nov 1916, and after he rejoined the battalion they were sent overseas to France on 24 Nov 1916. On 11 Mar 1917 he was again seconded to the Pioneer Training Battalion in Britain before returning to France through Southampton on 5 Oct 1917, rejoining his battalion on 12 Oct 1917. He was granted leave in Paris from 11 - 18 Jan 1918, and then on 14 Feb 1918 he was granted leave in England, rejoining the battalion on 1 Mar 1918. This was followed by another detachment to the Royal Engineers Training School in Rouen from 6 Jul till 4 Aug 1918 when he rejoined the 3rd Pioneer Battalion.

On 22 Aug 1918 John was wounded in Action when the battalion was used as infantry in what was their first occasion being used in an offensive strike, an attack on German lines near Bray, south of the Somme River. He had received what was described as a 'slight' chest wound, and was admitted first to the 10th Field Ambulance who passed him on to the 47th Casualty Clearing Station the same day, then loaded aboard Ambulance Train No.11 for the 8th General Hospital in Rouen where he arrived on 2 Sep 1918.

Transferred from hospital to a Base Depot on 4 Sep 1918, he was able to rejoin his Pioneer Battalion on 10 Sep 1918, two days after a 3rd Division Special Order was published awarding him the Military Cross. Granted another leave in England on 16 Sep 1918, he returned to France on 10 Oct 1918, before yet another leave period in England from 23 Feb - 22 Mar 1919. On 1 Apr 1919 he returned to England one last time from France, this time to prepare for his return to Australia which followed soon after. John's appointment was terminated on 15 Jul 1919.

Award Commentary

Awarded the Military Cross. For conspicuous devotion to duty when east of Hamel in repairing roads under heavy shell fire immediately after the Infantry advance to enable the guns to advance.[1]

The officially published version is slightly different:

For conspicuous gallantry and ability during an attack. He succeeded in repairing a road under heavy fire, and so allowed the artillery to be brought into action. It was mainly due to his energy and example that an important piece of work was completed.[2]

Post War

Electoral Roll entries - 1925 - 1934 Marloo road, Greenmount, surveyor; 1937 - 1972 at 80 Webster street, Nedlands, surveyor; 1977 21 Angelo street, Armadale, retired

Rose died in Armadale aged 85 on 6 Jul 1973. Three daughters, one of whom was Marjorie May Nunn b 31 Aug 1914.


On the Banjup Memorial as H Nunn. No one by that name enlisted in WA. Total of 5 x Nunn enlistments in WA, with only one being Wounded in Action.

  1. 3rd Division Order 40/4519 (1918)
  2. Commonwealth of Australia Gazette No 31, dated 4th March 1919.

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