James Roy FELAN


FELAN, James Roy

Service Number: 1547
Enlisted: 8 April 1915
Last Rank: Corporal
Last Unit: 17th Infantry Battalion
Born: Morpeth, New South Wales Australia, August 1884
Home Town: Scone, Upper Hunter Shire, New South Wales
Schooling: Not yet discovered
Occupation: Teacher
Died: Killed In Action, France, 27 July 1916
Cemetery: London Cemetery and Extension, Longueval
London Cemetery and Extension (Plot I, Row F, Grave No 19), Longueval, France, London Cemetery and Extension, Longueval, Picardie, France
Memorials: Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour, Parramatta NSW Public School Teachers KIA Honour Roll, Parramatta NSW Public School Teachers Who Served Abroard Honour Roll, Richmond University of Western Sydney WW1 Memorial, Scone Barwick House War Memorial Arch
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World War 1 Service

8 Apr 1915: Enlisted AIF WW1, Corporal, SN 1547, 17th Infantry Battalion
12 May 1915: Involvement Corporal, SN 1547, 17th Infantry Battalion, Battle for Pozières
12 May 1915: Embarked Corporal, SN 1547, 17th Infantry Battalion, HMAT Themistocles, Sydney

Help us honour James Roy Felan's service by contributing information, stories, and images so that they can be preserved for future generations.

Biography contributed by Evan Evans

From Red Cross files and AIF Project

Originally listed as 'No known grave', and name inscribed on the Australian National Memorial, Villers-Bretonneux.

Grave of unknown soldier found east of Pozieres; body identified as that of Felan: reburied in London Cemetery Extension, 1936.

Statement, Red Cross File No 1041109G, 2604 Pte F. CURTIS, 17th Bn (patient, No 2 Canadian General Hospital, Le Treport), 20 November 1916: 'He had been a schoolmaster. He with Pte Hodge were carrying rations up to the Welsh regiment and were in Suicide Alley when he was killed by a shell. We buried him just at the back of the parapet. It was all we could do.'

Second statement, 1958 Lance Corporal J.M. KENTWELL, 17th Bn (patient, 5th Southern General Hospital, Portsmouth, England), 21 November 1916: 'Informant states that on the 2nd night of the battle of Pozieres at Pozieres, Cpl. Felan was taking rations up and was killed by a shell, death being instantaneous. Informant helped take a ring off Felan's finger. He (Felan) was buried in a trench in "Suicide Alley" and a stick was put up at the head of the grave.'

Third statement, 2688 Pte Charles JONES, D Company, 17th Bn (patient, 3rd Southern General Hospital, Oxford, England), 22 November 1916: 'Informant states that on Tuesday, July 27th at Pozieres Cpl. Felan was killed by a shell. He was on ration fatigue at the time, and was either in the first line or Supports. He was buried a few days later behind the front line. I believe that several men were killed or wounded by the same shell ... Cpl. Felan (D. XVI.) was practically the first of our men to be killed. He was known to every one on account of the peculiar shape he wore his hat. We none of us could twist ours in the same way.'

Fourth statement, 2783 Pte A.L. STEEL, 17th Bn (patient, Dudley Road Hospital, Birmingham, England), 26 November 1916: 'On July 27th 1916, at Pozieres (between that place and Contalmaison), Felan and L/Cpl. Johnston, Sergt. Rockcliffe and Pte Hodge were on ration fatigue. They were killed by a shell. I got a white wooden painted cross from the ration dump in "Sausage Valley". His name was painted on it. I gave it to the boys in the line to be placed on his grave.'