James Cornelius BAUFOOT

BAUFOOT, James Cornelius

Service Numbers: 2782, 3544
Enlisted: 15 July 1915, Keswick, South Australia
Last Rank: Private
Last Unit: 50th Infantry Battalion
Born: Madras, India, 1893
Home Town: Medindie, Walkerville, South Australia
Schooling: Not yet discovered
Occupation: Motor Mechanic
Died: Fractured Spine & Pyelonephriti, Harefield, England, United Kingdom, France, 30 June 1918
Cemetery: Harefield (St. Mary) Churchyard
Grave Ref. No. 58, Harefield (St Mary) Churchyard, Harefield, Hillingdon, England, United Kingdom, Borre British Cemetery, Hazebrouck, Nord Pas de Calais, France
Memorials: Adelaide National War Memorial, Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour, Gilberton Soldiers Memorial Swimming Reserve
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World War 1 Service

15 Jul 1915: Enlisted AIF WW1, Keswick, South Australia
21 Sep 1915: Involvement AIF WW1, Private, 2782, 16th Infantry Battalion (WW1)
21 Sep 1915: Embarked AIF WW1, Private, 2782, 16th Infantry Battalion (WW1), HMAT Star of England, Adelaide
27 Oct 1915: Involvement AIF WW1, Private, 3544, 10th Infantry Battalion
27 Oct 1915: Embarked AIF WW1, Private, 3544, 10th Infantry Battalion, HMAT Benalla, Adelaide
30 Jun 1918: Involvement AIF WW1, Private, 3544, 50th Infantry Battalion

Help us honour James Cornelius Baufoot's service by contributing information, stories, and images so that they can be preserved for future generations.

Biography contributed by Nicholas Egan

Margaret Phillips

Club Historian Gilberton Amateur Swimming Club Inc.

Born in Madras India in 1893. His father was Cornelius BAUFOOT who was a Lieutenant in the Essex Regiment - his Mother is unknown. He lived at Medindie with his Uncle Ernest and Aunt Annie Marie nee Gurney, who were parents of Russell Bosisto 1038 who enlisted on 15 March 1915 with the 27 th Battalion and was Killed in Action.

He enlisted on 15th July, 1915 – 10 th Battalion, transferred on strength to 50th Battalion on 29th Feb. 1916. He was wounded in action in Pozieres, France 14th August 1916 and diagnosed with shell shock spending the next months managing his illness. In February 1917 he married 17 year old Ivy Alice Davey of 19 Lyford Road Paddington.

He returned to the western front but in June 1917” he went missing in Belgium and later arrested as an illegal absentee. He admitted he was AWL saying ‘I was worn out and could not stand the strain and lost control of myself under the barrage’. “I was down at Calais looking for a boat to get away in”. He was court marshalled for desertion of duty and sentenced to 15 years which was reduced to 2 years with hard labour. He served his sentence at No. 5 Prison Calais. While serving his sentence, he was part of a prison working party when he was injured. Timber fell on him and dislocated his lower spine causing paraplegia. He died of pyelonephritis, a urinary tract infection caused by his spinal injury.

Sgt Foreman described the accident: At Vendroux on the 12.2.18 I was in charge of a group of 12 British prisoners (soldiers) detailed to load timber on the railway trucks. The timber consisted of firing beams which I had been informed were under 15 cwt. After they had loaded 1 beam which had been lifted from the ground by them with a view to making the task lighter, I arranged for a crane to lift the next beam shoulder high thus allowing the men to get their shoulders underneath before taking the weight. I got the men underneath the beam six on each side said “Are you ready” one of them said “Yes” and I gave the order to two men working the crane “lower steadily”. Just then S/Sgt White came up and said to the men “Stick to it”. The beam was lowered and the men took the weight, Gnr Wright released the slings and S/Sgt White gave the word “Forward” 4 men then gave way and the remainder jumped, but Pte Baufoot who was the tallest did not clear his shoulder quick enough and the beam in falling struck him in the lower part of the back.

Sgt Audsley said that Pte Baufoot ‘was the last to give way, being always a willing worker. The court of inquiry into the accident found that Pte Baufoot was in no way to blame for the injuries he received.

“He was sent back to England and admitted with paraplegia to The King George Hospital. During this time, Ivy lost touch with him and wrote an anxious letter trying to find him”

To Officer Commanding

Dear Sir

I am writing to ask if you can give me any news, concerning my husband Pte. J. Baufoot 3544 50 Batt. He got into trouble some months ago, and was sent to a M.P. Camp. He was allowed to write once a month. I have not heard now, for over two months and cannot get any news of him. Last week, two letters were returned from France, to and his address is not known. I am very anxious to know if he is still in France, or where he is, and would be glad if you could let me know. I am sorry I cannot apply personally.

I shall be extremely obliged if you will send an early reply.

I am

Yours Respectfully

Mrs Baufoot

“The army finally was able to notify Ivy that her husband was in hospital in France, dangerously ill, but she could not afford to visit him there. Pte Baufoot was then transferred to a London hospital in April 1918. The remainder of his sentence was remitted. A medical board found him unfit for further military service and he was transferred to Harefield Hospital where he died of his injuries—a fractured spine, paraplegia and a urinary infection. There was enough time for Ivy to visit him at Harefield between his transfer and his death”. (Stories of Australian deserters in World War I, Dianne Kay De Bellis, Phd Thesis)



James Cornelius BAUFOOT was born in Madras , India in 1893

His father was Cornelius BAUFOOT who was a Lieutenant in the Essex Regiment - his Mother is unknown

He enlisted on 15th July, 1915 - 10th Battalion, transferred to 50th Battalion on 29th Feb. 1916, wounded in action in France 6th August 1916.  He was also court marshalled for desertion of duty and sentenced to 15 years although that was cut to 2 years.  While in a prison working party he was injured in a fall of timber that fractured his lower spine causing paraplegia.

James had married Ivy Alice Louisa DAVEY in 1917 in Paddington, London - after his death Ivy came to South Australia - what happened to her is unknown

He  died on 30th June 1918 and was given a Military Funeral - he is buried in Harefield (St Marys) Churchyard, Hillingdon, England


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