Arthur John ADAMS


ADAMS, Arthur John

Service Number: 401
Enlisted: 29 August 1914, Hobart, Tasmania
Last Rank: Private
Last Unit: 12th Infantry Battalion
Born: Hobart, Tas., 1893
Home Town: Hobart, Tasmania
Schooling: Not yet discovered
Occupation: Labourer
Died: Killed in action, Gallipoli, 25 April 1915
Cemetery: Lone Pine Memorial
Panel 34
Memorials: Australian War Memorial, Roll of Honour, Lone Pine Memorial to the Missing
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World War 1 Service

29 Aug 1914: Enlisted AIF WW1, Private, SN 401, Hobart, Tasmania
20 Oct 1914: Involvement AIF WW1, Private, SN 401, 12th Infantry Battalion, Enlistment/Embarkation WW1
20 Oct 1914: Embarked AIF WW1, Private, SN 401, 12th Infantry Battalion, HMAT Geelong, Hobart
25 Apr 1915: Involvement AIF WW1, Private, SN 401, 12th Infantry Battalion, ANZAC Gallipoli

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Biography contributed by Trinity College

Arthur John Adams, son of J C Adams, was born in Hobart, Tasmania in 1893. He grew up in Hobart and was a labourer by trade. Arthur was only 21 and 2 months old when he enlisted to serve his country in the AIF.

Private Adams enlisted on the 29th of August 1914, one of the first men to enlist to fight in the War. He was eager, keen and wanted to serve his country. He embarked on his journey in the AIF on the 20th of October 1914, from Geelong, Victoria from where he travelled to Egypt for training. Private Adams served with the 12th Infantry Battalion which was involved in the ANZAC Campaign and the first landing on the Gallipoli Peninsula. The 12th Infantry Battalion trained in Egypt for months learning basic soldier training and there he formed unbreakable bonds with his brothers in arms.

Private Adams was reported missing in action from the 23rd-28th of April 1915, when War dairies reported the 12th Infantry Battalion was stationed in Lemnos, in the Greek islands in the Mediterranean Sea between Greece and Turkey, before the landing on the Gallipoli Peninsula. The 12th Infantry Battalion was involved in several battles including the ANZAC Landing at Gallipoli and one of the most significant battles during WW1, the Battle at Lone Pine.

Private Adams was unfortunately reported missing after the Gallipoli Landing and a later enquiry concluded that he was killed in action on the 25th of April 1915, serving his country.

He will always be remembered but never forgotten. His name will be forever engraved on the Lone Pine Memorial in Gallipoli, Turkey, alongside hundreds of men who sacrificed and gave their lives for Australia and the greater good. His body was never recovered. There is currently no GRR (Grave Registration Report) for where Private Adams is buried. After the events of the landing at Gallipoli on the 25th April 1915, the day Private Adams tragically lost his life to the destruction of War, there are records of his death but no record of his final resting place.

Mementoes and belongings of Private Adams were placed on the untraceable list due to the Deceased Soldier’s Act of 1918. A letter dated the 22nd July 1920, from the Public Trustee, concluded that as no next of kin or family blood relations could be found in Australia, his estate, property and all belongings went to the Public Trustee and any war medals went to the untraceable list through the Army. The letter states that Arthur was in debt before he enlisted in the War and without definitive proof it appears he enlisted in the War to run away from his financial problems back home. 

Private Adams trained and served his country and even though his military career was cut too short by the horrors of war he will always be remembered for the sacrifice he made for his country. Private Adams should be remembered for wanting to serve his country and not for the other issues and situations he found himself in before the War. 


Bibliography: (2017). Army – World War I – National Archives of Australia, Australian Government. [online] Available at: [Accessed 14 Sep. 2017]. (2017). [online] Available at: [Accessed 14 Sep. 2017]. (2017). Casualty. [online] Available at:,-arthur-john/#&gid=null&pid=1 [Accessed 14 Sep. 2017].

Memorial, T. (2017). AWM4 23/29/2 - April 1915. [online] Available at: [Accessed 15 Sep. 2017].

(2017). [online] Available at: [Accessed 18 Sep. 2017].

Memorial, T. (2017). 12th Australian Infantry Battalion. [online] Available at: [Accessed 19 Sep. 2017]. (2017). [online] Available at: http://L.M. Newton, The story of the twelfth: a record of the 12th Battalion, AIF during the Great War of 1914-1918 (Swanbourne: John Burridge Military Antiques, 2000). [Accessed 19 Sep. 2017].