James Earnest SLEEMAN

SLEEMAN, James Earnest

Service Number: S36299
Enlisted: 2 December 1941, Keswick, SA
Last Rank: Not yet discovered
Last Unit: Not yet discovered
Born: Tylden, Victoria, Australia, 29 September 1892
Home Town: Medindie, Walkerville, South Australia
Schooling: Scotch College Melbourne and Melbourne University, Victoria, Australia
Occupation: Medical Practitioner
Died: South Australia, 10 November 1969, aged 77 years, cause of death not yet discovered
Cemetery: Not yet discovered
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World War 2 Service

2 Dec 1941: Involvement SN S36299
2 Dec 1941: Enlisted Keswick, SA

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

Biography contributed by Annette Summers

SLEEMAN James Garnet (Earnest) MD FRACP FCCP

1892 – 1969

James Garnet Sleeman, also known as James Earnest Sleeman, was born, on 29th September 1892, in Tylden, Victoria.  He was the son of William John Sleeman and Jane Mathilda, nee Whitfield.  He was educated at Scotch College, Melbourne. Although his father was a schoolmaster he came from a family of medical practitioners, and he studied medicine at the University of Melbourne, graduating MB BS in 1915. Immediately after graduating he went to England to serve in WW1, and enlisted in the RAMC. Returning to Australia after the war he was on the ship Mongolia which struck a mine in the Indian Ocean and sank.  Surviving this disaster, he returned to Victoria and became a resident medical officer at the Bendigo Base Hospital, followed by locum tenens and then general practice in Merino.  He married Vera Frahm, on 17th May 1922, at Christ Church, South Yarra, Victoria. She was the second daughter of Mr and Mrs JCT Frahm of Carlton, Victoria. They moved to South Australian in 1925, where he took up the position as medical superintendent at the Adelaide Hospital. His status as medical superintendent entitled him to a house in the hospital grounds so that he was available to give clinical advice to other staff members.  He was known for his clinical acumen and teaching ability. He completed his MD at the University of Adelaide, in 1927, and his thesis was entitled Puerperal septicaemia due to Bacillus welchii. He retired from this appointment in 1937 and took up a private practice and also the post of the chief medical officer for the tuberculosis services in South Australia.

Sleeman enlisted in WW2 on the 2nd December 1941 at the rank of major. He was living at Medindie, Walkerville, SA at the time with his wife, Vera. He was not accepted for overseas service but for home service. Throughout the war, he served with 105 AMH, undertook medical boards, as a specialist physician with 121 AGH and with 52 Camp Hospital. According to his pay records he served until 22nd February 1946.

Following the war, Sleeman continued with his private practice and was appointed a physician to the Chest Clinic at the RAH and visiting specialist to the Repatriation General Hospital, Daw Park. He became an honorary physician to the RAH, in 1946, and retired from the honorary position in 1952. He continued his interest in tuberculosis and made a significant contribution to the Tuberculous Sailors’, Soldiers, and Airmen’s Association of South Australia.  Sleeman had two hobbies; he was a regular golfer and enjoyed etching.  He was self-taught in etching and known to produce exceptional work.  James Garnet Sleeman died on 10th November 1969.


Blood, Sweat and Fears III: Medical Practitioners South Australia, who Served in World War 2. 

Swain, Jelly, Verco, Summers. Open Books Howden, Adelaide 2019. 

Uploaded by Annette Summers AO RFD