John Alexander HENDERSON

HENDERSON, John Alexander

Service Number: QX10713
Enlisted: 3 September 1939
Last Rank: Corporal
Last Unit: 2nd/25th Infantry Battalion
Born: Ipswich, Queensland, Australia, 23 November 1914
Home Town: Bauple, Fraser Coast, Queensland
Schooling: Not yet discovered
Occupation: Labourer
Died: Killed in Action, Syria, 19 June 1941, aged 26 years
Cemetery: Damascus Commonwealth War Cemetery, Syria
O. 4., Damascus Commonwealth War Cemetery, Damascus, Syria
Memorials: Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour, Maryborough St. Paul's Anglican Church Book of Remembrance, Tiaro Shire Honour Roll WW2, Tiaro War Memorial
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World War 2 Service

3 Sep 1939: Involvement Corporal, QX10713
3 Sep 1939: Enlisted Australian Army (Post WW2), Private, 47th Infantry Battalion
6 Jul 1940: Enlisted
6 Jul 1940: Enlisted Australian Military Forces (Army WW2), Corporal, QX10713, 2nd/25th Infantry Battalion
5 Aug 1940: Promoted Australian Army (Post WW2), Lance Corporal, 2/25th Battalion (Australia)
5 Jan 1941: Embarked Australian Army (Post WW2), Lance Corporal, Left Australia for the Middle East. 2/25th Battalion.
24 Jan 1941: Promoted Australian Army (Post WW2), Corporal, 2/25th Battalion (Australia)
19 Jun 1941: Discharged
19 Jun 1941: Wounded Australian Army (Post WW2), Corporal, Syria - Operation Exporter, Killed in Action

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Biography contributed by Tracey Sullivan

John Alexander Henderson was born near Ipswich on 23 November 1914 to Robert Hunter Henderson and Elizabeth (Lizzie) Ferguson Kane. 

John was his paternal grandfather's name and Alexander was his maternal grandfather.

John had two younger brothers, Robert (Jnr) and William.  William also served in WW2.

John's father Robert served in France during WW1. He also worked for Queensland Government Railways and was stationed near Maryborough for much of John's adolescence. It was here he met local girl Winifred (Winnie) Iris Waldock.  They married in Bauple (just outside Maryborough) on 3 October 1936. John worked as a labourer at the local Sugar Mill.

John and Lizzie had 3 children between 1936 and  1940.  2 girls and a boy.  Diane (1937), Heather (1939), and Alwyn (1940).

He was 5ft 9in with black hair and brown eyes. He appears to have inherited his father's good looks and darker complexion and not so much of his mother's Scottish genes. He had a muscular physique and was very physical.

At 25 years old John joined the Australian Army in 1939 at the onset of WW2.  He spent time in the 47th Battalion and in June 1940 he joined the 2/25th Battalion.  

The 2/25th Infantry Battalion was raised in 1940 from volunteers mainly from the state of Queensland and deployed to the Middle East in mid-1941. The 2/25th was then committed to the Syria-Lebanon Campaign or Operation Exporter against the Vishy French.  Australia lost over 1800 men in this campaign.

Corporal John Alexander Henderson was one of those Killed in Action on 19 June 1941, in Merjayun, Syria.  

He is buried in the Damascus Commonwealth War Cemetary in Syria.

His wife Winnie remarried in 1946 and had another child.

Winnie continued to live in Maryborough until her death at age 94 in 2010.