Bacchus Marsh Avenue of Honour
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Lieutenant John (Jack) Melville West

INFO REQUIRED - 1. What is his connection to Bacchus Marsh?
Service No.:
293
Unit:
7th Battalion
Tree No.:
S278
Planted by:
W McDonald
Image of plaque on tree  for
Image of Service Medal - 1914-15 Star Image of Service Medal - British War Medal Image of Service Medal - Victory Medal

John was born at Mooroopna, VIC on the 17th of February 1889(1) to John West and Melvina Gardiner. He married Lyall Stanley Holmes in 1918 and they had two children, Patricia Lyall, born at South Yarra, VIC in 1920 and Diana Margaret, born in 1923(4).

John was a VFL footballer(1)(2) and a resident master(3) at Melbourne Church of England Grammar School when he enlisted in the AIF, 7th Battalion, C Company, on the 17th of August 1914, aged 25½ - only two weeks after war was declared. Two weeks later he was promoted to Sergeant before he embarked aboard the HMAT A20 Hororata in October and disembarked in Egypt in December.

On the 25th of April 1915 John landed at Gallipoli and four days later was appointed Second Lieutenant. He was promoted to Lieutenant in August just a week before he was wounded in action and admitted to the 2nd Light Horse Field Ambulance, then a Casualty Clearing Station - gunshot wound to the head and hand. A few days later John was admitted to the 1st Australian General Hospital, Cairo, Egypt.

A rifle bullet has caused a deep depression of the skull at the vertex. For a short time after receipt of the injury he was unconscious and there was a loss of power of the right leg for a time. Now he loses physical energy on exertion and he is unable to concentrate attention on any matter without producing some measure of mental confusion. … may be fit for light duty in Australia.

Source: Service Records

After being placed on the Supernumerary List John embarked for Australia aboard the Runic in April 1916, returning to Australia in May where his appointment was terminated in July. John spent the next two years as an Honorary Lieutenant with the AMF Censor's Staff, 3rd MD, Victoria. From 1919 till about 1947 he was employed by Munitions Supply Department.

John died in South Yarra, VIC on the 30th of March 1960(1), aged 71.

Notes

  1. Wikipedia entry.
  2. He was Captain of University at the time - Information supplied by Stephen Ward.
    University was in the VFL for seven seasons, the last being 1914.
  3. He held a Bachelor of Agricultural Science - from a record of staff and leavers at Melbourne Grammar School
  4. Information provided by Peter Gillott whose grandfather's cousin's daughter was Lyall Holmes.

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Last updated by lee, Sun, 29 Oct 2017 17:23:08