Service Number: Officer
Enlisted: 16 March 1915
Last Rank: Colonel
Last Unit: 25th Infantry Battalion
Born: Newcastle, NSW, 18 November 1867
Home Town: Waratah West, Newcastle, New South Wales
Schooling: Not yet discovered
Occupation: Merchant
Died: Newcastle, NSW, 21 November 1943, aged 76 years, cause of death not yet discovered
Cemetery: Not yet discovered
Memorials: Newcastle Surf Club Life Saving Brigade Honor Roll
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World War 1 Service

16 Mar 1915: Enlisted AIF WW1, Colonel, Officer, 25th Infantry Battalion
29 Jun 1915: Involvement Colonel, 25th Infantry Battalion, --- :embarkation_roll: roll_number: '15' embarkation_place: Brisbane embarkation_ship: HMAT Aeneas embarkation_ship_number: A60 public_note: ''
29 Jun 1915: Embarked Colonel, 25th Infantry Battalion, HMAT Aeneas, Brisbane

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Biography contributed by Faithe Jones

SYDNEY. — Major-General John Paton commander of the 7th Brigade at Gallipoli, died at Newcastle, aged 76. He commanded the 7th Infantry Brigade in 1915- 1916 and the 66th in 1917-18. He was second in command at the landing in German New Guinea and later led the expedition which seized the Komet, the first enemy warship captured by Australian forces. In recent years Major-General Paton was connected with northern business companies, being chairman of directors of R. Hall and Son Pty. Ltd., and a director of Newcastle and Hunter River Steamship Co. Ltd. and City of Newcastle Gas and Coke Co. Ltd.


Biography contributed by Faithe Jones

Major General John PATON
Commander 25th Battalion, March 1915 – October 1915; Commander 7thInfantry Brigade, October 1915 – November 1916; Commander 17th Infantry Brigade, May 1917 – July 1917; Commander 6th Infantry Brigade July 1917 – 24th August 1918

Born 18th November 1867, Newcastle, New South Wales; died 21st November 1943, Newcastle New South Wales

Paton joined the New South Wales Military Forces in December 1887 as a second lieutenant in the 4th Infantry. Paton steadily rose through the ranks and at the outbreak of World War I was appointed to command the Newcastle Defended Port. His first action was as second in command of the Australian Naval and Military Expeditionary Force under William Holmes. During the operation, Paton captured the German motor launch Komet which later became HMAS Una.

Paton joined the AIF on 16th March 1915 as a lieutenant colonel commanding the 25th Battalion, part of the 7th Infantry Brigade, which embarked for Egypt on 2nd June 1915 where it trained until it embarked for Gallipoli on 28th August 1915. Paton took over the 7th Brigade on 15th October 1915 on direct orders from Major General Brandon Leon Pass. During the evacuation of Anzac, Paton was placed in command of the Rear Party, and at 0410 20th December 1915 Paton embarked on the last boat to leave Anzac.

Paton arrived in France on 19th March 1916 and on the 5th November 1916, while directing an attack on a trench known as “The Maze” near Flers on the Somme, Paton was wounded by a German sniper and evacuated to England. Once recovered, Paton commanded the 17th Brigade from May to July 1917 before taking over the 6th Brigade in Belgium and France, leading it in the attacks on Broodseinde, Passchendaele and Ville-sur-Ancre. He was twice temporarily in command of the 2nd Division. On 24th August 1918 following frustration at being passed over for divisional command multiple times, Paton elected to retire and returned to Australia.

Following the war Paton returned to business and was vice president of the Newcastle Chamber of Commerce from 1919 to 1920, president from 1920 to 1923, and vice president again from 1929 to 1931. Paton returned to service after the war and commanded the 5th and 1st Brigades, and then the 2nd Division, retiring in 1926 with the rank of Major General.

For further reading on Major General John PATON visit the Australian Dictionary of Biography