James Douglas MUNRO

MUNRO, James Douglas

Service Number: 1084
Enlisted: 27 November 1915
Last Rank: Sapper
Last Unit: 3rd Tunnelling Company (inc. 6th Tunnelling Company)
Born: Port Adelaide South Australia, 19 July 1884
Home Town: Kalgoorlie, Kalgoorlie/Boulder, Western Australia
Schooling: Not yet discovered
Occupation: Miner
Died: Kalgoolie, Western Australia, 26 June 1950, aged 65 years, cause of death not yet discovered
Cemetery: Kalgoorlie Cemetery, W.A.
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World War 1 Service

27 Nov 1915: Enlisted AIF WW1, Sapper, SN 1084, Mining Corps
20 Feb 1916: Involvement Sapper, SN 1084, Mining Corps
20 Feb 1916: Embarked Sapper, SN 1084, Mining Corps, HMAT Ulysses, Sydney
20 Feb 1916: Embarked Sapper, SN 1084, Mining Corps, HMAT Ulysses, Sydney
20 Feb 1916: Involvement Sapper, SN 1084, Mining Corps
18 Dec 1916: Transferred AIF WW1, Sapper, 3rd Tunnelling Company (inc. 6th Tunnelling Company)
21 Dec 1917: Wounded AIF WW1, Sapper, SN 1084, 3rd Tunnelling Company (inc. 6th Tunnelling Company), Gassed and severe gas burns to right leg
27 Apr 1920: Discharged AIF WW1, Sapper, SN 1084, 3rd Tunnelling Company (inc. 6th Tunnelling Company)

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Biography contributed by Evan Evans

From Donna Baldey www.tunnellers.net

SAPPER JAMES DOUGLAS MUNRO 1084 –3rd Tunnelling CompanyBorn in Port Adelaide, South Australia on 19 July 1884, James Douglas Munro, the son of a Mining Engineer, was a single Miner when he signed the Attestation Paper of Persons Enlisted for Service Abroad at Kalgoorlie on 22 November 1915.

His Medical examination on the same day found him to be fit for active service.James was aged 31 years and 1 month, 5ft 8¾in tall, weighed 180lbs and had a fair complexion, brown eyes and brown hair. He named as his Next of Kin his mother, Mrs G. B. Munro of Post Office, Brownhill, Western Australia, his father, George Brown Munro, being deceased.

At Blackboy Hill, W.A. on 27 November he was appointed to the Mining Corps, with the rank of Sapper, by the Lieutenant Colonel Commanding the Helenavale Camp.

Training at Blackboy Hill camp followed where James was introduced to the peculiarities of military service.The Australian Mining Corps left Sydney, N.S.W. on HMAT A38 S.S.Ulysseson February 20, 1916. Their voyage sailed via Melbourne, Victoria, and Fremantle, Western Australia where additional members of the Corps were embarked. After a delay of about a month due to Ulysses requiring repairs following a collision with a submerged rock when leaving Fremantle.The men on board nicknamed her ‘Useless’.

The West Australian miners joined the ship and Ulyssescontinued her voyage on 1 April, travelling through the Suez Canal and Port Said terminating unexpectedly at Alexandria about April, 25 when it was decidedthat Ulysseswas not sea-worthy. The troops were transhipped to HM Transport B.1 Ansonia, which docked at Marseilles, France on May 5, 1916, where the Corps disembarked. The men were entrained for Hazebrouck, arriving at the Australian General Base Depot on May 8.

The Mining Corps was disbanded and redesignated into three tunnelling companies.The Embarkation Roll, and his military records, show James embarking from Sydney on 20 February 1916, but does not record his movement from Western Australia to the Mining Corps training camp at Casula, NSW, from where the Corps departed on 20 February.

James was wounded in action on 21 December 1917, suffering severe gas burns to his right leg. He was admitted to 1st Casualty Clearing Station. On 23 December he was transferred to a hospital Barge, and on 4 January 1918, James was transferred to England from 30th General Hospital, Camiers per HS Ville de Liege.

He was admitted to Devonport Military Hospital and on 11 January he was transferred to the 3rd Auxiliary Hospital for on-going treatment. Discharged from hospital to furlough on 30 January, James was to report to No. 3 Com. Depot at Hurdcott on 13 February.

He was then transferred to the Overseas Training Battalion on 10 May 1918, and on 31 May preceded overseas to France from Longbridge Deverill via Southampton, marching in to the A.G.B.D. at Rouelles on 1 June. On 7 June, James rejoined his unit. In early August he was again hospitalised, not rejoining his unit until 13 October. On 30 December James was granted leave to England until 13 January 1919, however he was hospitalised whilst on leave until 24 April when he was attached to 1st A. D. Hospital at Bulford for duty. He remained with this unit until his repatriation to Australia.

On 6 August 1919, 35-year-old James married 24-year-old Margaret Bagrie in Whiteinch, Glasgow, Scotland. Margaret was the daughter of William Bagrie, a Shipyard Engine Keeper of Glasgow. James and his wife left London on 24 December 1919 on board HT Konigan Luisefor the voyage to Australia, disembarking at Fremantle on 28 January 1920.

Sapper James Douglas Munro was discharged in 5th Military District (Western Australia) on 27 April 1920, entitled to wear the British War Medal no. 8174 and Victory Medal no. 8139.In February 1922 his military documents were requested by the Repatriation Department in Melbourne. In October 1929, the Perth Repatriation Office also requested James’ military records. His health was so affected by the mustard gas he had been exposed he was no longer able to go down the mines.

James Douglas Munro died 26 June 1950 and is buried in Kalgoorlie Cemetery with his wife Margaret, who died in 1985.

Donna Baldey www.tunnellers.net Compiled with the assistance of Merilyn Todhunter. Merilyn Todhunter is compiling an extended family history and can be contacted through this website.All photos provided by Merilyn & James Todhunter