John Stephen CAREY

CAREY, John Stephen

Service Numbers: 3481, 3481A
Enlisted: 2 September 1915
Last Rank: Private
Last Unit: 53rd Infantry Battalion
Born: Kinchela, New South Wales, Australia, March 1883
Home Town: Kinchela Creek, Kempsey, New South Wales
Schooling: Summer Island Public School, New South Wales, Australia
Occupation: Labourer / Farmer
Died: Killed in Action, Fromelles, France, 19 July 1916
Cemetery: Rue-du-Bois Military Cemetery, Fleurbaix
Plot I, Row F, Grave 16
Memorials: Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour, Smithtown Summer Island Public School Honour Board, Wingham Bo Bo Creek Public School Roll of Honour
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World War 1 Service

2 Sep 1915: Enlisted AIF WW1, Private, 3481, 17th Infantry Battalion
20 Dec 1915: Involvement Private, 3481, 17th Infantry Battalion
20 Dec 1915: Embarked Private, 3481, 17th Infantry Battalion, HMAT Aeneas, Sydney
3 Apr 1916: Transferred AIF WW1, Private, 53rd Infantry Battalion
19 Jul 1916: Involvement Private, 3481A, 53rd Infantry Battalion

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Biography contributed by Geoffrey Gillon

He was 23. His brother Private Timothy Joseph Carey, Service Number 3480A, aged 27, was killed same day; he also served with the 53rd Bn. Australian Infantry, A.I.F., and judging by the closeness of their service numbers, they appear to have enlisted together.

-he has no known grave and is commemorated on the V.C. CORNER AUSTRALIAN CEMETERY AND MEMORIAL, FROMELLES- memorial reference: 7.

They were sons Patrick and Bridget Carey, of Kinchela, Macleay River, New South Wales.



Biography contributed by Evan Evans

Brothers who died in the Great War by Frank Mahieu  

Remembering JOHN STEPHEN CAREY, aged 23, and his brother TIMOTHY JOSEPH CAREY, aged 27, who died on 19 July 1916 while serving with 53rd Battalion, Australian Imperial Force. They died in the Battle of Fromelles. They were the sons of Patrick and Bridget Carey of Kinchela, New South Wales. John lies in Rue du Bois Military Cemetery at Fleurbaix while Timothy is commemorated at VC Corner Memorial at Fromelles.

JOHN, the oldest of the two brothers, was born (April 1883) at Kinchela Creek, near the town of Kempsey, New South Wales. TIMOTHY was born at Kinchela too (Febr. 1889). He was educated at Summer Island State School, NSW. Their religion was Roman Catholic. Both brothers were labourers.

An application for enlistment of Timothy is dated 12 August 1915 at Victoria Barracks (Sidney), few weeks before John applied. The attestation itself is dated 7 Sept. 1915,on ‘agricultural ground’ in NSW with 8th Reinforcements, 17th Battalion. Description dark complexion, dark blue eyes, dark hair, 5ft. 7 ½ inch. tall (1m 71,5), aged 26 years and 7 months, religion Roman Catholic.

John, was aged 32 years and 5 months when he enlisted on 6th (7th) Sept. 1915 on ‘agricultural ground’ in NSW as private with the 8th Reinforcements, 17th Battalion. Description: dark complexion, blue eyes, dark brown hair, 5 ft. 6 1/2 inch. tall (1m. 69). His application for enlistment is dated 2 sept. 1915 (also) at Victoria Barracks (Sidney) where the medical examination was done. The brothers so enlisted together and had consecutive regimental numbers.
Next of Kin for both: mother, Bridget Carey, Kinsela (*) Creek, McCleay River, NSW (father deceased).

Both embarked at Sidney, for Egypt, with the ‘A60 Aeneas’ on 20th December 1915 Timothy was under observation for severe illness on 26 Jan 1916 at 1st. Australian General Hospital and on 29th in 4th Auxiliary hospital at Heliopolis (at Abassin) with mild mumps; discharged from hospital on 12th Febr. and he returned to duty 18th Febr. 1916

In this, their military history is very identical: transferred at Moascar (Egypt) from 17th Btn. to, and taken on strength with, 53rd Btn. on 3 April 1916 at Ismailia (Egypt). On 9th April they were re-allotted regimental number: 3480A for Timothy and 3481A for John.
They embarked from Egypt at Alexandria with the ‘Royal George’ on 19 June 1916, and disembarked at Marseille, France on 28 June 1916.The next entry in the file of Timothy says ‘reported missing in France’ followed by ‘Killed in action’. John’s record has this extra note that on: 19th July (the day of the battle, and the day of his death) he was buried, at Rue du Bois Cemetery at Fleurbaix where he still rests now. The service was led by Reverend P. J.Gilbert (att. to 30th Btn)

By error 3 photos were sent to the mother of Timothy of the grave of a soldier of the 36th Btn (Australian Heavy artillery Group) buried at Courcelette (Somme) telling that was Timothy’s grave. This was later corrected.

Their names are listed on the Kempsey War Memorial -The Triangle, Corner of Lord Street and Pacific Higway, East Kempsey, NSW 2440. LEST WE FORGET.
(*) Kinchela, Kinsela: spelling differs.