James Andrew JORDAN

Poppy

JORDAN, James Andrew

Service Number: 2643
Enlisted: 17 January 1916, Adelaide, South Australia
Last Rank: Private
Last Unit: 4th Pioneer Battalion
Born: Macclesfield, South Australia, 16 September 1872
Home Town: Mount Barker, Mount Barker, South Australia
Schooling: Not yet discovered
Occupation: Labourer
Died: Killed in Action, Pozieres, France, 3 August 1916, aged 43 years
Cemetery: Villers-Bretonneux Memorial
No known grave
Memorials: Adelaide National War Memorial (South Australia), Macclesfield ANZAC Memorial Gardens, MacclesfieldHB1*, MacclesfieldM*, Mount Barker HB1*, Mount Barker WW1 War Memorial*, Villers-Bretonneux Memorial (Australian National Memorial - France)*
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World War 1 Service

17 Jan 1916: Enlisted AIF WW1, Private, SN 2643, Adelaide, South Australia
25 Mar 1916: Involvement AIF WW1, Private, SN 2643, 32nd Infantry Battalion, Enlistment/Embarkation WW1
25 Mar 1916: Embarked AIF WW1, Private, SN 2643, 32nd Infantry Battalion, HMAT Shropshire, Adelaide
3 Aug 1916: Involvement AIF WW1, Private, SN 2643, 4th Pioneer Battalion, Pozières

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

Biography contributed by Bailey MAcKEnzie

James Jordan was born in Macclesfield to Irish migrant John Jordan and his second wife Bridget Kain. James along with his twin brother Michael made up a family of 10 children, and as young man found work as a labourer around Mt Barker. In 1894 James married Mary Cecilia O’Loughlan and the couple had five children, all daughters. Tragically Mary died in 1907 with the girls aged between 12 and 3 years of age and James now a single father.

 

With the family situation as difficult as it was, the decision to enlist into the AIF must have been a very difficult one. James enlisted in January 1916, and as a consequence, Lucy Irene, the youngest, was cared for by family and the four older girls were sent to the Industrial School in Adelaide to be fostered out. Obviously concerned about his age, being 43, he shaved 11 years off and enlisted as a reinforcement to the 32nd Battalion at the new age of 32. After completing his training James sailed for Egypt in late march and upon his arrival was transferred to the 47th Battalion which was about to depart for France. Once in France James again found himself transferred, this time to the 4th Pioneer Battalion. Pioneer Battalions were raised from the ranks of the infantry generally because of acquired skills that could be used for jobs like constructing roads and rail lines, communication trenches and reinforcing structures. James’ arrival at the 4th was at a crucial time as the Battalion was about to engage in the battle of Pozieres.

 

Pozieres is a small village in the Somme Valley in France which was held by the Germans in mid 1916 and the 1st, 2nd and 4th Australian Divisions were tasked to capture the town as part of the Allies push eastward. Each Division took turns in attempting to capture and then hold the ground against repeated German counter-attacks, under what was considered the largest and almost continuous artillery bombardment of the war, which decimated the village and laid waste the landscape. The horrendous toll of the battle for Pozieres was over 23,000 Australians wounded and over 6,000 killed, and would be used as a yardstick to measure other battles by Diggers for years to come.

 

It was during the 2nd Division’s push into the village that the 4th Pioneer Battalion was sent in to widen and deepen the trenches gained to help secure the position. During this work in a trench in Copse Avenue within the village, was when James was killed. According to the unit diary he and another man were struck by a high explosive shell during a counter attack which also wounded many men from the unit.

 

Due to the constant shelling resulting in the area being churned over again and again, the Battalion was unable to recover James’ body, and like so many others with no known grave he is commemorated on the Australian monument at Villers Bretonneux, a fitting tribute to the man, but a tragic result for five little girls.

Submitted by Macclesfield RSL

 

"Mrs. J. McFarlane, of Mount Barker,  received word from the military authorities on Tuesday last intimating  that her brother, Private James Jordan, was killed in action on August 3. He was 43 years of age, and enlisted towards the end of January. For several years the deceased soldier worked at the bootmaking trade in the employ of the late Mr. Alfred Sexton, and afterwards with Messrs. Paltridge & Sons, of this town." - from the Mount Barker Courier and Onkaparinga and Gumeracha Advertiser 01 Sep 1916 (nla.gov.au)

 

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