David Thomas JOHNS

JOHNS, David Thomas

Service Number: 244
Enlisted: Not yet discovered
Last Rank: Lance Corporal
Last Unit: 4th Infantry Battalion
Born: Laugharne, Carmarthenshire, Wales, United Kingdom, 2 July 1891
Home Town: Bulli, Wollongong, New South Wales
Schooling: Not yet discovered
Occupation: Coalminer.
Died: Killed in Action, Mouquet Farm, France, 18 August 1916, aged 25 years
Cemetery: No known grave - "Known Unto God"
Villers-Bretonneux Memorial, Villers-Bretonneux, Picardie, France
Memorials: Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour, Villers-Bretonneux Memorial (Australian National Memorial - France)
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World War 1 Service

20 Oct 1914: Involvement Private, 244, 4th Infantry Battalion, Battle for Pozières
20 Oct 1914: Embarked Private, 244, 4th Infantry Battalion, HMAT Euripides, Sydney
18 Aug 1916: Involvement Lance Corporal, 244, 4th Infantry Battalion, Battle for Pozières

Help us honour David Thomas Johns's service by contributing information, stories, and images so that they can be preserved for future generations.

Biography contributed by Geoffrey Gillon

David was born on 2 July 1891, the eldest son of William and Eliza John, of Halfpenny Furze, Laugharne. David had a younger brother John James John, and a sister Mary Ann John.

Their youngest sister Sarah Jane John was born in Laugharne, in Halfpenny Furze. In 1913, David John married Lillian Evans of Laugharne, and they had a son, John William John. In 1913

The Township of Laugharne sits in a peaceful location in a valley at the outlet of the Rivers Tâf and Corran.  David ran away from his family, and ended up in Bulli, New South Wales, where he found work as a Coalminer. On 18 August 1914, he enlisted at Randwick, NSW into the 4th Battalion, Australian Infantry, which was part of the 1st Australian Division. In October 1914 the battalion left Australia aboard the Troopship Euripides, and on 4 December disembarked at Cairo. After intensive training, the 1st Australian Division landed at Gallipoli on 25 April 1915, and took part in heavy fighting securing their beach-head at Anzac Cove. On 29 July 1915, David was temporarily transferred to duties with Brigade Engineers as a well sinker, but by 24 August 1915, David was suffering badly with fever, and was admitted to a Casualty Clearing Station, diagnosed with Pyrexia. David rejoined his Battalion on 2 January 1916, after it had evacuated from Gallipoli. On 29 March 1916, the Battalion boarded the troopship Transylvania and embarked from Alexandria to join the BEF in France, landing at Marseilles on 6 April 1916, and moving to positions in Northern France, at Fromelles. The Battle of the Somme began on 1 July 1916, and the 1st Australian Division had been moved to the Somme, where it captured the strongly defended Pozières Ridge. On 11 August 1916 David was promoted to Lance Corporal, and his Battalion were sent back to the front line, directly opposite Mouquet Farm. At around 14.00 on 18 August 1916, David was sent out in charge of a patrol, which had been detailed to locate the German front line at Mouquet Farm, when the patrol was surprised by a German patrol. David and Private Oliver Williams were killed in the ensuing firefight. David was buried between Pozières and Mouquet Farm, but his grave was lost during further fighting.

He was 25 years old and had left a 3-year-old son behind

His brother, Private John James John [born on 21 May 1895 at Pontygwaith, Tyler's Town] Service Number  320374, Welsh Regiment also fell and rests in Unicorn Cemetery, France, just fifteen miles from where his brother David fell.

He is remembered on two war memorials in Carmarthenshire, Wales; the Llanddowror war memorial and the Laugharne War Memorial.

The Llanddowror war  memorial is in the form of a marble plaque and hangs from one of the interior walls of St. Martins Church

The Laugharne War Memorial ls a relatively new memorial sited outside the newly rebuilt Memorial Hall, in Clifton Street


Biography contributed by Geoffrey Gillon

He was born as John, but as his service records show his name as Johns, he is commemorated officially under that name.

In the town of his birth however, Laugharne, he and his brother John James who also fell, are commemorated as John.

He was 25 and the son of Eliza John, of Bwlchnewydd, Laugharne, Wales, and the late William John. 

Births Sep 1891   John David Thomas Llanelly 11a 975