John Tayler FARGHER


FARGHER, John Tayler

Service Number: 2868
Enlisted: 28 February 1916, Adelaide, South Australia
Last Rank: Private
Last Unit: 1st Light Horse Brigade Machine Gun Squadron
Born: Blinman, South Australia, 3 March 1891
Home Town: Blinman, South Australia
Schooling: Not yet discovered
Occupation: Chainman
Died: Accidental (drowning), Drowning, At sea, 13 February 2019, aged 127 years
Cemetery: No known grave - "Known Unto God"
Chatby Memorial, Alexandria, Egypt
Memorials: Adelaide National War Memorial, Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour, Blinman & District WW1 Roll of Honor, Blinman Boer War, WW1 & WW2 Honour Rolls, Chatby Memorial, Alexandria, Egypt
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World War 1 Service

28 Feb 1916: Enlisted AIF WW1, Adelaide, South Australia
27 Jul 1916: Involvement AIF WW1, Private, SN 2868, 3rd Light Horse Regiment, Enlistment/Embarkation WW1
27 Jul 1916: Embarked AIF WW1, Private, SN 2868, 3rd Light Horse Regiment, SS Walwa, Adelaide
8 Nov 1916: Involvement AIF WW1, Private, SN 2868, 1st Light Horse Brigade Machine Gun Squadron, 'ANZAC' / Gallipoli
24 Apr 1918: Involvement AIF WW1, Lance Corporal, SN 2868, 1st Light Horse Brigade Machine Gun Squadron, 'ANZAC' / Gallipoli
29 Nov 1918: Involvement AIF WW1, Sergeant, SN 2868, 1st Light Horse Brigade Machine Gun Squadron, 'ANZAC' / Gallipoli
28 Dec 1918: Involvement AIF WW1, Private, SN 2868, 1st Light Horse Brigade Machine Gun Squadron, 'ANZAC' / Gallipoli

Help us honour John Tayler Fargher's service by contributing information, stories, and images so that they can be preserved for future generations.


Born 3 Mar 1891 in Blinman, South Australia
(SA Births 1842 - 1906 Book: 475 Page: 202 District: Fro.)

Father  John William Fargher  and Mother Mrs Minnie Ellen (nee McMahon) Fargher
from Blinman, South Australia.

Described on enlisting as 24 years 11 months old; single; 5' 8 3/4" tall; 144 lbs; medium
complexion; grey eyes; dark brown hair;  Church of England.

10/2/1916     Completed medical - fit for service
29/2/1916     Enlisted in Adelaide

9/3/1916       appointed John to Base Light Horse, 2nd Depot Battalion, Adelaide

27/7/1916     Embarked from Adelaide on SS Malwa
                    as a Private with 20th reinforcements, 3rd Light Horse Regiment

25/8/1916     after disembarking, taken on strength into Isolation Camp, Moascar

23/9/1916     taken on strength from Isolation Camp, Moascar

23/10/1916    taken on strength from 1st Light Horse Training Regiment - Kantara, Egypt
                    marched out to 1st Light Horse Brigade Machine Gun Squadron

8/11/1916     Taken on Strength - 1st Light Horse Brigade Machine Gun Squadron

The 1st Light Horse Regiment rejoined the Allied advance across the Sinai in November 1916 and was subsequently involved in the fighting to secure the Turkish outposts on the Palestine frontier - Maghdaba on 23 December 1916 and Rafa on 9 January 1917. A stint of protective duty along the line of communications through the Sinai followed.

24/2/1917     to school of Instruction

19/3/1917     Imperial School of Instruction - 1st C1 Machine Gun School
                    (24th course machine guns) - Zeitoun

23/3/1917     To school of Instruction

The 1st Light Horse Regiment’s next major engagement was the abortive second battle of Gaza on 19 April.

25/6/1917     Sick to hospital - Zukhari (malaria)

29/6/1917     rejoined unit from hospital
12/10/1917   to rest camp, Port Said, Rafa Beach, Egypt
22/10/1917   rejoined unit from hospital - Esani
23/10/1916   marched out to 1st Light Horse machine gun squadron and struck off strength

Gaza finally fell on 7 November, after a wide outflanking move via Beersheba, in which the regiments of the 1st Light Horse Brigade played a part. With the capture of Gaza, the Turkish position in southern Palestine collapsed. The 1st Light Horse Regiment participated in the advance to Jaffa that followed, and was then committed to operations to clear and occupy the west bank of the Jordan River. It was involved in the Amman (24-27 February) and Es Salt (30 April-4 May) raids and the repulse of a major German and Turkish attack on 14 July 1918.

5/2/1918       admitted 2nd Light Horse Field Ambulance

24/4/1918     Promoted to Lance Corporal - 1st Machine Gun Squadron

17/7/1918     to hospital - injury to left hand, broken small finger (not serious injury)
                   - occurred in Squadron Football match - authorised by O.C.

The final British offensive of the campaign was launched along the Mediterranean coast on 19 September 1918, with the ANZAC Mounted Division taking part in a subsidiary effort east of the Jordan aimed at Amman.

16/10/1918   Sick with Malaria - Cairo, Egypt

Turkey surrendered on 30 October 1918.

4/11/1918     Granted 14 days leave - Cairo
18/11/1918   Extended leave by 4 days

29/11/1918   rejoined 1st Machine Gun Squadron
                    Promoted to Temporary Sergeant - 1st Machine Gun Squadron

28/12/1918    returned to Private rank - 1st Light Horse Brigade Machine Gun Squadron

26/1/1919      embarked at Suez, Egypt for Australia, per 'HT Demosthenes' (malaria)

The 1st Light Horse Regiment sailed for Australia without their horses, which were either shot or transferred to Indian cavalry units.

13/2/1919        Witness stated: #527 Private Kenneth William Gurr 5th Machine Gun Battalion

"I knew Trooper Fargher in private life, and he was always a very steady and evenly balanced man.  I met him when he joined the ship at Port Suez, and from that time onwards, I saw him daily. He appeared to me to be the same as when I last saw him in 1914. During our talks he told me that he was looking forward to going home and never showed any signs of depression. He mentioned to me once or twice that he was feeling a little unwell, and also told men that he was suffering from Malaria."                 
                       Witness stated: Lieutenant John Phillip Croughan DSO, 6th Field Artillery Brigade 

"I am Ship's Adjutant of HMT Demosthenes. At 0945 on February 14th 1919, Lieutenant Cleworth, OC "D" Company, reported to me personally that one of his command, Trooper Fargher couldn't be found. I instructed him to have a thorough search made. While the men were on Parade at the 1000 parade, this search was made.  Lieutenant Cleworth reported to me ultimately that the man could not be found. At about 1100 on the same day, I reported to the Master of the Ship, and to the CO Troops that Trooper Fargher was missing. The search was conducted by Troopers Allen and Strauss, who knew the missing man personally.  When they failed find him, the whole of the Ship's Police were given orders to search the ship.  For this purpose, the whole of the ship was thrown open. The whole of the personnel who embarked at Suez were made available for duty. Any of the personnel reporting to O's C Companies as unwell, or unfit for duty were paraded for decison of the SMO. After the search by the Ships Police, the Corporal in charge reported that he had made a thorough search from stem to stern of the ship, including the coal bunkers, but not trace of the missing man could be found."


13/2/1919        Died by accidental drowning at sea

                       No known grave
                       Commemorated on Stone 3G on the Chatby Memorial, Alexandria, Egypt.

15/2/1919        Court of enquiry - held at sea onboard  'HMT Demosthenes'
                       findings found that Private Fargher was 'missing'.

17/5/1919        ... "it can only be assumed he disappeared overboard on the date stated"...

His name is located at panel 180 in the Commemorative Area at the Australian War Memorial,
Canberra, ACT.

Medals:            British War medal (43961); Victory medal (43481); Memorial Plaque
                       and Memorial Scroll (985906).

Sourced and submitted by Julianne T Ryan.  8 October 2014.  Lest we forget.

On behalf of John Fargher's grandson, John Fargher.