James SHEA


SHEA, James

Service Numbers: 13288, 3371
Enlisted: 26 February 1916, Goulburn, NSW
Last Rank: Private
Last Unit: 33rd Infantry Battalion
Born: Balmain, New South Wales, Australia, 25 September 1887
Home Town: Camden, Camden, New South Wales
Schooling: Arncliffe Primary School
Occupation: Railway Employee
Died: Died of wounds, France, 20 April 1918, aged 30 years
Cemetery: Namps-au-Val British Cemetery, France
II:B:22, Namps-au-Val British Cemetery, Namps au Val, Amiens, Picardie, France
Memorials: Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour, Glebe War Memorial
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World War 1 Service

26 Feb 1916: Enlisted AIF WW1, Private, SN 13288, 33rd Infantry Battalion, Goulburn, NSW
30 May 1916: Discharged AIF WW1, SN 13288, Medically Unfit
29 May 1917: Enlisted AIF WW1, SN 3371, 33rd Infantry Battalion
16 Jul 1917: Involvement Private, SN 3371, 33rd Infantry Battalion
16 Jul 1917: Embarked Private, SN 3371, 33rd Infantry Battalion, HMAT Port Melbourne, Sydney
4 Apr 1918: Involvement AIF WW1, Private, SN 3371, Villers-Bretonneux

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Biography contributed by Dan Molloy

Son of Daniel and Alice SHEA, 18 Arundel Stret, Forest Lodge, Sydney.

Just before dawn on 17 April 1918, the Germans heavily gassed the town of Villers-Bretonneux with the 33rd Battalion incurring 291 casualties including Private Shea. He was transferred by the 55th Field Ambulance (Royal Army Medical Corps) to the 41st Casualty Clearing Station at Namps-au-Val, 35 kms south-west of Villers-Bretonneux, and died of his wounds on 20 April, 1918. His burial service was conducted by the Rev M A But on 22 April, 1918.

Seven other members of the 33rd are buried in this cemetery including 131 Private W P Molloy and 665 Private J W Carpenter, both members of James Shea’s “A” Company who died from wounds received in the gas attacks on 17 and 18 April.

Private Shea’s personal effects were dispatched on the SS Barunga, which was hit by a torpedo from a German submarine 150 miles south west of the Scilly Isles on 15 July 1918. Barunga was on its way to Australia with 800 sick and wounded on board. While all hands were saved before Barunga sank, all cargo was lost.

Reference: Edwards, John 1996, Never a Backward Step: A History of the First 33rd Battalion, AIF, Beetong Books, South Grafton, NSW.

Sinking of SS Barunga (www.awm.gov.au)