John Herbert Smith MCPHAIL

MCPHAIL, John Herbert Smith

Service Number: 2860
Enlisted: 23 July 1916, 1st class Signalman
Last Rank: Private
Last Unit: 44th Infantry Battalion
Born: Bishopbourne, Tasmania, Australia, 10 June 1885
Home Town: Penguin, Central Coast, Tasmania
Schooling: Not yet discovered
Occupation: Butcher
Died: Perth Western Australia, 1961, cause of death not yet discovered
Cemetery: Not yet discovered
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World War 1 Service

23 Jul 1916: Enlisted AIF WW1, 44th Infantry Battalion, 1st class Signalman
29 Dec 1916: Involvement AIF WW1, Private, SN 2860, 44th Infantry Battalion
29 Dec 1916: Embarked AIF WW1, Private, SN 2860, 44th Infantry Battalion, HMAT Persic, Fremantle

John Herbert Smith McPhail

John Herbert Smith McPhail was born in Penguin, Tasmania on 10th June 1885. He was one of 13 Children - 7 boys and 6 girls.

He joined the 2nd 44th Army Corps. He served as a 1st Class Signalman in France until 1919. He was a quiet man who spoke little of his experiences or the war although he did say that he witnessed the bringing down of the German ace Pilot known as "The Red Baron" (This would place him near Sailley-le-Sec Somme, France 21st April 1918).

Shortly after his discharge from the Army he was awarded a medal from the Arnott Family for saving their daughter "Miss Arnott" from drowning at Penguin, Tasmania.

He very seldom complained about his breathing difficulties, probably from the mustard gas, and his feet were affected by "trench feet". His feet always bothered him as well as troubled sleep because of nightmares.

After the war he returned to Tasmania, and shortly after went to Western Australia where he met his wife to be Kathleen Lindley, In Perth he opened up a butcher shop and continued as a butcher until he died in 1961. He had one daughter, Marjorie McPhail (now m. Finch).

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