James Murray AITKEN MC


AITKEN, James Murray

Service Number: 625
Enlisted: 4 September 1914, Blackboy Hill, Western Australia
Last Rank: Lieutenant
Last Unit: 11th Infantry Battalion
Born: Bendigo, Victoria, January 1891
Home Town: Kalgoorlie, Kalgoorlie/Boulder, Western Australia
Schooling: Kalgoorlie Central State School
Occupation: Accountant
Died: Killed in Action, France, 10 August 1918
Cemetery: No known grave - "Known Unto God"
'Buried Memorial Plot Heath Cemetery. Sheet 62D.Q29.d.5.4. Plot 7. Row 1. Grave 4. Cert by Captain Spedding's List 23.7.19. Sheet 133.' Grave subsequently lost.
Memorials: Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour, Boulder Roll of Honour, Villers-Bretonneux Memorial (Australian National Memorial - France)
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World War 1 Service

4 Sep 1914: Enlisted AIF WW1, Private, SN 625, 11th Infantry Battalion, Blackboy Hill, Western Australia
2 Nov 1914: Involvement AIF WW1, Private, SN 625, 11th Infantry Battalion, Enlistment/Embarkation WW1
2 Nov 1914: Embarked AIF WW1, Private, SN 625, 11th Infantry Battalion, HMAT Ascanius, Fremantle
25 Apr 1915: Involvement AIF WW1, Private, SN 625, 11th Infantry Battalion, 'ANZAC' / Gallipoli
10 Aug 1918: Involvement AIF WW1, Lieutenant, 11th Infantry Battalion, "The Last Hundred Days"

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Biography contributed by Faithe Jones

Military Cross

'For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty in handling his own platoon with great skill and determination, and by his dash and initiative controlling platoons on his flank. Single handed he attacked an enemy machine gun post which was enfilading the company, and captured the gun and twelve prisoners. This saved many casualties, and cleared the right flank of the attack. He did splendid service.'
Source: 'Commonwealth Gazette' No. 23
Date: 12 February 1919

The deceased officer enlisted on August 10, 1914, and proceeded to Blackboy six days later. He had risen from the ranks, and had been previously congratulated by General Birdwood on his promotion. He served for four years with the 11th Battalion, his death occurring in action this year. His brother, Lieut. Frank Aitken, who served with the Seaforth Highlanders  6th Battalion, was killed during the Cambrai operations on 20th November, 1917, after three years' service. Both boys, who were the only sons of Mrs. B. Aitken, Keenan-street, Kalgoorlie were educated at the Kalgoorlie Central School. They arrived on the goldfields with their mother, in 1897.