John was born in Gisborne, VIC in 1894 to John Short and Lily Whiteacre. Three of John's four brothers, Lindsay, Albert and Robert also served overseas but are not remembered in the Avenue.
John was a coachsmith(3) when he enlisted in the AIF, 8th Reinforcements, 5th Battalion on the 16th of June 1915, aged almost 21. He embarked aboard the SS Makarini in mid September and was apparently wounded at Gallipoli(4).
In December 1915 John was admitted to the 3rd Australian General Hospital, Lemnos with mumps, rejoining his unit in early January 1916 and was promoted to Corporal a month later. In February he transferred to the newly formed 57th Battalion and was soon promoted to Sergeant. In June he embarked from Alexandria, Egypt.
A month after disembarking in France John was involved in the Battle of Fromelles and a month later in August 1916 he was wounded in action - gunshot wound to the chest, severe. John was promptly removed to a casualty clearing station and then to the 7th General Hospital, St Omer, France -gunshot wound to the chest and scarlet fever. At the beginning of October he his reported
previously seriously ill, now recovering and transferred to the 14th Stationary Hospital, Boulogne, France and then in late October to the Northampton War Hospital, England suffering
debility following scarlet fever. In November he is transferred to the 1st Auxiliary Hospital, Harefield before being discharged to furlough.
John rejoined his unit in February 1917 and shortly after was sent to 5th Division School for a month. In April he was admitted to hospital in Rouen, France with influenza and a month later returned to England - with trench fever - and is admitted to Greylingwell War Hospital, Chichester before being discharged to furlough in June and rejoining his unit in December. John was promoted to Company Sergeant Major (Warrant Officer class 2) in early January 1918 but three months later, on the 5th of April he was killed in action outside Corbie, France.
...on the ridge in front of Corbie, where he was hit by pieces of shell in the back, death being instantaneous. Casualty happened about 9.30 am on April 5th 1918 at which time they were in a shell hole trying to escape from enemy aeroplane, when a bomb dropped and killed seven of them...Red Cross Wounded and Missing
He was buried in the field where he fell.
...was in reserves at Corbie when an H. ? shell exploded afterwards. He was buried where he fell. I erected a cross over the grave with his name, number and unit on it. He was acting Sgt. Mjr. of our Co. at the time...Red Cross Wounded and Missing
John was later re-buried at Adelaide Cemetery, Villers-Bretonneux - 2½ miles south of Corbie.
He is listed on the Roll of Honour for Bacchus Marsh, held by the RSL at Bacchus Marsh and also on the Roll of Honour of St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church, Bacchus Marsh, held by the Bacchus Marsh Uniting Church.
Google Maps GPS Tree Position (accuracy ±1 tree) -37.68816322327673 144.47002172470093
Last updated by lee, Thu, 15 Sep 2016 19:49:43