Arthur Lethero JAMES


JAMES, Arthur Lethero

Service Number: 2032
Enlisted: 16 September 1915
Last Rank: Private
Last Unit: 2nd Light Trench Mortar Battery
Born: Wentworth, New South Wales, Australia, 16 October 1893
Home Town: Mildura, Mildura Shire, Victoria
Schooling: Wentworth Public School, New South Wales, Australia
Occupation: Labourer
Died: Died of wounds, Albert, Picardie, France, 2 February 1917, aged 23 years
Cemetery: Dernancourt Communal Cemetery Extension
Plot IV, Row H, Grave No. 21,
Memorials: Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour
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World War 1 Service

16 Sep 1915: Enlisted AIF WW1, Private, SN 2032, 4th Light Horse Regiment
28 Jan 1916: Embarked AIF WW1, Private, SN 2032, 4th Light Horse Regiment, --- :embarkation_roll: roll_number: '2' embarkation_place: Melbourne embarkation_ship: HMAT Themistocles embarkation_ship_number: A32 public_note: ''
10 Apr 1916: Transferred AIF WW1, Private, 2nd Light Trench Mortar Battery
2 Feb 1917: Involvement Private, SN 2032, 2nd Light Trench Mortar Battery

He Fell, The Rest Marched on the Victory, Ah God, My Little Son

Arthur James enlisted at Wentworth NSW on 16 October 1915 into the 8th Battalion. He served in a number of units such as the 1st Anzac Cyclist Battalion, 8th Battalion and the 2nd Division Light Trench Mortar Battery. His headstone indicates that he may have been in the Light Trench Mortar Battery at the time of his death but letters in his file after his death also lead us to think he may have been in the 8th Infantry Battalion at the time. He arrived in Marseilles in March 1916 and travelled by train to the northwest of France. In April he was admitted to hospital with pneumonia and didn’t fully recover and joined the 8th Battalion in September that year. He then transferred to the 2nd Brigade Trench Mortar Battery on 26 January 1917. The 2nd Brigade diary for 2 February reads, “Nothing of note during the night – work was carried on. A normal day, enemy shelling scattered over all the area – not heavy. Enemy aeroplanes apparently ‘contact’ planes very active.” Perhaps it was the enemy shelling that killed him? He was taken wounded to the 45th CCS with 2 broken legs and injuries to the left hand and foot and died later that day.
While coping with her grief, his mother wrote this letter to the 3rd Military District…
“Dear Sir, I have your letter of 1st inst. For which I thank you. Before my son left for the front he wrote to me telling me that he had made his Will, leaving everything to me, and I should be glad to know if you have any record of that Will or with whom he left it. I also ask you to hold all payment due to my son until the Will is produced. He, I believe, gave the name of his father, George James, as next-of-kin, but I would point out that my husband and I parted over eleven (11) years ago, and during that time neither myself or the children have received any support from him. I have had to keep the children myself and must therefore ask you to hold all money due to my son until I can find who holds his Will and the contents of same. Awaiting the favor of a reply, Yours faithfully, M.A. James.”

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Biography contributed by Steve Larkins


Son of George and Mary Ann JAMES, Rollands Plains, New South Wales, mid north coast.  Arthur was resident in Mildura at the time of enlistment.

Born in Wentworth, New South Wales.

His younger brother Corporal William John James of the 20th Battalion, was killed in action, 11 August 1918 in the Battle of Amiens near Villers-Bretonneux, France.

Alternatively listed as Arthur Leslie JAMES (transcription anomaly perhaps?)