James Holman CARTHEW MM

CARTHEW, James Holman

Service Number: 12277
Enlisted: 21 October 1915
Last Rank: Gunner
Last Unit: Trench Mortar Battery
Born: Running Creek, Victoria, Australia, 27 April 1889
Home Town: Merredin, Merredin, Western Australia
Schooling: Not yet discovered
Occupation: Railway Porter
Died: Perth, Western Australia, 30 May 1960, aged 71 years, cause of death not yet discovered
Cemetery: Karrakatta Cemetery & Crematorium
Memorials: Myrtleford War Memorial
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World War 1 Service

21 Oct 1915: Enlisted AIF WW1, Gunner, 12277, 2nd Field Artillery Brigade
28 Jan 1916: Involvement Gunner, 12277, 2nd Field Artillery Brigade
28 Jan 1916: Embarked Gunner, 12277, 2nd Field Artillery Brigade , HMAT Themistocles, Melbourne
10 Mar 1916: Transferred AIF WW1, Gunner, 1st Field Artillery Brigade
3 Dec 1916: Wounded AIF WW1, Gunner, 12277, 1st Field Artillery Brigade, France: GSW arm
20 Nov 1917: Honoured Military Medal, 1st ANZAC Routine Order No 92
21 Apr 1918: Wounded AIF WW1, Gunner, 12277, 1st Field Artillery Brigade, Belgium - Gas Poisoning
23 Sep 1918: Embarked AIF WW1, Gunner, 12277, Trench Mortar Battery, per HT Runic
24 Jan 1919: Discharged AIF WW1, Gunner, 12277, Trench Mortar Battery

Help us honour James Holman Carthew's service by contributing information, stories, and images so that they can be preserved for future generations.

Biography contributed by Chris Buckley

'On the night of 1st/2nd November 1917 at ANZAC Ridge NE Westhoek during an extremely heavy bombardment by Gas and HE Shells of the Battery position, No 2 Gun-pit was hit by a Gas Shell and the camouflage immediately ignited and ammunition began to explode. These men (Gunner Carthew and Gunner Danon) - though wearing Box Respirators and at great personal risk - extinguished the fire and removed the burning ammunition to a place of safety; thereby saving a considerable amount, and the Gun from being destroyed. This act of gallantry was performed whilst shells were falling everywhere and without thought of their own personal safety' (Major General Commanding 1st Australian Division 6th Battery AFA).

Gunner Carthew - James - was born in 1889 at Running Creek in Myrtleford, Victoria, the eighth of ten children of Thomas Henry Carthew (b1840 in Cornwall, England) and Margaret Charlotte Macauley (b1854 in Beechworth, Victoria). Thomas - a Tin Miner in Cornwall - immigrated in 1861, arriving in Melbourne Victoria on board the Great Britian as a Labourer. In 1862 the Running Creek region was opened up for Selection, and Thomas and Margaret married at Silver Creek in Beechworth, Victoria in 1873. The couple settled at Happy Valley Farm near Ovens Vale/Running Creek where Thomas was a Farmer until his death in 1900. 

James started working for WAGR in 1910 as a Porter at Kalgoorlie and Kookinie, before working in Golden Gate and Fremantle as a Shunter and Guard. He was in Merredin WA working as a Guard when he enlisted in the AIF in October 1915 (Gunner; Service No:12277). James served in France and Belgium with 2nd Field Artillery Brigade 14th Reinforcements, 2nd Field Artillery Brigade and Trench Mortar Battery. He was WiA on two occasions - GSW to his arm and Gas Poisoning, and in 1917 was awarded the Military Medal 'For conspicuous act of gallantry in extinguishing dangerous fire at considerable risk (East of Ypres, Belgium) (London Gazette 12 February 1918; Commonwealth of Australia Gazette 27 June 1918). James was Discharged in January 1919.

Returning to Kalgoorlie WA, James was working as a Guard with WAGR in 1919 when he married Nellie Iredale Smith (b1891 in Melbourne, Victoria). By 1923 the couple was in Merredin where James was a Railway Guard and in 1925 they were living in Dowerin WA where James was a Greengrocer. In the 1930s James and Nellie were in York WA and James was again working for WAGR as a Guard. They moved to Perth WA in the early 1940s and James worked for the Railways until 1950 - with a brief stint in 1949 in Chillagoe in North QLD whilst Nellie remained in Perth WA. James was a Civil Servant in Perth for the last years of his working life. He died in 1960 and Nellie in 1962.