Joseph Thomas MINOCK

MINOCK, Joseph Thomas

Service Number: 4227
Enlisted: 14 August 1915
Last Rank: Private
Last Unit: 50th Infantry Battalion
Born: Harrow, Victoria, Australia , date not yet discovered
Home Town: Pinnaroo, South Australia
Schooling: Not yet discovered
Occupation: Driver
Died: Tuberculosis, Lewisham, United Kingdom, 27 January 1917, age not yet discovered
Cemetery: Ladywell Cemetery
INSCRIPTION LATE OF HARROW VICTORIA, AUSTRALIA. Grave D. 245., Ladywell Cemetery, London, England, United Kingdom
Memorials: Adelaide National War Memorial, Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour, Pinnaroo Soldiers Memorial Hosptial, Pinnaroo War Memorial
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World War 1 Service

14 Aug 1915: Enlisted AIF WW1, Private, 4227, 10th Infantry Battalion
11 Jan 1916: Involvement Private, 4227, 10th Infantry Battalion
11 Jan 1916: Embarked Private, 4227, 10th Infantry Battalion, HMAT Borda, Adelaide
27 Jan 1917: Involvement Private, 4227, 50th Infantry Battalion

'A Typical Australian Warrior'

Private Joseph Thomas Minocks
Joseph was one of nine children born at Harrow in Victoria to John and Charlotte Minnocks. A pioneering early settler, Joseph’s father, John Minocks, left County Clare in Ireland with his twin sister and a brother while all were still youths. He met and married Charlotte Home who lived in Victoria, in 1870. Working initially as a carrier, John then became a sheep farmer. Sadly, Charlotte died in August 1891 leaving John Snr to care for their nine children. He later moved to live at Narracoorte and Pinnaroo.
One of his younger sons was Joseph, who was also one of the first volunteers from Pinaroo to enlisted to serve in WWI on August 14th 1915. He listing his age as a month off 29 years but it appears from later newspaper reports that he was probably almost 27. His brother John (Jnr) enlisted in October 1915 and then his oldest brother William in November of the same year. As a labourer Joseph was described by the locals as being ‘a man of good physique, being over 6 ft, and very powerfully built.’ He had travelled as a shearer around the Pinarroo district, Murray Bridge and in the South East as well as the Brown’s Wells area where he worked with his brothers, John and William to grub and clear roads by hand.
Joseph joined the 50th battalion, proceeding to Marseilles by March of 1916. He then transferred to the 10th Battalion in February but almost immediately was wounded with gunshot shrapnel to his face during the battle of Poizieres in October. He was subsequently taken to a hospital at Étaples in the north of France for treatment and to recover. Joseph briefly rejoined his unit late in December but then contracted Bronchitis and catarrh so was evacuated to England. Unfortunately, he then developed TB, dying at the Bermondsey Military Hospital, Ladywell on the 25th January 1917. He was buried in the hospital cemetery, Grave 3184 Plot D. A baldly factual telegram was sent to his father; ‘Regret report death at this hospital of 4227 Pte Manock J.T. 50th Battalion A.I.F. at 12:20am today of tubercole of lung no relatives in England.’
The Pinnaroo and Border Times in February of 1917 reported his ‘great sacrifice’ and describing his as ‘Standing 6ft. odd in height, and of proportionate physique, the deceased soldier was a typical Australian warrior.’ The Advertiser of February 1917 carried a tribute to him: ‘MINOCKS.-On the 27th January, in the Bermondsey Hospital, England, Private Joseph Minocks, youngest son of John Minocks, Pinnaroo, and brother of Corporal Jack, Private William Minocks, France. Peacefully sleeping. Beloved, it is well, God's ways are always right. And perfect love is o'er them all, Though far above our sight.’
A second tribute was also placed by the Page family. Joseph’s older brother, William post war married Florence Page, who was tragically to also lose her brothers, one ages 23 killed in October, 1917 and the other, aged 19 killed in South Africa. MINOCKS. -Died in England, from sickness contracted in the trenches, Private Joseph Minocks, aged 29 years. A hero at rest, A tribute from those who loved him as their own. -Inserted by Mr. and Mrs. Stephen Page, Murray Bridge.’
In 1919 the Page and Minocks families were paying tribute in the Chronicle to four young men from both families. Joseph’s older brother John, who had risen to the rank of Sergeant was killed a little over a year after Joseph : MINOCKS. PAGE. — A tribute to the memory of our four brothers. Sergeant Page, killed October 8, 1917. aged 23 years; Trooper Page, South Africa. November 29, 1900, aged 19 years; Sergeant Minocks, killed May 17,1918, aged 46 years; and Private Joseph Minocks, January 27, 1917 aged 29 years. Ever remembered by their sister, and brother. Will (late 3rd Pioneers), and Florrie Minocks. Berri (nee Page).
John Snr, received Joseph’s meagre belongings of a wallet containing Australian Labour Day notes, a photograph, letters, postcards, diary and a miniscule amount of cash 1 ½ d (less than 2c). Eventually a photo of Joseph’s grave and his war medals, the 1914/15 Star, British War Medal and the Victory medal were sent to his father in 1925.
Researched and written by Kaye Lee, daughter of Bryan Holmes SX8133, 2/48th Battalion.

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Biography contributed by Robert Kearney

Courtesy of Geoffrey Gillon 

CWGC show him as John Thomas Minock-he is interred in Ladywell Cemetery, United Kingdom. Grave: D. 245.

Service Number 4227
Died 27/01/1917
Aged 25
50th Bn.
Australian Infantry, A.I.F.
Son of John and Charlotte Minock, of Pinnaroo, South Australia. Born at Harrow, Victoria.


Biography contributed by Geoffrey Gillon

There is some doubt about his age-CWGC show him as being 25, but the death registration states 30. This seems to be correct.