John Adolph PACKENDORFF

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PACKENDORFF, John Adolph

Service Number: 4489
Enlisted: Not yet discovered
Last Rank: Lance Corporal
Last Unit: 32nd Infantry Battalion
Born: Norwood, South Australia, Australia, September 1890
Home Town: Norwood, South Australia
Schooling: Not yet discovered
Occupation: Driver
Died: Shot by MG bullet though neck, Corbie, Somme, France, 16 June 1918
Cemetery: Querrieu British Cemetery
Querrien British Cemetery (Row C, Grave No. 22), France
Memorials: Adelaide National War Memorial, Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour, Norwood War Memorial
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World War 1 Service

25 Mar 1916: Involvement Private, SN 4489, 27th Infantry Battalion
25 Mar 1916: Embarked Private, SN 4489, 27th Infantry Battalion, HMAT Shropshire, Adelaide
16 Jun 1918: Involvement Lance Corporal, SN 4489, 32nd Infantry Battalion

Help us honour John Adolph Packendorff's service by contributing information, stories, and images so that they can be preserved for future generations.

Biography contributed by Saint Ignatius' College

Life Before the War

John Adolph Packendorff was born somewhere between August-September 1890 in Norwood, South Australia. He was the son of Harry Christoph Packendorff and had a sister. Before the war, he lived quite an ordinary life. He was unmarried and worked as a driver. He had brown eyes, brown hair and fair skin and was of average height (5’11) and was 70kg. He was Presbyterian, a denomination of Christianity. Prior to the war, he did not have any experience in the military at all.

Life in Service

He enlisted on October 16th, 1915, and was 25 years of age when he enlisted. His service number was 4489, and he was initially assigned into the 27th Battalion for almost a year. Afterwards, he was transferred to the 32nd Battalion on October 13th, 1916. He embarked a ship overseas from England to France on June 29th, 1916, where he participated in the battle of Somme, a battle in France involving soldiers from Britain, Australia, Canada, Africa and New Zealand allying with France to battle against Germany, which lasted 4 months and 17 days. During the battle, he was admitted to the hospital several times for trench feet, and was in the hospital for about 3-5 months in total. He then officially re-joined the unit on April 21th, 1917.

Several months later, on September 2nd, 1917, he went on a short leave that lasted about three weeks, rejoining the unit on September 26th, 1917. On December 10th, 1917, he was appointed as a Lance Corporal. Some duties Lance Corporals do are: leading junior ranks, and extra tasks such as recruiting and leading others.

Exactly two months later, on February 10th, 1918, Packendorff was wounded in action in Wimereux, France. He was transferred to the Casualty Clearing Station with a shrapnel wound to the head, then the 88 Ambulance Train on the 11th of February 1918.

One month later, on March 15th, 1918, in the same location, Wimereux, France, he was admitted for furunculous, also known as a boil, on his shoulder. He then embarked back to England from France on the same day, and was admitted for the head wound again in Birmingham. Six days later, on March 21st, 1918, he was then transferred to the 1st Auxiliary Hospital in Harefield. He then had another rest due to his inuuries, that went from April 10th, 1918 to April 24th, 1918.

He then marched in on the very day his rest ended from the Administrative HQ in Hurdcott, London. On May 15th, 1918, he then proceeded to France once again from Folkestone, England. On May 17th, 1918, he marched in from England. On May 18th, 1918, he marched out to his unit. On May 31st, 1918, he rejoined the unit, and battled in the La Grande Bataille de France (The Great Battle of France) along with the other countries in Allied forces against the Central Powers. On June 16th, 1918, he was wounded in action for the second time. He was shot by an M.G. bullet through his neck and shoulders at around 11pm, and was immediately brought to a post where he was then taken away and admitted to the hospital. Packendorff then died at the age of 27 years and 10 months of wounds in the hospital on the same day.

He had left behind several items: 1 Silver medal, 1 disc, 1 metal chain, 1 mirror, 1 notebook and fountain pen, 1 wallet, 1 coin and some cards, photos and a pair of scissors, and had earnt 3 medals during his service- a Star medal – which was awarded to soldiers who fought somewhere in between 5 August 1914 to 31 December 1915, a British War medal- which was awarded to soldiers who were under Britain and fought in the war, and a Victory medal- which was awarded to soldiers who were in the Allied Forces for their victory in the War.

Post-death                                                           

John Adolph Packendorff was buried in the Querrieu British Cemetery, 3 ½ miles North West of Corbie, France in Row C, Grave 22 on the 1st of July 1918. Packendorff was a good example of a ANZAC spirit, which especially showed when he did not run away from battles and fought in battles as much as he possibly could. It was also shown when he got injured, and came straight back to his unit after he had rested.

 

Bibliography

-        Australian War Memorial n.d., Australian War Memorial Home, Australian War Memorial, Australia, accessed 3 April 2018, <https://www.awm.gov.au/>.

-       Australian War Memorial n.d., AWM4 Subclass 23/49 - 32nd Infantry Battalion, Australian War Memorial, Australia, accessed 3 April 2018, <https://www.awm.gov.au/collection/C1339197>.

-       Australian War Memorial n.d., Lance Corporal John Adolph Packendorff, Australian War Memorial, Australia, accessed 3 April 2018, <https://www.awm.gov.au/collection/P10260239>.

-       Department of Defence n.d., Defence Honours & Awards, Australian Government, Australia, accessed 3 April 2018, <http://www.defence.gov.au/Medals/Imperial/WWI/>.

-       Department of Defence n.d., Home : Department of Defence, Australian Government, Australia, accessed 3 April 2018, <http://www.defence.gov.au/>.

-        Department of Veterans' Affair n.d., Department of Veterans' Affair Home, Australian Government, Australia, accessed 3 April 2018, <http://www.dva.gov.au/>.

-       Finch, C n.d., What Are the Duties of a Lance Corporal?, Hearst Newspapers, accessed 3 April 2018, <http://work.chron.com/duties-lance-corporal-26509.html>.

-       The First World War In France n.d., FWP, accessed 3 April 2018, <https://www.france-pub.com/world-war-1.php>.

-       National Archives of Australia n.d., NAA: B2455, PACKENDORFF JOHN ADOLPH, National Archives of Australia, Australia, accessed 3 April 2018, <https://recordsearch.naa.gov.au/SearchNRetrieve/Interface/ViewImage.aspx?B=8000399>.

-       Missing Wounded File: John Adolph Packendorff 1918-1919, File, State Library of South Australia, accessed 3 April 2018, <https://sarcib.ww1.collections.slsa.sa.gov.au/packet-content/55107#https://sarcib.ww1.collections.slsa.sa.gov.au/sites/default/files/packet_images/6480/SRG76_1_6480_1.jpg>. (this is the starting page)

-       National Archives of Australia n.d., National Archives of Australia Home, National Archives of Australia, Australia, accessed 3 April 2018, <http://naa.gov.au/>.

-       RSL Virtual War Memorial n.d., RSL Virtual War Memorial Home, Returned & Services League of Australia SA Branch, South Australia, accessed 3 April 2018, <https://rslvirtualwarmemorial.org.au/>.

-       RSL Virtual War Memorial n.d., John Adolph PACKENDORFF, Returned & Services League of Australia SA Branch, South Australia, accessed 3 April 2018, <https://rslvirtualwarmemorial.org.au/explore/people/147653>.

-       State Library of South Australia n.d., State Library of South Australia Home, Government of South Australia, South Australia, accessed 3 April 2018, <http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/site/page.cfm>.

-       UNSW Sydney n.d., UNSW Sydney Home, UNSW Sydney, Sydney, accessed 3 April 2018, <https://www.unsw.edu.au/>.

-       UNSW Australia n.d., AIF Project - John Adolph Packendorff, Australian Defence Force Academy, Australia, accessed 3 April 2018, <https://www.aif.adfa.edu.au/showPerson?pid=231975>.

-       WorldWar1.com n.d., WorldWar1.com, accessed 3 April 2018, <http://worldwar1.com/>.

-       World War 1 Trench Map n.d., Map, Australian War Memorial, accessed 3 April 2018, <https://s3-ap-southeast-2.amazonaws.com/awm-media/collection/RCDIG1004576/large/4928860.JPG>.

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Biography contributed by Evan Evans

From François Berthout, Australia and NZ in WWI

Today, I wish to present my gratitude and my deep respects to present a very respectful tribute to the Lance Corporal number 4489 John Adolph Packendorff who fought in the 32nd Australian infantry battalion and who died of his wounds 102 years ago, on June 16 1918 at the age of 27 in the trenches of the Somme.

John Adolph Packendorff was born in 1890 in Norwood, South Australia and he was the son of Harry Christoph Packendorff and Araminta Packendorff.John was educated at Norwood Public School and before the war he lived at Norwood Hotel, Norwood, South Australia and he worked as a driver.

Enlisted on October 16, 1915 at the age of 25 in the 27th Australian Infantry Battalion, 11th Reinforcement in which he served for a year. He embarked with his unit from Adelaide, South Australia, on board HMAT A9 Shropshire and sailed for England where he received his training then he embarked on a ship overseas from England on September 29, 1916 and was disembarked in Etaples, France on October 1, 1916 and was transferred to the 32nd Australian infantry battalion and joined the Somme front.

During the battle of the Somme, he was admitted to the hospital several times for trench feet, and was in the hospital for about 3-5 months in total. He then officially re-joined the unit on April 21th, 1917.Several months later, on September 2nd, 1917, he went on a short leave that lasted about three weeks, rejoining the unit on September 26th, 1917. On December 10th, 1917 , he was appointed as a Lance Corporal. Exactly two months later, on February 10th, 1918, John was wounded in action in Wimereux, Pas-De-Calais, France then he was transferred to the Casualty Clearing Station with a shrapnel wound to the head, then the 88 Ambulance Train on the 11th of February 1918.One month later, on March 15th, 1918, in the same location, Wimereux, France, he was admitted for furunculous, also known as a boil, on his shoulder. He then embarked back to England from France on the same day, and was admitted for the head wound again in Birmingham. Six days later, on March 21st, 1918, he was then transferred to the 1st Auxiliary Hospital in Harefield. He then had another rest due to his injuries, that went from April 10th, 1918 to April 24th, 1918.He then marched in on the very day his rest ended from the Administrative HQ in Hurdcott, London. On May 15th, 1918, he then proceeded to France once again from Folkestone, England. On May 17th, 1918, he marched in from England. On May 18th, 1918, he marched out to his unit. On May 31st, 1918, he rejoined the unit in the Somme.

unfortunately, on June 16, 1918, while he was at a listening post near Corbie, Somme, He was shot by a machine gun bullet through his neck and shoulders at around 11pm and was immediately brought to a post where he was then taken away and admitted to the hospital where he died less than an hour later. John's father received in a letter the following quote "Packendorff was a good example of a ANZAC spirit, which especially showed when he did not run away from battles and fought in battles as much as he possibly could. It was also shown when he got injured, and came straight back to his unit after he had rested."

Today, John Adolph Packendorff rests in peace with his brothers in arms at the Querrieu British Cemetery, Somme.

thank you with all my heart John, today, it is a young French man who is very grateful to you who wishes to say thank you for all that you have done here for us, on the lands of the Somme, you have lived as you fought, bravely and nobly, through you, the ANZAC spirit, the courage of an entire nation, your country, Australia will be eternal and will shine through the centuries in the flame of Remembrance. We will not forget everything what we owe to your country and to all its sons who gave their youth, their courage and their lives to give us a better world, for a better future. Today, when I walk through the ranks of your graves, on the battlefields of the Somme who have seen so many shattered lives, I always feel a lot of respect, love and pride because you were here John, you faced the horrors of war and these lands, your lands of the Somme will never forget your bravery and the shed blood of all your camarades, you will never be forgotten. Today you are my inspiration, my emotion through my words, you who stood courageously to protect freedom, today we stand with respect in front of you and we will always take care of your memory, your history, we will pass it on for the next generations, so that they never forget who you were and what you did for us and I will always stand in front of you, until my last breath to honor you and all your brothers in arms with respect, gratitude, love and tenderness in the heart and in the thoughts you deserve. At the going down of the sun and in the morning, we will remember him, we will remember them.🌺

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