John Kerr MORGAN

MORGAN, John Kerr

Service Number: 2106
Enlisted: Not yet discovered
Last Rank: Sergeant
Last Unit: 8th Light Trench Mortar Battery
Born: Not yet discovered
Home Town: Kurri Kurri, Cessnock, New South Wales
Schooling: Not yet discovered
Occupation: Not yet discovered
Died: Died of wounds, France, 26 January 1917, age not yet discovered
Cemetery: St Sever Cemetery Extension, Rouen
St Sever Cemetery Extension, Haute-Normandie, France
Memorials: Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour, Kurri Kurri Methodist Church Roll of Honor, Kurri Kurri War Memorial
Show Relationships

World War 1 Service

16 Feb 1916: Involvement 2106, 30th Infantry Battalion
16 Feb 1916: Embarked 2106, 30th Infantry Battalion, HMAT Ballarat, Sydney
26 Jan 1917: Involvement Sergeant, 2106, 8th Light Trench Mortar Battery

Durham City Police and Australian Army

John Kerr Morgan was born in May 1876 at Seaham Harbour, County Durham, England. He was the son of William Morgan who had served as PC 259 with Durham County Constabulary. He had previously served in the army and was in the trenches before Sevastopol during the Crimean War. Being a reservist he was recalled to the colours from the police service and served in the Egyptian War in 1882. On retirement from the police service he became a rural postman at Seaham Harbour, he died aged 52 years on 20 August 1898.

John Kerr Morgan was a single man aged 20 years, 5'10 in height, and employed as a blacksmith when he applied for appointment to Durham City Police.
He was appointed to Durham City Police on 28 September 1896 as PC 12, 4th class constable. By 23 December 1898 he had been appointed 1st class constable, and was living at 2 Mayors Well Street, Durham City with his wife Elizabeth (nee Thubron) and children Jessie Kerr & Lillian Kerr Morgan.
On 24 February 1902 he was promoted 2nd Grade Service Class by the Watch Committee as an acknowledgement of his services in saving the life of four persons from drowning in the River Wear at the rear of Silver Street, Durham City on 19 February.
Circumstances of rescue described in an article in the Durham Chronicle of Friday 21 February 1902.
Despite the thaw which set in early on Wednesday morning, a number of boys were so venturesome as to indulge in sliding on a sheet of ice near Framwellgate Bridge. According to a police report, it appears that at about 10.15 am, PC Morgan was at James Fowler's stable yard in Back Claypath when his attention was attracted to two boys who were sliding on the ice in the River Wear to the rear of the premises occupied by the Mayor of Durham. He saw the ice break, one of the boys being submerged in the water about six yards from the edge. The other boy, in the act of endeavouring to get his unfortunate companion out, also fell in.
PC Morgan proceeded up Back Lane to the Queens Head Hotel and down the steps to the riverside, where he saw a woman and three boys struggling in the water. Without hesitation he ventured on the ice which gave way beneath him and he was immersed in the water up to his chest. By dint of perseverance and determination, he managed to get hold of Elizabeth Carroll, a married woman, who resides in Back Lane and assisted her to the edge where a Mr Matthew Raw, 5 The Avenue, Hetton le Hole was waiting to get her onto shore.
PC Morgan next turned his attention to Andrew Carroll, 12 years, son of Elizabeth Carroll, and succeeded in rescuing him. There was another boy named Robert Carroll, 14 years, who had gone under the ice, he was brought to a place of safety by the timely aid of Mr Raw. Robert Hall, 12 years, son of William Hall of North Road, was one of the number, and he had a very narrow escape from drowning, at the time PC Morgan rescued him he was floating on his back. All of them were in a very exhausted condition, they were taken to Carroll's house where they recovered from the effects of their immersion.
There were several eye witnesses of the plucky rescues rendered by PC Morgan with the kind assistance of Mr Raw.Considerable excitement prevailed at the time of the rescues, and there was a large crowd gathered when the three boys and the woman were brought to shore.

PC Morgan was promoted to 4th Grade Long Service on 16 November 1906. On 30 December 1908 he was granted a gratuity of £2 as an acknowledgement of his prompt and courageous service in stopping a runaway horse in Silver Street on 21 December.
Unfortunately he was disciplined on three occasions for drinking on duty and on 19 November 1911 was allowed to resign as an alternative to dismissal.

On leaving the police service he worked for a short period of time at the coke ovens at Sleetburn, and later with his wife and children emigrated to Australia where they lived in Kurri Kurri, New South Wales where he was employed as a miner.

John Kerr Morgan enlisted for service in the 1st WW on 7 September 1915 at Kurri Kurri as Private 2106. He entered France on 23 June 1916, and by 29 December 1916 was promoted to the rank of Sergeant.
On 2 January 1917 he was wounded in action, he received a shrapnel wound to his back and he was taken to No 1 Anzac Main Dressing Station. On 27 January he was transferred to the 22nd Ambulance Train and taken to No 1 Australian General Hospital, he had a dangerous perforation of the intestine and gas gangrene had set in, he died that day. He is buried in St Sever Cemetery Extension, Rouen, France.

On 1 April 1917 the army paid a pension of £2.13s.9d to his widow who had moved to Australia Street, Newtown, NSW along with their three children.
In January 1923 his widow received his war medals, and in February 1923 his Memorial Plaque which was wrongly named to John KEN Morgan. Widow contacted the army about the mistake but nothing on his file as to the outcome of this and the family changed the middle name on the plaque to read John KERR Morgan.

Showing 1 of 1 story