CAMP, John

Service Number: 1317
Enlisted: 28 November 1914
Last Rank: Private
Last Unit: 10th Infantry Battalion
Born: Copperhouse, South Australia, Australia, November 1893
Home Town: Aberdeen , Burra, South Australia
Schooling: Copperhouse Public School
Occupation: Labourer
Died: Killed in Action, At sea (HS Gascon), Gallipoli, Dardanelles, Turkey, 15 May 1915
Cemetery: No known grave - "Known Unto God"
Lone Pine Memorial, Gallipoli Peninsula, Canakkale Province, Turkey, 4th Battalion Parade Ground Cemetery, Gallipoli Peninsula, Canakkale Province, Turkey
Memorials: Adelaide National War Memorial, Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour, Burra District WW1 Honor Roll, Burra Fallen Soldiers Memorial, Lone Pine Memorial to the Missing
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World War 1 Service

28 Nov 1914: Enlisted AIF WW1, Private, 1317, 10th Infantry Battalion
2 Feb 1915: Involvement Private, 1317, 10th Infantry Battalion, ANZAC / Gallipoli, --- :embarkation_roll: roll_number: '10' embarkation_place: Melbourne embarkation_ship: HMAT Clan McGillivray embarkation_ship_number: A46 public_note: ''
2 Feb 1915: Embarked Private, 1317, 10th Infantry Battalion, HMAT Clan McGillivray, Melbourne

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Biography contributed by St Peter's Woodlands Grammar School

Jack Camp (real name) was born 12th of December 1892 in Copperhouse, near Burra, SA. He was raised in the copper-mining town and attended the local school, and went on to work as a labourer in the area.

He enlisted for the AIF on 28th November 1914 and he was posted to the 2nd reinforcements to the 10th Battalion and, after a brief period of training in Australia he left for Egypt in February 1915. From there he was sent to fight on the Gallipoli peninsula.

Private John Camp was described by his friends as “a soldier and a man who never funked or shirked his duty and who always volunteered for outpost duty and other ticklish jobs”. Little is known of his experience at Anzac, but on 9 May he presented to the Field Ambulance with the flu, and spent a couple of days there recovering.

On 14th May, just a few days after re-joining his battalion, Private Camp and his comrades were sent into the firing line. At that time the Australian trenches were under heavy Turkish shell-fire, and as he left the supporting trench Jack Camp was struck by a shell that burst almost directly overhead. He was wounded in the abdomen and groin. Camp’s mates carried him to help straight away, and he was sent down to the beach to be put on a hospital ship. His friends believed that he was only slightly wounded and that he would return soon. It was not until they received a letter from Jack’s sister that they found out this was not the case.

Private Jack Camp died on board HMT Gascon the day after he was wounded, and he was buried at sea not far from Anzac Cove. His family was notified of his death, but Ruth Camp needed to know more about the final days of her son, and wrote to the Minister of Defence, saying, “I would like to know how long he lived, and where buried, land or sea if it is possible to know”. His sisters also sought information, which was eventually supplied by Jack’s friend Private Allen Reid, writing from Anzac Cove saying:

“You may rest assured he was with his friends right up to the time he was sent on the boat, and that they did all in their power to ease his sufferings whilst he remained with them … By his death you have lost one in whom you may rejoice for he gave his all in the fight for justice, right and the freedom of all who claim the British flag as theirs”.