John James (Jack) COUZNER

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COUZNER, John James

Service Number: 6238
Enlisted: 18 March 1916, Horsham, Vic.
Last Rank: Private
Last Unit: 6th Infantry Battalion
Born: Warracknabeal, Victoria, Australia, 1893
Home Town: Warracknabeal, Yarriambiack, Victoria
Schooling: Yellangip North, Victoria, Australia
Occupation: Farmer
Died: Killed in action, France, 8 May 1917
Cemetery: No known grave - "Known Unto God"
Memorials: Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour, Villers-Bretonneux Memorial (Australian National Memorial - France), Warracknabeal War Memorial
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World War 1 Service

18 Mar 1916: Enlisted AIF WW1, Private, SN 6238, 6th Infantry Battalion, Horsham, Vic.
11 Sep 1916: Involvement Private, SN 6238, 6th Infantry Battalion
11 Sep 1916: Embarked Private, SN 6238, 6th Infantry Battalion, HMAT Euripides, Melbourne
15 Apr 1917: Involvement AIF WW1, Private, SN 6238, 6th Infantry Battalion, German Withdrawal to Hindenburg Line and Outpost Villages
8 May 1917: Involvement AIF WW1, Private, SN 6238, 6th Infantry Battalion, German Withdrawal to Hindenburg Line and Outpost Villages

Summary John Couzner

Private John James Couzner was born in Yellangip North, Warracknabeal Victoria and was a farmer. He was 21 years of age when he enlisted on 18th March 1916 into the A.I.F.

He embarked from Melbourne on 11th September 1916 aboard HMAT A14 Euripides arriving Plymouth England on 26th October 1916. He arrived in France on 18th December 1916 and was taken on strength from 20th reinforcements to 6th Battalion ‘A” Company.

The battalion was among the first infantry units raised for the A.I.F. with the majority recruited from Victoria. The battalion embarked in October 1914 stopping in Albany Western Australia before proceeding to Egypt. It later took part in the ANZAC landings on 25th April 1915. The battalion withdrew from Gallipoli and in March 1916 sailed for France with its first major action in France at Pozieres.

In the beginning of 1917 the battalion participated in the operations of the German withdrawal to the Hindenburg line around Bullecourt. In the early days of May 1917 the battalion was in the front line occupying a series of posts in the “Second Battle of Bullecourt” and by 7th May 1917 the battalion relieved 1st Battalion along a railway embankment south of Bullecourt. On that evening 6th Battalion stood to arms owing to a counter attack which was repulsed by 8th Battalion without 6th Battalion been called on.

On the evening of 8th May 1917 Private John Couzner was in his dugout when a shell landed and exploded in his trench. A piece of shrapnel hit Private John Couzner in the chest killing him instantly.

Records indicate that Private John Couzner was an officer’s servant and that his Lieutenant was previously wounded by a shell burst where he was placed in his dugout by stretcher bearers where John was attending to him when another shell exploded in the dugout killing them both. Records state Private John James Couzner was buried with his Lieutenant next to the railway embankment.

Private John James Couzner is recorded as Killed in Action 8th May 1917 and is listed has having no known grave where he is recorded on the Villers Bretennoux memorial. He was 23 years of age.

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Biography contributed by Nuriootpa High School

COUZNER, John James 6238

John James Couzner enlisted with the ANZACs in the 6th Australian Infantry Battalion as a Private on the 18th of March, 1916 to fight in the First World War. He was born in Warracknabeal, Victoria, Australia in 1894 and originally worked as a farmer. He embarked for the war from Melbourne on September the 11th, 1916 on the HMAT Euripides A14. He was Killed in Action in France on May 8th, 1917 at the age 23. His grave is at the Villers-Bretonneux Memorial, Villers-Bretonneux, Picardie, France.

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