James Llewellyn (Lyn) LEWIS

Poppy

LEWIS, James Llewellyn

Service Number: 21
Enlisted: 19 August 1914, Morphettville, South Australia
Last Rank: Private
Last Unit: 10th Infantry Battalion
Born: Port Pirie, South Australia, 13 December 1893
Home Town: Port Adelaide, Port Adelaide Enfield, South Australia
Schooling: Narracoorte State School, St. Peter's Collegiate School
Occupation: Bank Clerk
Died: Killed in action, Gallipoli, 25 April 1915, aged 21 years
Cemetery: No known grave - "Known Unto God"
Memorials: Adelaide National War Memorial, Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour, Hackney St Peter's College Fallen Honour Board, Lone Pine Memorial to the Missing, Port Adelaide St Paul's Church Memorial Alcove
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World War 1 Service

19 Aug 1914: Enlisted AIF WW1, Morphettville, South Australia
20 Oct 1914: Involvement AIF WW1, Private, SN 21, 10th Infantry Battalion, 'ANZAC' / Gallipoli
20 Oct 1914: Embarked AIF WW1, Private, SN 21, 10th Infantry Battalion, HMAT Ascanius, Adelaide

More about James

James Llewellyn Lewis was born at Port Pirie, South Australia and received his early education at Naracoorte State School. He later spent four years at the Collegiate School of St Peter where he proved to be a good student and talented sportsman.
James played inter-collegiate tennis in 1909 and 1910, and it was later reported that he and his partner G. K. Henderson were the best doubles pair that had represented the School.
While at the School, he served in the junior cadets and later served as a senior cadet with 28th Signals Company, Army Engineers, as well as two months in Signals with the 10th Australian Infantry Regiment.
Prior to enlisting at Morphettville on the day the camp opened (19 August) he had been a clerk with the Adelaide branch of the Union Bank.
He was an original member of E Company, 10th Battalion but when C and E Companies merged at Mena, he was transferred to B Company where he remained until Talbot Smith selected him to join the Scouts.
Private Lewis is officially listed as killed in action sometime between 25 and 29 April 1915; he was 21 years of age.
James Lewis and his cousin, Sergeant John Rutherford Gordon (OS) were the greatest of mates and did everything together including joining the Scouts.
Shortly after the first anniversary of the Anzac landing, John Rutherford Gordon paid tribute to his cousin and fellow Scouts killed a year earlier.
In memory of my comrades of the 10th Battalion, 3rd Brigade: Signaller J.L. Lewis (cousin), Lance – Corporal P. de Q Robin, Privates T.A. Whyte, F.H. Stokes, M. T. Smith and G.V.S. Morphett, killed in action at Anzac, Gallipoli, on or about April 25, 1915.
In a letter dated 6 July 2005, ‘Old Blue’ and former master at the College, Bruce Gordon wrote the following about his father Lieutenant John Rutherford Gordon MC.
Lewis (also in the 10th) died (according to my mother) in dad’s arms. At first opportunity, Dad cabled to his uncle of JLL’s death, JLL’s parents then sought verification from the Army, who assured them that JLL was alive then; Dad got a rocket from his father for upsetting his brother in law. Only later did the truth come out…
In early August 1915, just a month after his twentieth birthday, 159 Sergeant John Rutherford Gordon was commissioned while at Anzac but by the end of the month was diagnosed as suffering with typhoid and was invalided back to Australia.
After making a complete full recovery, he joined the Australian Flying Corps at Point Cook Victoria and served with 62 Squadron, Royal Flying Corps. While a gunner-observer and later as a pilot flying SE-5s and Sopwith Camels over France, Lieutenant Gordon earned the title of Air Ace by shooting down numerous enemy aircraft; among his victories were some of Baron Manfred von Richthofen’s flying circus.
While on the Western Front he was frequently called upon to engage in low-level ground strafing of enemy troops, a task he did not enjoy and which, as he told his son Bruce years later, was a ‘far more dangerous occupation than aerial combat.’
Lieutenant John Rutherford Gordon was awarded the Military Cross for gallantry in June 1918.

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Biography

From the book Fallen Saints

James Llewellyn Lewis was born at Port Pirie, South Australia and received his early education at Naracoorte State School. He later spent four years at the Collegiate School of St Peter where he proved to be a good student and talented sportsman.

James played inter-collegiate tennis in 1909 and 1910, and it was later reported that he and his partner G. K. Henderson were the best doubles pair that had represented the School. [i]

While at the School, he served in the junior cadets and later served as a senior cadet with 28th Signals Company, Army Engineers, as well as two months in Signals with the 10th Australian Infantry Regiment.  

Prior to enlisting at Morphettville on the day the camp opened (19 August) he had been a clerk with the Adelaide branch of the Union Bank.

He was an original member of E Company, 10th Battalion but when C and E Companies merged at Mena, he was transferred to B Company where he remained until Talbot Smith selected him to join the Scouts.

Private Lewis is officially listed as killed in action sometime between 25 and 29 April 1915; he was 21 years of age.

James Lewis and his cousin, Sergeant John Rutherford Gordon (OS) were the greatest of mates and did everything together including joining the Scouts.

Shortly after the first anniversary of the Anzac landing, John Rutherford Gordon paid tribute to his cousin and fellow Scouts killed a year earlier.

In memory of my comrades of the 10th Battalion, 3rd Brigade: Signaller J.L. Lewis (cousin), Lance – Corporal P. de Q Robin, Privates T.A. Whyte, F.H. Stokes, M. T. Smith and G.V.S. Morphett, killed in action at Anzac, Gallipoli, on or about April 25, 1915. [ii]

In a letter dated 6 July 2005, ‘Old Blue’ and former master at the College, Bruce Gordon wrote the following about his father Lieutenant John Rutherford Gordon MC.

Lewis (also in the 10th) died (according to my mother) in dad’s arms. At first opportunity, Dad cabled to his uncle of JLL’s death, JLL’s parents then sought verification from the Army, who assured them that JLL was alive then; Dad got a rocket from his father for upsetting his brother in law. Only later did the truth come out… [iii]

In early August 1915, just a month after his twentieth birthday, 159 Sergeant John Rutherford Gordon was commissioned while at Anzac but by the end of the month was diagnosed as suffering with typhoid and was invalided back to Australia.

After making a complete full recovery, he joined the Australian Flying Corps at Point Cook Victoria and served with 62 Squadron, Royal Flying Corps. While a gunner-observer and later as a pilot flying SE-5s and Sopwith Camels over France, Lieutenant Gordon earned the title of Air Ace by shooting down numerous enemy aircraft; among his victories were some of Baron Manfred von Richthofen’s flying circus. [iv]

While on the Western Front  he was frequently called upon to engage in low-level ground strafing of enemy troops, a task he did not enjoy and which, as he told his son Bruce years later, was a ‘far more dangerous occupation than aerial combat.’

 Lieutenant John Rutherford Gordon was awarded the Military Cross for gallantry in June 1918. [v]



[i] Adelaide Chronicle, 24 July 1915, p. 43
[ii] ibid., 29 April 1916, p. 30
[iii] Gordon, B, letter about his  late father, John  Rutherford Gordon MC, 6 July 2005
[iv] Gordon, B, ‘The Flowers Of The Forest’ published 1995 - St Peter’s College, South Australia
[v] London Gazette: 22 June 1918, Page 7429, position 1

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"HOW SIGNALLER LEWIS DIED. Comrade's Tribute.

Particulars of the death of Signaller J. L. Lewis, who was killed in action at the Dardanelles on April 25, have been received by his father, Mr. J. L. Lewis, of Port Adelaide, from Pte. D. G. Darrson, of the 10th Battalion, who, writing from Suola Bay, Gallipoli Peninsula, on June 9, states:—

"Dear Mr. Lewis — I am sending you a few lines, hoping that the particulars I am able to give you regarding Lyn's death will help to palliate the suffering which Mrs. Lewis and yourself are under- going by the loss of an only child. One of his fellow-signallers told me that he hurt his back in climbing the cliffs when we were advancing on the day of our arrival here; and that after this, with much suffering to himself, he had been rendering aid to his wounded comrades. It was while he was doing this that he was killed. One can only feel admiration for him, and personally I am honoured that he was a friend of mine. I am not able to express in writing the gratitude that a wounded soldier must feel who is being attended to by one who himself is suffering much pain and risking his life in this act of mercy. In your case, Mr. Lewis, I know that sorrow must eventually give place to pride. Convey my sincerest wishes to Mrs. Lewis, and accept the same yourself." - from the Adelaide Register 24 Jul 1915 (nla.gov.au)

 

"THE LATE SIGNALLER J. L. LEWIS.

Mr. J. L. Lewis, manager of the Port Adelaide branch of the Union Bank has received private advices from Colonel S. Price Weir and others that his son, Signaller, J. L. Lewis, jun., No. 21, 10th Battalion, attached to B Company, whose name appeared in the lists of a few weeks ago as "missing," was killed in action on April 25, the day of the landing of the Australian troops on Gallipoli Peninsula. Signaller Lewis, who was an only child, was amongst the first to enlist, and entered the camp at Morphettville on the morning of the first day, August 19. He celebrated his 21st birthday in Egypt last December.

Beginning his education at the Narracoorte State School, Signaller Lewis spent four years at St. Peter's Collegiate School. He played inter-collegiate tennis for his school in 1909 and 1910, and he and G. K. Henderson were referred to in the press as possibly the best doubles pair that had represented the school. He joined the service of the Union Bank in 1911, and at the date of his enlistment was on the staff of the Adelaide branch. He played pennant tennis with the Port Adelaide A team, and as their first singles player met with considerable success." - from the Adelaide Chronicle 24 Jul 1915 (nla.gov.au)

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