James Hamilton AYLIFFE

AYLIFFE, James Hamilton

Service Number: 260
Enlisted: 1 August 1914, Morphettville, South Australia
Last Rank: Sergeant
Last Unit: 3rd Light Horse Regiment
Born: Purnamoota Station, Broken Hill, New South Wales, 16 December 1890
Home Town: Broken Hill, Broken Hill Municipality, New South Wales
Schooling: St Peters College, Adelaide
Occupation: Bushman
Died: Died of Wounds (GSW abdomen), Palestine, 7 November 1917, aged 26 years
Cemetery: Beersheba War Cemetery
Q 81, Beersheba War Cemetery, Beersheba, Israel
Memorials: Adelaide National War Memorial, Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour, Broken Hill War Memorial, Hackney St Peter's College Fallen Honour Board, Victor Harbor War Memorial
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World War 1 Service

1 Aug 1914: Enlisted AIF WW1, Private, 260, 3rd Light Horse Regiment, Morphettville, South Australia
22 Oct 1914: Involvement AIF WW1, Private, 260, 3rd Light Horse Regiment, Enlistment/Embarkation WW1
22 Oct 1914: Embarked AIF WW1, Private, 260, 3rd Light Horse Regiment, HMAT Port Lincoln, Adelaide
9 May 1915: Involvement AIF WW1, Trooper, 260, 3rd Light Horse Regiment, ANZAC / Gallipoli
8 Jul 1917: Promoted AIF WW1, Sergeant, 3rd Light Horse Regiment
7 Nov 1917: Involvement AIF WW1, Sergeant, 260, 3rd Light Horse Regiment, Battle of Beersheba

From the book Fallen Saints

James Hamilton Ayliffe of Myponga, South Australia was born near Purnamoota about 30 kilometres north of Broken Hill, New South Wales. While at the School he served in the senior cadets for a period of seven months and after leaving worked in the bush and was the manager of a sheep station until he enlisted in Adelaide on 24 August 1914. He and his brother Trooper Frank Ayliffe sailed from Adelaide with B Squadron, 3rd Light Horse Regiment aboard HMAT Port Lincoln on 20 October.
In late February while in Egypt he was admitted to hospital with appendicitis but rejoined the regiment in early May and proceeded to Gallipoli with them on 9 May 1915. He was admitted to hospital for five days during September and after being discharged remained at Anzac with his unit until they left on 14 December.
After returning to Egypt he was appointed lance corporal and attached to the Western Frontier Force until March 1916 when the 1st, 2nd and 3rd Australian Light Horse Brigades and the New Zealand Mounted Rifles Brigade formed the Australian and New Zealand Mounted Division.
On 10 March, after having been warned at evening stables that no one was to leave camp, Lance Corporal Ayliffe went into the town of Girga, Upper Egypt and was unlucky enough to get caught. He was charged with disobeying a lawful command and on 26 March was awarded 28 days Field Punishment No 2 and reduced in rank.
He was promoted to Corporal on 2 July, admitted to hospital sick at Romani on 1 August and rejoined the regiment three days later in time to participate in the Battle of Romani and the pursuit of the retreating Turks. During the Battle of Rafa on 9 January 1917 he was shot in the arm and was admitted to 1st Light Horse Field Ambulance but transferred to 24th Stationary Hospital, Cairo the next day. He was later transferred to 14th Australian General Hospital at Abbassia and then to the Convalescent Depot, Abbassia until at the end of February he was discharged to the 1st Light Horse Training Regiment at Moascar; he rejoined the 3rd Light Horse Regiment at Shellal on 8 May and was promoted to Sergeant two months later.
At 5.20 p.m., on 6 November after spending five days on outpost duties along the line between Tel-el-Sharia to the Hebron Road just south of Tel-el-Khuweilfer, the 3rd Light Horse Regiment moved to the Brigade assembly point north of Beersheba. There with the remainder of the Brigade they moved forward six kilometres to take over the positions of the 22nd Mounted Brigade. After being relieved at 6.45 a.m., on 7 November the Brigade moved off towards Tel-el-Sharia and during the move came under desultory fire. Sergeant Ayliffe was shot in the abdomen and evacuated to the 1st Light Horse Field Ambulance but died there the same day; he was 27 years of age.
James was the eldest of three brothers who served in the AIF during the War. Corporal William Ayliffe was killed in action at Villers-Bretonneux and Sergeant Frank Ayliffe returned to Australia in October 1918.

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Biography contributed by Faithe Jones

Father  Frank Ayliffe and Mother Elizabeth Ann (nee Davison),
c/o Zinc Corporation Mills at  Myponga, SA. Native of Purnamoota Station, Broken Hill, NSW

James was the eldest of three brothers who all served with the AIF:

6537  Pte William Hawden Ayliffe
27th Battalion, of Adelaide, SA.
A farmer
9/1916              enlisted
24/1/1917         embarked Outer Harbour, Pt Adelaide with
                        19th Reinforcements on board HMAT Miltiades (A28)
24/7/1917         He arrived in France
7/8/1917           transferred to the 50th Battalion
15/11/1917       promoted to the rank of Corporal
25/4/1918         killed in action at Villers Bretonneux, France (25 years)

259 Sgt Frank Keith Ayliffe
20 years old; Stockman
Last residence Purnamoota Station, Broken Hill, New South Wales
20/8/1914         Enlisted  at  Morphettville
22/10/1914       Embarked with his brother James from Outer Harbour on HMAT A17 Port Lincoln
                        as a Private in  B Squadron, 3rd Light Horse Regiment
                        5th Motor Transport Company
8/10/1918         returned to Australia  (24 years).

James' previous service:
7 months Senior Cadets

Described on enlisting as 23 years 7 months old; single;  5’ 9 1/4” tall;  155 lbs;
dark complexion;  brown eyes; brown hair;  Church of England

24/8/1914        Enlisted  at  Morphettville
                        Completed medical - fit for service

22/10/1914      Embarked with his brother FRANK from Outer Harbour Pt Adelaide on HMAT (A17) Port Lincoln
                        as a Private in  B Squadron, 3rd Light Horse Regiment

9/5/1915          Proceeded to join Mediterranean Expeditionary Force, Gallipoli

12/9/1915        sick admitted to hospital - Gallipoli

17/9/1915        rejoined unit - Gallipoli

20/12/1915      disembarked Gallipoli for Alexandria

29/12/1915      Proceeded to join Western Frontier Force
                        appointed Lance Corporal

2/7/1916          appointed temporary Corporal
2/7/1916          appointed Corporal

1/8/1916           sick to hospital, Romani
4/8/1916           rejoined unit

9/1/1917           Wounded in action, El-Arish,
                         admitted to 1st Field Ambulance
10/1/1917         gun shot wound, right arm
11/1/1917         transferred to 24th Stationary Hospital, Cairo
14/1/1917         to 14th Australian General Hospital, Abbassia
15/2/1917         to Convalescent Depot, Abbassia
22/2/1917         discharged to 1st Light Horse Training Regiment, Moascar
                         taken on strength, 1st Light Horse Training Regiment

6/5/1917           Transferred to 3rd Light Horse Regiment, Moascar
8/5/1917           taken on strength, 3rd Light Horse Regiment, Shellal

8/7/1917           Appointed Sergeant

7/11/1917         Gun shot wound to abdomen
                         admitted to 1st Light Horse Field Ambulance, Palestine

7/11/1917           died of wounds – received in action
buried :             bearing from Sheria
                         400 yards East of Railway, 400 yards South-East of Railway Station
                         of Khum Amadah, Palestine
buried by:         Chaplain J Boardman, on bank of Little Wadi, Palestine

19/12/1919       exhumed and reburied in:
                        Beersheba Military Cemetery
                        Row Q, Grave 81

WWI Star 1914-15 (3250);  British War medal (2719);  Victory medal;
Memorial Plaque and Memorial Scroll (337897).

Sourced and submitted by Julianne T Ryan with additions by Heather Walker.  3/11/2014.  Lest we forget.


Biography contributed by Faithe Jones

James Hamilton AYLIFFE was the second child of Frank AYLIFFE and Elizabeth Hamilton AYLIFFE (nee DAVISON), was born in January 1891 at Silverton, NSW. James’ service file indicates his parents were living in Broken Hill at the time he enlisted and moved to Myponga in late 1916 or early 1917 where Frank AYLIFFE worked for the Zinc Corporation Mill managing the timber plantation, which produced timber beams for the mines.

Three AYLIFFE brothers served in the AIF. James and Frank both joined the Light Horse, serving together at Gallipoli then in Egypt, until May 1916, when Frank transferred to artillery and survived the war. William was killed in action at Villers-Bretonneux on 25 April 1918 while in the infantry.

James enlisted on 19 August 1914, soon after war was declared. Following initial training at Morphettville, he sailed with the 3rd Light Horse Regiment onboard HMAT Port Lincoln from Adelaide on 22 October 1914 and disembarked in Egypt for further training.

The 3rd LHR was committed to the Gallipoli campaign as a dismounted unit on 9 May 1915, to relieve infantry units, which had suffered heavy causalities in the early fighting. The Regiment played a defensive role throughout the campaign. Apart from six days when ill in hospital (12-17 September), James remained on duty with his unit at Gallipoli until it was evacuated on 14 December back to Egypt.

On 29 December 1915, James was promoted to lance corporal and on that same day the 3rd LHR was deployed to the western area of the country until May 1916, as a component of the force protecting the Nile Valley from pro-Turkish Senussi tribesmen. On 26 March 1916, James was court-martialled for absenting himself from the camp without permission. He was sentenced to 28 days field punishment and reduced to the rank of corporal.

James was promoted to corporal on 2 July 1916 following the promotion of 334 Corporal Clarence Garland Plenty to the rank of sergeant. Despite James’ earlier misdemeanour, his superiors regarded him as a good horseman and junior leader. The Regiment, now in the Sinai, fought in the Battle of Romani on 4 August 1916. This battle stopped any further Turkish advance towards Egypt.

On 23 December 1916, following an overnight march, British forces attacked Turkish held Magdhabba. The 3rd LHR, aided by two companies of the Camel Brigade, attacked a key strong point on foot, overcoming heated resistance, to capture it and 95 defenders. That attack broke the enemy defences, leading to the surrender of nearly 1,300 prisoners and significant quantities of munitions. Throughout the campaign in the Sinai, plans and tactics revolved around the location and availability of water for both men and animals.

After resting, his Regiment rejoined the Anzac Mounted Division, which continued pressuring the Turkish Army across the Sinai then onto Palestine. On 9 January 1917, after another all night-ride, British forces surrounded the 2,000 Turkish defenders south of Rafa. James became one of a number of casualties suffered by the 3rd LHR in its advance on Turkish positions. Shot in the right arm, he was admitted to the Australian General Hospital in Egypt five days after being wounded. Following recovery and convalescence, he was posted to the 1st Light Horse Training Regiment on 22 February 1917.

James rejoined the 3rd Light Horse Regiment in early May, at el-Shellal, in time to be part of the large demolition raid which destroyed 13 miles of Turkish railway line south of Beersheba. His experience, skills and leadership were recognised with promotion to sergeant on 8 July 1917.

On 31 October 1917, the 3rd LHR fought at Battle of Beersheba. It was attacking Turkish defences from the east, while the famous charge of the southern trenches was made by the 4th LHR and 12th LHR. Their charge collapsed the defences, allowing Beersheba to be captured.

Seven days later, as the Regiment was moving ahead of the main British forces advancing towards Tel-el-Sheria, James was wounded by rifle fire early on the morning of 7 November. Although immediately attended to by a medical orderly, he died later that day. Tel-el-Sheria was captured later in the day by British infantry.

James was buried close to the station south of the settlement. After the war he was reinterred in the Beersheba War Cemetery, Palestine. His family received James’s 1914-15 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal. He is commemorated on the Victor Harbor War Memorial.

http://victorharborrsl.com.au/ayliffe-james-hamilton-army-260/ (victorharborrsl.com.au)