John Stewart ALEXANDER

ALEXANDER, John Stewart

Service Number: 2566
Enlisted: 25 March 1915, Adelaide, South Australia
Last Rank: Private
Last Unit: 32nd Infantry Battalion
Born: Birkenhead, Port Adelaide, South Australia, 4 January 1891
Home Town: Minlaton, Yorke Peninsula, South Australia
Schooling: Lefevre Peninsula School, South Australia
Occupation: Farm Hand
Died: Killed in Action, France, 30 October 1916, aged 25 years
Cemetery: AIF Burial Ground, Grass Lane, Flers
Plot VII, Row A, Grave 2)
Memorials: Adelaide National War Memorial, Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour
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World War 1 Service

25 Mar 1915: Enlisted AIF WW1, Private, 2566, Adelaide, South Australia
25 Mar 1916: Involvement AIF WW1, Private, 2566, 32nd Infantry Battalion, Enlistment/Embarkation WW1
25 Mar 1916: Embarked AIF WW1, Private, 2566, 32nd Infantry Battalion, HMAT Shropshire, Adelaide
30 Oct 1916: Involvement AIF WW1, Private, 2566, 32nd Infantry Battalion, Flers/Gueudecourt

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Biography contributed by Evan Evans

From François Berthout, Australia and NZ in WWI
Today (30/10/2020), in the peaceful silence of the cemeteries of the Somme, young men rest in peace under their white and flowered graves that the sun comes to light up through its golden rays in silence and peace, near the old battlefields on which they gave their today for our tomorrow, they fell for freedom and peace in the shroud of poppies that saw so much blood spilled and young lives broken. Gone but not and never forgotten, they tell us their stories today through their names that the sun shines to remind us who they were and what they did and sacrificed for their country, for France which will be forever grateful to them under our benevolent eyes and today, it is the memory of one of these young men whom I would like to honor, I would like to pay a very respectful tribute to Private number 2566 John Stewart Alexander who fought in the 32nd Australian Infantry Battalion and who was killed in action 104 years ago,on October 30, 1916 at the age of 24 on the Somme front.

John Stewart Alexander was born on January 4, 1891 in Birkenhead, Port Adelaide,South Australia, and was the son of Hugh Alexander and Marion Alexander (née Stewart) of Dale Street,Port Adelaide.He was educated at Lefevre Peninsula Public School, South Australia and prior to the outbreak of the war he lived in Minlaton, South Australia and he took a fancy for farming.John was for several years a prominent player in the Minlaton football team, and was a member of the Koolywurtie Church Choir. He was greatly respected by all who knew him.

Enlisted on February 10, 1916 at Adelaide, South Australia, in the 32nd Australian Infantry Battalion, 5th Reinforcement, he embarked with his unit from Adelaide, on board HMAT A9 Shropshire, on March 25, 1916 and sailed for Egypt where he joined the British Expeditionary Force and embarked with his battalion on board Transylvania for France and arrived in Marseilles on June 23, 1916 and was sent to the battlefields of the Somme where he suffered from Influenza and of bronchitis.

Unfortunately, four months later, after having fought with great courage, John was killed in action in the Flers sector,Somme, on October 30, 1916, he was 24 years old.

Today, John Stewart Alexander rests in peace with his friends, comrades and brothers in arms at the A.I.F.Burial Ground, Flers, Somme, and his grave bears the following inscription "Sweet is the word remembrance".

John, you who were young and brave, you gave your youth and your courage, your today for our tomorrow, you served and fought with your heart and with devotion for your country and for France of which you did not know much but yet you have done more than a man can do.You have answered the call of duty with courage to join the battlefields in the name of humanity that many men had forgotten in the flames and fury of the war, united with your comrades and your brothers in arms in the trenches of the Somme which saw the courage and determination of all the Australian people to whom we owe so much. alongside your comrades, you faced day and night hell on earth, in the cold, in the darkness of war, under a rain of lead and steel spewed out by machine guns and cannons which mowed down a whole generation of courageous young men who put their hearts for the peace of which they dreamed and where they wanted to live.In mud and blood they lived and fought every day to survive one more day so that the following generations would never know this hell again, under the thunder of explosions and the roar of cannons that broke the nerves of young men, they never retreated and fought with admirable courage for every meter of land despite terrible losses. Australian soldiers faced some of the worst battles in the Somme, Pozieres, Mouquet Farm, Flers-Courcelette, they suffered terribly alongside their brothers in arms and showed the determination and courage of a whole country that lost many of its sons who now rest in peace, on the sacred lands of the Somme, lands of remembrance on which poppies silence and respect, we remember them, do not shed tears because they rest in a friendly country that will always watch over them with love and devotion, we will always take care of them as if they were our fathers, our sons, our uncles, my boys of the Somme for whom I would always carry high and proud the flame of Remembrance just as I proudly carry in my heart the colors of Australia and France, two countries united by an indestructible friendship that these men forged in the trenches and the battlefields we will never forget what they did and went through for us here in the Somme who will express the utmost respect and love we have in our thoughts and in our hearts for each of these men,their names will never be forgotten and will live forever under the sun of the Somme and in our hearts.Thank you john, for all that you have done for us,we will never forget you.At the going down of the sun and in the morning,we will remember him,we will remember them.



Son of Hugh ALEXANDER and Marian nee STEWART


Private J. S. Alexander was killed in action in France on October 30. He was the only son of Mr. Hugh Alexander, of Port Adelaide, and was 25 years of age. Born at Birkenhead, Port Adelaide, he took a fancy for farming and spent most of his time at Minlaton, from where he enlisted in February last. He left for Egypt on March 25, and went into action in France early in July. He was for several years a prominent player in the Minlaton football team, and was a member of the Koolywurtie Church Choir. He was greatly respected by all who knew him." - from the Adelaide Chronicle 16 Dec 1916 (