John Phillip Willie ADAMS

ADAMS, John Phillip Willie

Service Numbers: 817, 817
Enlisted: 28 March 1917, Enlisted at Sydney,NSW
Last Rank: Private
Last Unit: 2nd Machine Gun Battalion
Born: Norfolk Island, 1896
Home Town: Norfolk Isalnd, Territory of Norfolk Island, Norfolk Island
Schooling: Not yet discovered
Occupation: Farmer
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World War 1 Service

28 Mar 1917: Enlisted AIF WW1, Private, SN 817, 15th Machine Gun Company, Enlisted at Sydney,NSW
26 Nov 1917: Involvement Private, SN 817, 15th Machine Gun Company
26 Nov 1917: Embarked Private, SN 817, 15th Machine Gun Company, SS Indarra, Melbourne
5 Feb 1918: Transferred AIF WW1, Private, 13th Infantry Battalion, From 15 Machine Gun Battalion
10 Apr 1918: Transferred AIF WW1, Private, 5th Machine Gun Battalion, From 13th Battalion
10 Jul 1918: Transferred AIF WW1, Private, 2nd Machine Gun Battalion
28 Dec 1919: Discharged AIF WW1, Private, SN 817, 2nd Machine Gun Battalion, Discharged at the 2nd Military District

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Biography contributed by Brady Starick

John Phillip Willie Adams was born on the 25th of June, 1895 on Norfolk Island, NSW. John was the son of Willian Ward Dillion and Sarah Eliza Adams. John’s parents were married at Norfolk Island on the 26th of February, 1874 and he grew up with them on the family farm.


John Phillip Willie Adams was a farmer before enlisting in the Australian Imperial Forces on 28th of March, 1917, enlisting at the Victoria Barracks, NSW, Sydney at the age of 21 years and 9 months. John was taller than the average soldier by about 3 and a half inches, standing at 5’5 1/2, and weighed 65.32 kilograms at enlistment. His skin was described as clear, he had brown eyes and brown hair. His hair was combed over to the right side of his face and he looked like he was of a stocky build. He passed the doctors examination and had clear vision according to doctors.


John reported to the recruiting depot in Sydney for basic training and when completed, he was moved on the 4th of April and placed into the 15th Reinforcements for 15th Machine Gun Company. After 4 months of work in the 15th Reinforcements he was moved to the Machine Gun Depot. John then became ill and was placed in isolation camp. When John recovered, he embarked from Melbourne, Australia on the 26th of November, 1917 on the H.M.A.T Indara and arrived at Suez, Egypt on the 27th of December.



John stayed in Egypt for only a few days before setting off to France/Belgium on the HMT Kashgar on the 20th of January, 1918.  He stayed at France for 11 days before going to Southampton, England on the Nonas Queen, disembarking at Southampton on the 2nd of February to join the 15th Training Battalion at Codford. After a few days he transferred to the 13th Training Battalion. 2 months later he was transferred again to the 15th Machine Gun Company located in London. The 15th Machine Gun Company became the 5th Machine Gun Battalion. John’s 5th Machine Gun Battalion embarked from Folkstone, England to France.


Unfortunately, John became ill on arrival in France on the 26th June and was sent to the 3rd Canadian General Hospital in Boulogne, France. After a week he was declared fit for duty and was once again transferred but this time to the 2nd Machine Gun Battalion in Camiers, France. John officially arrived to the battle grounds on the 6th of June 1918.


On 24th of March, 1919, John was transferred to the Graves Registration Attachment but re-joined his old Battalion, the 2nd Machine Gun Battalion on the 16th of August. Days later John was sent back to England, disembarking at Southampton on the 20th of August. He stayed in England for another two months before heading back home to Australia on the SS Devon.


John arrived at Australia on the 27th of November, 1919 and moved back to Sydney. 6 years later in 1925, John married Emily F Phillips in Sydney, NSW. It was believed John had one child named Keith who died at the young age of 1. Unfortunately, there is no information on where, when or how John died. He received the British War Medal and the Victory Medal for serving his country.