John Smithson BREAKSPEAR

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BREAKSPEAR, John Smithson

Service Number: 555
Enlisted: 7 September 1915, Sydney, New South Wales
Last Rank: Gunner
Last Unit: 36th Heavy Artillery Group
Born: Sydney, New South Wales, 1 January 1896
Home Town: Sydney, City of Sydney, New South Wales
Schooling: Cleveland Street Superior School
Occupation: Ledger keeper
Died: Accidental Death (GSW), Vieux-Berquin, France, 3 September 1918, aged 22 years
Cemetery: Le Grand Hasard Military Cemetery, Morbecque
Memorials: Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour
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World War 1 Service

7 Sep 1915: Enlisted AIF WW1, Sydney, New South Wales
10 Nov 1915: Involvement AIF WW1, Gunner, SN 555, Siege Artillery Brigade
10 Nov 1915: Embarked AIF WW1, Gunner, SN 555, Siege Artillery Brigade, HMAT Orsova, Sydney
3 Sep 1918: Involvement AIF WW1, Gunner, SN 555, 36th Heavy Artillery Group, "The Last Hundred Days"

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Biography

At an Inquiry into the death of Gnr. Breakspear, his friend 823 Gnr. Christopher Alan Bugg (/explore/people/166374) stated:-

"At about 12.30 hours on the 3rd September 1918, I, in company with Gunner Breakspear, left the Battery for a walk. We proceeded beyond Vieux Berquin to a distance of about two miles. We were looking around positions which had been recently vacated by the enemy.

I saw Gnr. Breakspear standing outside a German dug-out at about 12 or so paces from where I was standing. Shortly afterwards I heard the report of a rifle quite close, and turning round I saw Gnr. Breakspear fall. I immediately ran over to him. He was lying on his back, and a German rifle was at his side, a foot or so away. He said to me "Good-bye, old man, I'm done..." - from his Service Record (recordsearch.naa.gov.au) p.14

"BREAKSPEAR.- Killed in action, in France, September 3, 1918, Gunner John S. Breakspear, 1st Heavy Siege Battery, aged 23 years, dearly loved brother and brother-in-law of Arthur and Lily Breakspear, of Wentworth-street, Randwick, after 3 years on active service." - from the Sydney Morning Herald 28 Sep 1918 (nla.gov.au)

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