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James Thomas Turner

Text and Pictures by Noel Turner



James Thomas Turner was born Ararat, Victoria, Australia in March 1899 to William and Priscilla Turner. He had 3 brothers and 4 sisters and would have been 15 years old when Australia entered the World War 1 alongside the British Empire.

Two months later on the 22nd November 1917 James embarked on the HMAS Nestor out of Melbourne with the 20th Reinforcement of the 24th Battalion bound for England.

On the 24th January, James arrived at the medium-sized village in southwest Wiltshire, England called Fovant where he stayed at the Army Training Camp for just over 3 months.

On the 5th May James moved by train onto the English town of Folkestone in Kent. Two days later he moved to the Allied military camp, Etaples in France.

From March the 24th Battalion was fighting as part of The German Spring Offensive on the Western Front in France with Operation Michael. We believe that James would have joined his Unit on the 9th May.

On the 1st June he was wounded in action (Gassed) and went by Ambulance Train to the No. 7 Stationary Hospital, Boulogne. After 7 days in hospital, James passed away on the 11th June 1918 at age 19. He w
as buried at the Terlincthun British Cemetery on the 23rd June. Reference I. A. 3.

3 years into the War, in August 1917 he was a young, 18 year old, single labourer and decided to volunteer to join the Australian Imperial Force (AIF) as a Private. He was slightly built weighing only 67kg and 5ft 9in in height.

On the 6th September his parents William and Priscilla consented to James enlisting, but did not want him seeing active service until he turned 19 in the March of 1918.




Terlincthun British Cemetery