James Robert MORRISON

MORRISON, James Robert

Service Number: 3241
Enlisted: 10 May 1915, Melbourne
Last Rank: Lance Corporal
Last Unit: 9th Light Horse Regiment
Born: Toorak, Victoria, 1 September 1893
Home Town: Wooriwyrite, Terang, Victoria
Schooling: Scotch College, Melbourne, Victoria
Occupation: Grazier
Died: long term illness, Wooriwyrite, Victoria, 30 November 1944, aged 51 years
Cemetery: Mortlake Cemetery, Victoria
Cemetery Lane, Mortlake, Victoria
Memorials: Campbellfield War Memorial
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World War 1 Service

10 May 1915: Enlisted AIF WW1, Melbourne
4 Jun 1915: Involvement AIF WW1, Private, SN 3241, 6th Field Ambulance, Enlistment/Embarkation WW1
4 Jun 1915: Embarked AIF WW1, Private, SN 3241, 6th Field Ambulance, HMAT Ajana, Melbourne
10 Feb 1916: Involvement AIF WW1, Private, SN 3241, 9th Light Horse Regiment, 'ANZAC' / Gallipoli
26 Apr 1917: Involvement AIF WW1, Lance Corporal, SN 3241, 9th Light Horse Regiment, 'ANZAC' / Gallipoli
29 Apr 1919: Discharged AIF WW1

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


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James was brought up in Milliara House, Wallace Street, Toorak, Victoria.

Father  Robert Hugh Muir Morrison and  Mother Mrs Christina Gordon (nee Robertson).

James was the eldest of three, having two younger brothers, John Gordon (b. 18/11/1896 in Campbellfield, Vic, d. 7/9/1947 in Geelong) and Claude Gordon (d. 14/2/1910).

The three Morrison brothers all attended school at Scotch College, Melbourne, Victoria. 

James Robert attended Scotch College from 1905 to 1908 and played in the first football team from 1910 to 1913 (Premiers in 1910 and 1913);  he rowed for the College 1910 to 1913; he was the School Prefect in 1910 and 1911; and was the Vice Captain in 1912 and the School Captain in 1913.

John Gordon attended Scotch College from 1908 to 1916 and rowed for the College from 1912 to 1916 (with James in 1912); he was the School Prefect in 1915 and 1916.  1917 enlisted in AIF, 8th Light Horse, 30th Reinforcement, 2/11/1917 embarked to Egypt and returned to Australia 31/12/1919.    21/4/1917 he enlisted in the AIF, became a Lance Corporal in the 8th Light Horse Brigade, 30th Reinforcements, returned to Australia 31/12/1919.    Later, he was twice President of the Council Shire of Leighton; Chairman of Geelong Council; on the Committee of Elder Smith and Co, Geelong.   Married to Kathleen Alice Speeding on 1/12/1926 and had one son  John Gordon Morrison.Later, he was twice President of the Council Shire of Leighton; Chairman of Geelong Council; on the Committee of Elder Smith and Co, Geelong.   Married to Kathleen Alice Speeding on 1/12/1926 and had one son  John Gordon Morrison.


Previous service:           18th Australian Army Medical Corps (AAMC)

Described on enlisting as 21 years 8months old; single; 6’ 1” tall; 124 lbs; fresh complexion; grey eyes;
brown hair; Presbyterian; scar on right knee.

10/5/1915                      Completed medical – fit for service
10/5/1915                      Enlisted   at  Melbourne rank Private in 6th Field Ambulance

29/5/1915                      Commanding Officer approved James for 6th Field Ambulance, Broadmeadows.

4/6/1915                        Embarked  from  Melbourne  on  HMAT Ajana A31
                                      Proceeded to Mediterranean Expeditionary Force, Gallipoli

2/9/1915                        Proceeded to Mediterranean Expeditionary Force for Gallipoli
                                      on the HMT Southland

HMT Southland was a transport ship conveying men of 2nd Division AIF from Egypt to Gallipoli on the 2 September 1915 at 9:45am it was torpedoed at right forward by the German submarine UB-14 (en.wikipedia.org) 30 nautical miles (56 km) from Lemnos (en.wikipedia.org) in the Aegean Sea (en.wikipedia.org). The ship did not sink immediately, and was eventually beached (en.wikipedia.org) on Lemnos, and all but 40 of 1400 men were able to leave in lifeboats (en.wikipedia.org) and were picked up by other transports and HT Neuralia (en.wikipedia.org), although mostly by HMS Ben-my-Chree (en.wikipedia.org) by about midday though some troops spent up to 4 hours in the water.

During the subsequent rescue operations Ben-my-Chree took on board 649 troops and 121 crew from 21 boats and rafts and provided medical attention as required until all were transferred to the troopship SS Transylvania (en.wikipedia.org) in Mudros (en.wikipedia.org) harbour. Southland eventually limped back to Mudros assisted by HMS Racoon (en.wikipedia.org) and was repaired.

7/1/1916                        Disembarked ex HT Ascania from Mudros, into Alexandria, Egypt

9/2/1916                        Taken on strength from 6th Field Ambulance
10/2/1916                      Transferred to 9th Light Horse Regiment, Tel El Kebir, Egypt

27/2/1916                      Marched out to unit, from Serapeum

30/9/1916                      Evacuated to  ‘School of Instruction’,  Zeitoun, Egypt
22/10/1916                    Returned to duty,  Egyptian Expeditionary Force (EEF)

27/10/1916                    Lewis Gun Course – 1st Class, Qualified Instructor

6/3/1917                        Attended ‘School of Instruction’,  Egypt
18/3/1917                      Returned to duty,  Egyptian Expeditionary Force (EEF)
23/3/1917                      Imperial School of Instructors – Gunner Hotchkins Gun B Course

26/4/1917                      To be Lance Corporal

11/5/1917                      To be Temporary Corporal

3/8/1917                        To hospital
18/8/1917                      Returned to duty

7/1/1918                        To hospital
10/2/1918                      Transferred to Rest Camp, Port Said, Egypt
20/2/1918                      Marched out to Moascar

20/2/1918                      Taken on strength
27/2/1918                      Transferred to 9th Light Horse Regiment

2/3/1918                        Taken on strength - 3rd Light Horse Regiment

23/5-23/6/1918              To Bombing School, El Anisch

3/7/1918                        Promoted to Temporary Corporal

18/8/1918                      Discharge to unit x Rest Camp, Maraeb

7/9/1918                        Reverts to Lance Corporal on evacuation
7/9/1918                        to hospital, Gaza
10/9/1918                      Kantara and Port Said, Egypt
12/9/1918                      Malaria - Admitted to 14th Australian General Hospital – Kantara, Egypt

8/10–16/11/1918           Sick leave – Cairo and Moascar

27/11/1918                    Transferred to 9th Light Horse Regiment, Moascar

29/4/1919                      Returned to Australia
                                      Embarked from Port Kantarah, Egypt, per  HT “Dorset”
                                      Early Repatriation

WWI Star 1914-15  (2763);  British War medal (14840);  Victory medal (14741).


26/9/1923                      Morrison family purchased  “Wooriwyrite Homestead”

After the war James was a leading breeder of marino sheep and was a member of the committee of the Australian Sheepbreeders’ Association.

Married:                        Clemency Mary (nee Allard)
                                     (b. 3/2/1894,  d. 5/12/1974), lived at Wooriwyrite for 46 years

Children:                       Anne (nee Morrison) Bryant  (b. 1922 - still alive in 2014)

                                     James Robert Morrison (known as Jim)  (b.1924 –  d.11/4/2010)
                                     of Terang, was a boarder at Geelong College from 1937 to 1941
                                     and excelled in several sports while at school.
                                     In 1941, he was a member of the 1st rowing VIII; the 1st football XVIII
                                     and the relay team.
                                     During World War II, he enlisted in the RAAF on 14/7/1942 a rear
                                     gunner in a Wellington bomber in WW2 (150 Squadron RAF) and
                                     discharged from the RAAF on 21/4/1945.  He subsequently became a
                                     grazier and died at his home Wooriwyrite near Noorat in western Victoria
                                     on 11 April, 2010.                                    

                                     Ian William Morrison (b. 24.10.1925 -  d. 30.8.2012)
                                     Ian also attended Geelong College.

                                    Sources: The Age (Melb) 14 April, 2010.

For many years he was a member of Mortlake Shire Council.

James lived at Wooriwyrite, Victoria, until his death on 30 November 1944.
He was buried in the Mortlake Cemetery, Cemetery Lane, Mortlake, Victoria.


Thank you to Paul Mishura, Archivist at Scotch College and Craige Proctor, Researcher
at the Mortlake Historical Society, for family history and sports photos.

Sourced and submitted on behalf of James R Morrison (grandson to James R Morrison).
by Julianne T Ryan.      26 August 2014.    Lest we forget.