James Blomfield OSBORNE MID

OSBORNE, James Blomfield

Service Numbers: Officer, 24580
Enlisted: 28 August 1914
Last Rank: Private
Last Unit: Unspecified British Units
Born: Sydney, New South Wales, 14 March 1892
Home Town: Paddington, Woollahra, New South Wales
Schooling: Not yet discovered
Occupation: Farmer/Grazier
Died: Killed In Action, Le Selle Kines, France, 10 October 1918, aged 26 years
Cemetery: Portsmouth (Highland Road) Cemetery
IX B 10
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World War 1 Service

28 Aug 1914: Enlisted AIF WW1, Second Lieutenant
20 Oct 1914: Embarked AIF WW1, Second Lieutenant, 4th Infantry Battalion, HMAT Euripides, Sydney
20 Oct 1914: Involvement AIF WW1, Second Lieutenant, 4th Infantry Battalion, Enlistment/Embarkation WW1
25 Apr 1915: Promoted AIF WW1, Lieutenant, 4th Infantry Battalion
25 Apr 1915: Involvement AIF WW1, Lieutenant, 4th Infantry Battalion, ANZAC / Gallipoli
8 Aug 1915: Wounded AIF WW1, Lieutenant, Officer, 4th Infantry Battalion, The August Offensive - Lone Pine, Suvla Bay, Sari Bair, The Nek and Hill 60 - Gallipoli, GSW (groin)
1 Dec 1915: Promoted AIF WW1, Captain, 4th Infantry Battalion
18 Aug 1916: Wounded AIF WW1, Captain, 4th Infantry Battalion, Mouquet Farm, 2nd occasion
3 Jul 1917: Discharged AIF WW1, Captain, 4th Infantry Battalion, Discharged as medically unfit - travelled to England and enlisted in Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders 2nd Battalion
10 Oct 1918: Involvement Private, 24580, Unspecified British Units, "The Last Hundred Days"

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Biography contributed by Faithe Jones

Lieutenant James Blomfield Osborne, who was killed in action in France on October 10, was a son of Colonel F. W. Osborne, officer commanding at South Head,. Sydney, and nephew of Mrs. Charles Fairbairn. After having been badly wounded at Lone Pine and at Mouquet Farm, he was invalided to Australia. On obtaining his discharge he returned to England, and enlisted as a Private in the Argyle and Sutherland Highlanders (Service No 24580), with whom he was fighting when he was killed. Before the war he was a lieutenant in The Army Service Corps; C.M.F. He was in the landing at Gallipoli. He was an old Grammarian. 

James Blomfield Osborne who was killed in action in France on 10th October 1918 was the son of F.W. Osborne (No1503 on the School Roll).  He was born in 1892 and was at the Prep. from 1902 to 1906 and at the Senrior School from 1907 to 1911.  On leaving School he followed his father's example by making soldiering his profession.  He was a Lieutenant in the Army Service Corps A.M.F.   He enlisted on the outbreak of war as 2nd Lieutenant in the 4th Battalion AIF and was in the Landing on Gallipoli.  Shortly afterwards he was promoted to Lieutenant and took part in the Lone Pine engagement, in which he was wounded so severely that he had to remain in hospital for several months.  He was also invalided sick with enteric in September 1915 but on 1st December he was promoted to Captain.  For his work at Lone Pine he was Mentioned in Sir Ian Hamilton's Despatches of 11th December 1915, and was recommended for  - but did not receive - the Military Cross.  After the Evacuation from Gallipli and transfer to France he took part in the Pozieres battles of July and August 1916 and in the latter he was again so severely wounded that eventually on 4th May 1917 he was sent back to Australia, and his appointment in the AIF was on 3rd July terminated as unfit for active service.  Not being satisfied with the amount of fighting he had gone through, he went at his own expense to England, and in February 1918 enlisted in Scotland with the Argyle and Sutherland Highlanders, and was killed with them at the attack at Le Selle Kines.  The following letter from a comrade speaks for itself:

"During the whold period of training in Egypt and Lemnos he was a diligent and practial man, who worked hard, and made the welfare and training of his men his personal care.  He was an enthusiast about his work, and his immediate followers and many instances of his generosity.  During the Landing operations he nursed his men all he could, and if he showed any anziety at all about the danger of the undertaking, it was certainly not for himself but for the men in his charge.  I know now the man had no selfish fear in his composition or any thoughts of personal danger.  Men of the 4th could enlarge on his personal influence during the shole time of his association with the battalion, but I will give you one episode of the Lone Pine which will serve.  It was the morning after the Lone Pine charge.  We had been hard pressed all night, and our wounded were suffering simple hell.  We could not evaucate anyone for 4 hours, so where the fights was the thickest we had the poor devils strewn around the trench floors amongst us.  In one tight corner, under Lieutenant Osborne's charge, I had a small party of snipers, and one man told off with a half-filled sand-bag to extinguish bombs which came over intermittently.  After a change of this latter post the new man on the bag did not know his owrk too well, and he had scarcely taken over before a fair sized bomb came over the top and settled smoking amongst about a dozen men too much injured to move a hand in their own defence.  I yelled to the man with the bag to get in on the bomb instantly, but before he could collect his scattered wits to do so Lieutenant Osborne stepped across a couple of wounded men, seized the bomb and trhew it out of the trench.  It only cleared the parapet when it burst.  I can seen the relieved expressionson all faces now. This was the man right through."  In his will Jim Osborne left £25 to the School Rowing Club for a trophy not to be won ourtright.  He was buried in the British Highland Cemetery at Le Cateau.