John Arthur Patterson MM

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John Arthur Patterson MM
Personal Information
Date of Birth c1898
Place of Birth Tynningham, Scotland
Death 28 Aug 1941, aged 43
Place of Death Rivervale, Western Australia
Age at Enlistment 19 years, 10 months
Description 5'7½" (1.71m) tall ; 127lbs
57.606 kg
; fresh complexion ; brown eyes ; brown hair
Occupation Motor driver
Religion Presbyterian
Address 'Avondale', Kenwick, Western Australia
Next of Kin Father , Mr John Patterson
Military Information
Reg Number 2380
Date of Enlistment 28 Jun 1916
Rank Private
Unit/Formation 43rd battalion, 4th reinforcement
Date of Embarkation 30 Oct 1916 ‒ 28 Dec 1916
Ship Embarked On HMAT A16 Port Melbourne
Date of Return 5 Mar 1919 ‒ 13 Apr 1919
Ship Returned On HMHS Nevasa
Fate Wounded in action 31 Jul 1917 near Messines
Wounded in action 21 May 1918 Bois L'Abbe
Returned to Australia (medical-effort syndrome)
Monument Gosnells Road Board Honour Roll
Medals Military Medal
British War Medal
Victory Medal

Pre War

War Service

Entered Blackboy Hill camp on 28 Jun 1916 and on 1 Aug 1916 was allocated to the 23rd reinforcement draft for the 11th Battalion. This changed a week later to the 7th draft for the 51st Battalion, and then on 5 Sep 1016 to the 4th draft for the 43rd Battalion. He travelled with them to England, disembarking at Devonport on 28 Dec 1916.

On arrival he was sent to the 11th Training Battalion at Durrington where he undertook training for service on the Western front. On 25 Feb 1917 John proceeded overseas to France on HMT Golden Eagle from Folkestone. After a time in the 3rd Australian Division Base Depot in Étaples, he was taken on strength by the 43rd Battalion on 3 Mar 1917 in the front lines near Armentiers.

On 31 Jul 1917 the 43rd Battalion, with others assaulted enemy positions just south of Messines on the northern bank of the River Douve (see notes). Successful they held the captured positions and consolidated their position before being relieved by the 41st Battalion at midnight on 1 Aug 1917. Casualties were 35 KIA, 182 WIA, and 4 Missing. John was wounded with a gunshot wound to the thigh. Treated by the 9th Field Ambulance who then passed him back to the 2nd Australian Casualty Clearing Station the same day. The next day he was placed on an Ambulance Train for Wimereux where he was admitted to the 2nd Australian General Hospital on 1 Aug 1917. It was decided to evacuate John to England on 8 Aug 1917 aboard HMHS St David.

On arrival in England he was admitted to the 3rd Southern General Hospital at Oxford for treatment to his right thigh. Transferred to the 3rd Australian Auxiliary Hospital at Dartford on 27 Aug 1917, he was discharged to the No. 2 Command Depot at Weymouth. On 5 Dec 1917 John was transferred to the Overseas Training Brigade, and on 3 Jan 1918 he again proceeded overseas to France, this time via Southampton.

On 11 Jan 1918 he rejoined the 43rd Battalion who at the time were in training at Locre (Loker) south west of Ypres (Ieper). John was wounded a second time on 21 May 1918 with a bullet wound to his ankle. Seen by the 11th Field Ambulance who referred him on to the 47th Casualty Clearing Station on 22 May 1918. He rejoined the battalion on 9 Jun 1918. On 6 July he reported to the 9th Field Ambulance ill with Trench Fever, and was transferred to the 61st Casualty Clearing Station the same day. Placed aboard Ambulance Train No. 35 the next day he was transported to Rouen where he was admitted to the 6th General Hospital on 8 Jul 1918. On 10 Jul 1918 he boarded HMHS Grantully Castle for England.

In England he was admitted to the 5th Southern General Hospital at Portsmouth before being released to the 3rd Australian Auxiliary Hospital at Dartford on 14 Aug 1918. Granted furlough from 15 - 29 Aug 1918, on the last day he reported to the 2nd Scottish General Hospital who admitted him for treatment to Trench Fever. On 7 Sep 1918 he transferred to the 3rd Australian Auxiliary Hospital who released him to duty on 13 Sep 1918 and transferred him to the Littlemoor camp at Weymouth.

On 26 Oct 1918 John was charged with "Leaving a parade without permission on 22 Oct 1918." Found guilty he was awarded 3 days confined to barracks. Finally home, he was discharged by the 5th Military District on 24 Jun 1919.

Award Comment

Military Medal

"On the 30th March 1918 near Sailly-le-Sec, north of the Somme River, during the attack by the enemy this soldier carried messages backwards and forwards to the outpost Commander through very heavy enemy artillery and machine gun fire.

He showed utter disregard for his own personal safety, but displayed a marked determination and devotion to duty. It was by his bravery and courage that very important messages for the success of the days operations, were delivered and received with promptitude. Later in the afternoon of 30th March this soldier volunteered to help carry ammunition to the outpost line, which he did, also under heavy enemy artillery and machine gun fire.

He set a splendid example to the remainder of his Company at a critical period of the battle"[1][2]

Post War

Married Edith Mary Hawkins in 1920 in the Canning registration district. Edith died on 18 Aug 1966 aged 66 in Doubleview. Children were William J 'Bill' (1921 - ), Allan J. (1923 - 2004), Edith 'Joan' (1926 - 2014) and Douglas M (1930 - )

Electoral Roll entries:


1. While the River Douve or Douvebeek is a major drainage line for surrounding farms, it is less than 2 metres wide, resembling a drainage ditch both mow, and in 1917.

  1. Commonwealth Gazette No 185 dated 27 November 1918, page 2264, position 105
  2. London gazette dated 16 July 1918, page 8333, position 44

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