James Alexander (Alex) YARROW

YARROW, James Alexander

Service Number: 4798
Enlisted: 9 November 1915, Brisbane, Queensland
Last Rank: Private
Last Unit: 31st Infantry Battalion
Born: Crows Nest, Queensland, Australia, 24 November 1899
Home Town: Kalbar, Scenic Rim, Queensland
Schooling: Kalbar State School, Queensland, Australia
Occupation: Farmer
Died: Natural Causes (heart condition - war service related - GSW L/side chest), Ipswich, Queensland, Australia, 15 February 1970, aged 70 years
Cemetery: Tabbinga Cemetery, Qld
Memorials: Boonah War Memorial, Kalbar Honour Board
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World War 1 Service

9 Nov 1915: Enlisted AIF WW1, Private, 4798, 26th Infantry Battalion, Brisbane, Queensland
12 Apr 1916: Involvement AIF WW1, Private, 4798, 26th Infantry Battalion, Enlistment/Embarkation WW1
12 Apr 1916: Embarked AIF WW1, Private, 4798, 26th Infantry Battalion, RMS Mooltan, Sydney
8 Jun 1918: Discharged AIF WW1, Private, 4798, 31st Infantry Battalion

James (Alex) Alexander Yarrow

Alex was the fourth of fourteen children of James Yarrow (born 1868 at Redbank Plains, Ipswich, QLD) and Mary Titmarsh (born 1871 at Fassifern, Ipswich, QLD). James and Mary married in 1890 in Ipswich, QLD and lived at Crow's Nest, Redbank Plains and Kalbar in Boonah, QLD, where James was a Farmer.

Alex served in the AIF (Private; Service No: 4798) in WWI and was WiA in France on 27 September 1917. Alex's brother Joseph Alfred (Private; Service No:Q89709) served in the ACMF in WWII and brother Stewart Edward served in the Militia (Trooper; Service No:73649).

Alex worked as a Labourer at Lunefield in Rosewood on the Darling Downs, QLD , and in 1934 he married Irene Phyllis Muller (born 1910 at Boonah, Ipswich, QLD). Alex took up Farming at Mt Walker in Rosewood, Darling Downs, QLD until 1943 he and Irene moved to Ipswich, QLD. Alex worked as a Driver in Ipswich, and in the early 1950s became a Linesman. Alex died in 1970 and Irene in 1995.

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Biography contributed by Chris Buckley

Alex was the fourth of fourteen children of James Yarrow (born 1868 at Redbank Plains, Ipswich, QLD) and his first wife Mary Titmarsh (born 1871 at Fassifern, Ipswich, QLD). James (a Farmer) married Mary in 1890 in Ipswich, QLD. They settled at Redbank Plains before moving to Crow's Nest in 1894. The family moved back to Redbank Plains, to Kalbar via Boonah and to Kent's Lagoon. Following Mary's death in 1940, James remarried in 1943 and died in Ipswich 1956.

Alex was a Farmer when he enlisted in the AIF in November 1915. He served as a Private (Service No:4798) with 26th and 31st Infantry Battalions and was WiA (GSW) in France in September 1917. Alex was Discharged in June 1918. Brother Joseph Alfred (Private; Service No:Q89709) served with the ACMF in WWII.

Returning to the Darling Downs in QLD, Alex worked as a Labourer at Lanefield near Rosewwod and in 1934 married Irene Phyllis Muller (born 1910 at Boonah, Ipswich, QLD). Alex and Iris settled at Rosewood on the Darling Downs where Alex was a Farmer. The family moved to Ipswich in the early 1940s, where Alex worked as a Driver and Linesman. He died in 1970 and Iris in 1995.

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Biography

Alex, a keen horseman, at the age of 16 years enlisted in the AIF with the intention of fighting with the Australian Light Horse Division. He was unsuccessful in obtaining a roll with the light horse division and was selected to join the 12th reinforcements of the 26th Battalion AIF to serve on the Western Front in France.

On arrival in France, Alex and a large number of reinforcements were transferred to the 31st Battalion to bring it back to strength following the Battalion's large loss in the battle at the Fromelles in July 1916.

Alex spent the cruel winter of 1916 in the trenches at Fromelle, Deville Wood, Montauban, and Fricourt and like many of his fellow solders suffered from Trench Foot and ailments related to standing and sleeping in freezing water.

The 31st Battalion as part of the 8th Brigade were selected to attack the German Line at Polygon Wood in the Ypres sector, Belgium on 26th September 1917.

From Alex's letter to his mother;

"We went over the top at 5.45am and reached our objective at 7.30am".

While preparing for the German counter attack digging in, Alex received a gunshot wound to the left hand side of his chest.

"I crawled back to where engineers were diging a trench. They took everything off me, bandaged me up and put a towell over my shoulder and carried me to an old Fritzies block house. There were about five of us in it. We stayed that day and night. The stretcher bearer came and got us next morning. I got down to the CES 3 o'clock that evening and went straight into the operating table and had the bullet and two of my ribs taken out just over my heart. It was a ricker shaped bullet that went in under my left arm, through 2 ribs and just missed my heart. The Doctor said it was a very lucky hit."

  

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