John Frank (Jack) PATTINSON



Service Number: Officer
Enlisted: 25 August 1915, Also enlisted 23/8/1914, Spr 3rd Field Engineers Coy but was discharged 11/3/1915
Last Rank: Lieutenant
Last Unit: Mining Corps
Born: Footscray, Victoria, Australia, 23 December 1890
Home Town: Broken Hill, Broken Hill Municipality, New South Wales
Schooling: Not yet discovered
Occupation: Mining Engineer
Died: Killed in action, France, 14 May 1918, aged 27 years
Cemetery: Querrieu British Cemetery
Querrieu British Cemetery (Row C, Grave No. 6), France
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World War 1 Service

25 Aug 1915: Enlisted AIF WW1, Second Lieutenant, SN Officer, Mining Corps, Also enlisted 23/8/1914, Spr 3rd Field Engineers Coy but was discharged 11/3/1915
1 Jan 1916: Promoted AIF WW1, Lieutenant, Mining Corps
20 Feb 1916: Involvement Lieutenant, Mining Corps
20 Feb 1916: Embarked Lieutenant, Mining Corps, HMAT Ulysses, Sydney
20 Feb 1916: Embarked Lieutenant, Mining Corps, HMAT Ulysses, Sydney
20 Feb 1916: Involvement Lieutenant, Mining Corps
14 May 1918: Involvement Lieutenant

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Biography contributed by Evan Evans

From François Berthout, Australia and NZ in WWI

Today, it is with very deep gratitude that I would like to pay a very respectful tribute to Lieutenant John Frank Pattinson who fought in the 2nd Company of the Australian Tunellers and who was killed in action 102 years ago,on May 14, 1918 at the age of 28

John was born on December 23, 1890 in Footscray, Melbourne, Victoria and he was the son of George and Gertrude (née O'Farrell) Pattinson and he had a sister. Before the war, John lived with his wife, Daphnée Pattinson in Gladstone Road, Mile End, South Australia. He was educated at the Christian Brothers College in Adelaide and four years studying the Mining Course at the School of Mines and worked as a Mining engineer

Shortly after war was declared in 1914 he applied to enlist for active service abroad at Broken Hill, New South Wales passing the medical examination on August 20, 1914. Later that day at Morphettville, South Australia Attestation Forms were completed.Next-of-kin nominated was his father Mr George Pattinson of Mile End, Adelaide, South Australia. He was sworn in on August 24, 1914.

With no previous military experience basic training started on August 21, 1914 and he was allotted to the 3rd Field Company, Australian Engineers on September 23 in Melbourne, Victoria with the rank of Sapper and the regimental number 77.

He embarked on the troopship HMAT A2 Geelong on September 22, 1914 from Melbourne, Victoria with the company comprising of Headquarters and Nos 1, 2 and 4 Sections, disembarking at Suez. But on December 2, 1914 Sapper Pattinson was disciplined on board the troopship for disobeying an order given by an officer and the following day was punished with seven days detention.

Difficulties followed as a Report for Proposed Discharge of a Soldier was issued on January 26, 1915 with details as follows:

Cause of Discharge: Services no longer required as not likely to prove an efficient soldier.

Re-enlisting in Melbourne, Victoria on August 17, 1915 the mining engineer passed the medical examination and forms of Attestation were completed.The Mining Corps was in its establishment stage at Casula, near Liverpool, New South Wales when he arrived and gave no details of his previous service except for two months Acting Sergeant with the Infantry, A.I.F. and was sent to attend the Engineer and Officers ’Training School. On November 3, 1915 he applied for a Commission with the Field Engineers, Mining Corps.

On a second Attestation Form he gave his address as care of Mrs Loche, Normanby Street, Middle Brighton, Melbourne and she was nominated as his next-of-kin. his application was approved on November 5, 1915. His appointment was gazetted in the Commonwealth Gazette No.146 of November 25, 1915. Routine Order No.2 of the Mining Corps dated December 16, 1915 saw him temporarily allotted to the No. 1 Company of the Mining Corps but in R / Order No.3 detailed him for Chief Instructor of the Non Commissioned Officers' School then on December 20 in R / Order No.6 he was transferred to No.3 Company as Acting Officer Commanding. Promotion to the rank of Lieutenant was gazetted in the Commonwealth Gazette No.17 of January 1, 1916.

Further Attestation forms were completed at Casula camp on February 16, 1916 in preparation for departure and he was sworn in and assigned to the No.2 Company of the Mining Corps.

The Corps boarded HMAT A38 Ulysses in Sydney, New South Wales on February 20 and sailed for the European theater and arrived in Marseilles, France, on May 5, 1916.As a unit they entrained at Marseilles on May 7 and detrained on May 11 at Hazebrouck . A ‘Mining Corps’ did not fit in the British Expeditionary Force, and the Corps was disbanded and three Australian Tunneling Companies were formed.The No.2 Company became the 2nd Tunneling Company in the field.

On October 5, 1916 the Lieutenant was accidentally wounded and taken to the 8th Field Ambulance with a bayonet wound to his arm. Transferred to the 2nd Casualty Clearing Station he was conveyed on Ambulance Train 28 to the 7th Stationary Hospital. The Medical Officer’s report states:

The bayonet wound to his upper arm is not serious and will not interfere with his future efficiency as an officer. On duty at Armentieres, pointing out positions to Infantry officers when a soldier put up his bayonet from a trench and Lieutenant Pattinson slipped on it.

On October 8 he was transferred to England from Boulogne on the hospital ship St Patrick and admitted to the 3rd London General Hospital in Wandsworth. A report was sent to the War Office stating:

Entrance was on inner side. No injury to bone or nerve. Admitted here October 8, 1916. Wound not yet healed. Fit about four weeks.

On November 23, 1916 he was discharged to Perham Down’s camp. He proceeded overseas on December 6 arriving at the Base Depot at Etaples the next day and was attached four days later to the 1st Anzac Entrenching Battalion. This was an advanced section of the Base Depot that organized works near the lines and through duties, usually of ten days duration, would accustom the reinforcements to war conditions before being assigned to a company in the field.

On January 6, 1917 he was placed on the Supernumerary List.

He went sick from the field to the 8th General Hospital on January 24, 1917 and was admitted with appendicitis (slight) and conveyed from Havre on the hospital ship Warilda to England. Re-admitted to the 3rd London General Hospital on January 29 where his illness was stated as appendicitis.

On March 18, 1918 he went injured to the 49th Field Ambulance with Synovitis knee and abrasions after a motorcycle accident and a day later moved to the 48th Casualty Clearing Station. Conveyed on AT24 to Rouen entered the 2nd Red Cross Hospital for treatment of Synovitis right knee.Transferred to England on March 23, 1918 on board the hospital ship Carisbrook Castle again entered the 3rd London General Hospital a day later for treatment of his injured knee remaining in hospital for nine days.

Lieutenant Pattinson was transferred on April 16, 1918 to the Overseas Training Brigade remaining until April 29 when he departed Southampton for France and marched into the Australian General Base Depot at Rouelles the next day.

On May 10 he left the Depot and rejoined his unit on May 12, 1918 where the next day he was restored from the Supernumeracy List.

In April 1918 members of the 2nd Tunneling Company were sent to the Ribemont line, Somme.

Two days after returning to the field Lieutenant Pattinson was killed in action on May 14, 1918 by a shell at Ribemont, Somme.

Today, Lieutenant John Frank Pattinson rests in peace at the Querrieu Military Cemetery, Somme alongside the men of his unit.

Thank you John, today we honor your memory and we remember with respect who you were and all that you did for us here, on these sacred lands of the Somme on which you and so many comrades fought with bravery and fell as heroes, for freedom, giving their courage, their youth and their lives for a better future with hopes of peace. Today, I who live on these lands of the Somme, I walk with respect in your footsteps to learn from you, I want to know who you were and say thank you with the respect that you all deserve, from all of you, my boys from the Somme, a better world was born, a peaceful world and I would be eternally grateful to you and grateful to your families for whom I feel a very deep respect and lots of love. I will never forget. At the going down of the sun and in the morning, we will remember him, we will remember them🌺