Service Number: 1350
Enlisted: 3 November 1914, Liverpool, NSW
Last Rank: Private
Last Unit: 4th Infantry Battalion
Born: North Pine, Queensland, Australia, 21 May 1880
Home Town: North Pine, Queensland
Schooling: North Pine State School, Queensland, Australia
Occupation: Labourer
Died: Killed in Action, Gallipoli, 5 May 1915, aged 34 years
Cemetery: 4th Battalion Parade Ground Cemetery
Row C, Grave 9,
Memorials: Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour, North Pine State School Roll of Honour, Petrie North Pine Presbyterian Church Roll of Honor
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World War 1 Service

3 Nov 1914: Enlisted AIF WW1, Private, 1350, 4th Infantry Battalion, Liverpool, NSW
11 Feb 1915: Involvement Private, 1350, 4th Infantry Battalion, ANZAC / Gallipoli, --- :embarkation_roll: roll_number: '8' embarkation_place: Melbourne embarkation_ship: HMAT Seang Bee embarkation_ship_number: A48 public_note: ''
11 Feb 1915: Embarked Private, 1350, 4th Infantry Battalion, HMAT Seang Bee, Melbourne

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Biography contributed by Ian Lang

FEAKIN James   #1350  4th Battalion


James Feakin had been born and raised at North Pine (Petrie). Sometime around the early 1900s James married but according to letters in his military file abandoned his wife, Minnie, and a new born daughter, Edith Grace. His family lost all trace of him.


On 3rd November 1914, James Feakin presented himself for enlistment at the Liverpool Army Camp outside Sydney. He stated he was single, 34 years old and employed as a labourer. He gave his address as Galloway’s Coffee Palace of Swan Street Sydney. Coffee Palaces were essentially hotels offering accommodation but no alcohol. They were promoted by the Temperance movement and were common in most of the larger cities.


At Liverpool on 4th February 1915, James was added to the roll of the 2nd reinforcements of the 4th Battalion and embarked on the “Seang Bee” in Sydney a week later bound for Egypt.

The 4th Battalion was one of the first units raised in the AIF and was one of four battalions in the 1st Infantry Brigade. The members of the battalion were almost exclusively from Sydney.


James was taken on strength by the 4th on 30th March 1915 and a week later boarded a transport in Alexandria. The destination was Mudros Harbour on the Island of Lemnos, some five hours steaming from the Gallipoli Peninsula. For almost three weeks the men of the 4th Battalion remained on their transports practicing boat and landing drills in preparation for the landing on 25th April.


The 1st Brigade were in the second wave of troops ashore at Anzac Cove. The landing had been effected at what appeared to be the wrong beach and there was much confusion as units attempted to sort themselves out. Unsurprisingly the battalion war diary for the first two weeks after the landing is almost devoid of information as battalion commanders were more concerned with immediate threats than reflecting on past events.


James Feakin’s file records that he was Killed in Action on the 5th May, ten days after the landing. He was originally recorded as Died of Wounds but this was amended to KIA. James was buried in an area adjacent to the Battalion HQ which ultimately became the 4th Battalion Parade Ground Cemetery.


When notification of James’ death reached Petrie, the family were shocked. They had no knowledge of his enlistment. James’ former wife, Minnie, had married James’ step brother and was now Minnie Bunbury. James’ daughter (who he had never seen) was now known as Edith Grace Bunbury Feakin. She was 11 years old at the time of her father’s death. James had named Minnie as the beneficiary of his will.


It was eventually established to the authorities satisfaction that Edith should be considered as James’ next of kin and in due course, at the end of the war, Edith was sent James’ service medals; 1914/15 Star, Empire medal and Victory medal. She also signed for a memorial plaque and scroll.


In 1967, the Australian Government, under pressure from returned servicemen, agreed to strike a medallion to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the Gallipoli campaign. Edith, now married and living at Wooloowin, wrote to claim a medallion on behalf of her father.


James Feakin’s name does not appear on either of the Pine Rivers Roll of Honour.


Biography contributed by Carol Foster

James's parents were James Feakin and Tamson Maddock. James attended North Pine State School. He married Rose May McNamara in 1903
they had one child, Edith Grace Bunbury. James was working as a labourer and living at Rockhampton when he enlisted 3 November 1914 and he was killed in action 5 May 1915, at Gallipoli, Turkey.

Son of S.A. French formerly Feakin of North Pine QLD. Brother of Minnie Bunbury (later wife of William Bunbury who was James Feakin's step-brother), Mary Bickle both of North Pine, QLD and Eliza Tamson Mole of Strath Pine, QLD

Father of Edith Grace Bunbury Clarey nee Feakin

Medals: 1914-15 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal