Joseph Charles Joshua Farnell

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Joseph Charles Joshua Farnell
Farnell Joseph CJ.jpg
Photo courtesy Shellie Cummings
Personal Information
Date of Birth 17 Jul 1896
Place of Birth St Mary's Cray, England
Death 6 Apr 1982, aged 86
Place of Death Bunbury, Western Australia
Age at Enlistment 19 years, 6 months
Description 5'4" (1.63m) tall ; 116 lbs
52.617 kg
; dark complexion ; brown eyes ; dark brown hair
Occupation Dairyman
Religion Congregational
Address Third road, Armadale, Western Australia
Next of Kin Mother , Mrs Elizabeth Farnell
Military Information
Reg Number 4732
Date of Enlistment 16 Feb 1916
Rank Sergeant
Unit/Formation 28th Battalion, 12th Reinforcement / 7th Brigade, 2nd Division
Date of Embarkation 17 Apr 1916 ‒ 14 May 1916
Ship Embarked On HMAT A60 Aeneas Fremantle to Suez
Date of Return 1 Jun 1919 ‒ 8 Jul 1919
Ship Returned On SS Somali
Fate Returned to Australia
Monument Armadale War Memorial (Armadale panel)
Armadale Congregational Church Honour Board
Armadale and Districts Roll of Honour
Medals British War Medal
Victory Medal

Pre War

War Service

The Blackboy Hill Camp Chronicle of 24 Feb 1916 at page 2 records Joseph's arrival in Blackboy Hill. After 6 weeks in Blackboy Hill camp Joseph was allocated to the 12th reinforcement draft for the 28th Battalion, travelling with them to Egypt aboard HMAT A60 Aeneas. His records covering the period from his landing at Suez on 14 May 1916 until his disciplinary action at Rollestone in England on 18 Dec 1916 are missing.

At Rollestone he was charged with altering details in his pay book and fined 16 day's pay. During his time with the 7th Training Battalion Joseph spent a period in the Fargo Military Hospital with tonsillitis from 8 - 20 Jul 1917. On 25 Sep 1917 he proceeded overseas through Southampton, and on arrival in France spent from 26 Sep until 3 Oct 1917 with the 2nd Division's Base Depot at Le Havre.

Joseph joined the 28th Battalion on the 5th Oct 1917 in France, the day after his unit was involved in taking Broodseinde Ridge. It is unlikely that he would have been rushed into the front line, despite their casualties of 42 killed, 5 Missing, and 91 wounded. The 28th Battalion retired from the front line trenches on 6 October 1917 to bivouacs on Bellewarde Ridge.

Joseph remained with his unit until 25 Mar 1919 other then when he was granted furlough in England (1 - 19 Oct 1918). While being processed for return to Australia he went AWOL at Sutton Veny for 4 days from midnight 16 May 1919 until 12:00 19 May 1919. Punishment was 6 day's Field Punishment No. 2 (see notes), with a total forfeiture of 9 days pay. Travelling home on the SS Somali Joseph was admitted to the ship's hospital from 26 - 30 Jun 919 with another bout of tonsillitis. Joseph was discharged by the 5th Military District on 22 Aug 1919.

"Assistant Scoutmaster Armadale Troup, enlisted January, 1916; sailed on 9th April with the 12th Reinforcements for the 28th Battalion. A good cornet player placed in the band at Salisbury Plains."[1]

The newspaper lists Joseph as one of the 1,360 West Australians returning to Fremantle on the troopship SS Somali.[2]

Post War

Electoral Roll entries - 1921 he had moved to Coolup where he was an orchardist, but in 1926 he was in Zoe street, Bunbury with wife Amy Gladys who he married in 1923, working as a labourer.

While at Zoe street a son Clyde Alexander James was born 25 Sep 1926 and on 12 Jul 1929 Keith Reginald was born; 1931-36 at 37 Beach road, Bunbury where a third son was born on 4 Sep 1938; 1937-54 at 68 Beach road, Bunbury; 1958 - 1980 at 63 Beach road (1968 - 80 son? Brian Dennis also at this address). Amy died on 25 Oct 1990, aged 88.

During WW2 Joseph served as a Lance Corporal member of the Western Command Band from 18 Oct 1940 until 20 Nov 1945.


  1. "The Drill of the Foot-Hills" (PDF) (1917). Western Australia. Mar 1917. p. 6. Retrieved 16 May 2017 – via State Library of Western Australia. 
  2. "RETURNING SOLDIERS.". The West Australian. XXXV, (5,372). Western Australia. 26 June 1919. p. 6. Retrieved 22 June 2017 – via National Library of Australia. 

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