John (Jack) BLOOMFIELD

Poppy

BLOOMFIELD, John

Service Number: 16
Enlisted: 13 January 1916, Enlisted at Muswellbrook, NSW
Last Rank: Lance Sergeant
Last Unit: 34th Infantry Battalion
Born: Narrabri, New South Wales, 1893
Home Town: Gunnedah, Gunnedah, New South Wales
Schooling: Not yet discovered
Occupation: Labourer
Died: Killed in action, Belgium, 12 October 1917
Cemetery: Tyne Cot Cemetery and Memorial
34 H 19
Memorials: Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour, Gunnedah Cenotaph
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World War 1 Service

13 Jan 1916: Enlisted AIF WW1, Private, SN 16, 34th Infantry Battalion, Enlisted at Muswellbrook, NSW
2 May 1916: Involvement Private, SN 16, 34th Infantry Battalion, Third Ypres
2 May 1916: Embarked Private, SN 16, 34th Infantry Battalion, HMAT Hororata, Sydney
7 Feb 1917: Promoted AIF WW1, Lance Corporal, 34th Infantry Battalion
20 Jun 1917: Promoted AIF WW1, Corporal, 34th Infantry Battalion
7 Oct 1917: Promoted AIF WW1, Lance Sergeant, 34th Infantry Battalion
12 Oct 1917: Involvement SN 16, 34th Infantry Battalion, Third Ypres
Date unknown: Involvement AIF WW1, Corporal, SN 16, 34th Infantry Battalion

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Biography contributed by Michael Silver

Lance Sergeant Jack Bloomfield left a wife and daughter to mourn when he was killed in action in Belgium on October 12, 1917.

The 24 year old was one of the multiple Gunnedah casualties of that day, when the Allies mounted a major offensive against entrenched German positions on Passchendaele Ridge. 

Born at Dangar Village near Narrabri, Jack Bloomfield was living with his wife Kate and their infant daughter Frances May in Rosemary Street when the Wallaby recruitment march swept into Gunnedah in December 1915. He gave an undetaking to enlist as the marchers left town next morning. A month later he signed up at Muswellbrook and embarked from Sydney on 2 May 1916 for overseas service with the 34th Battalion. Disembarking at Plymouth on 23 June 1916 he underook several months of training in England before being sent to the Western Front in late 1916.

In the war zone, Bloomfield was promoted three times reaching the rank of Lance Sergeant on his return to the front after completing an eight day bombing school in England. He arrived just in time for the Passchendaele offensive - his final engagement.

Lance Sergeant Jack Bloomfield was buried in Tyne Cot Military Cemetery five miles from Ypres.

His wife Kate, a niece of bushranger Ned Kelly, remained in Gunnedah for the rest of her life. She died in 1985 at the grand old age of 92.

Her daughter, who was always known as Massie, also remained in Gunnedah for the whole of her life, dying in January 2002 at the age of 88. Late in her life she recalled once asking her mother why she never remarried. Her mother had replied: "There's only one, you know love".

Credit: RG McLean

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