Joseph Harvey KRUGER


KRUGER, Joseph Harvey

Service Number: 37
Enlisted: Not yet discovered
Last Rank: Private
Last Unit: 22nd Infantry Battalion
Born: Port Melbourne, Vic., 1896
Home Town: Port Melbourne, Port Phillip, Victoria
Schooling: Graham Street State School, Port Melbourne
Occupation: Naval Cadet
Died: Died of wounds, France, 26 February 1917
Cemetery: Dernancourt Communal Cemetery Extension
V D 18, Dernancourt Communal Cemetery Extension, Dernancourt, Picardie, France
Memorials: Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour
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World War 1 Service

10 May 1915: Involvement Private, SN 37, 22nd Infantry Battalion
10 May 1915: Embarked Private, SN 37, 22nd Infantry Battalion, HMAT Ulysses, Melbourne

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Biography contributed by Sharyn Roberts

Son of Charles and Annie KRUGER

Distinguished Conduct Medal

'For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty during rescue operations near Anzac, Gallipoli Peninsula, on 29th October, 1915, when he repeatedly enetered a mine tunnel and shaft to rescue others. He showed great pluck, and, though suffering from the effects of the fumes, succeeded, with the aid of another man, in bringing up the body of an officer who had succumbed.'
Source: 'Commonwealth Gazette' No. 44
Date: 6 April 1916

For having attempted to rescue sappers who were being suffocated by gas, Lance-Corporal J. H. Kruger has been awarded a Distinguished Conduet Medal.
He is a son of Mr and Mrs Charles Kruger, of Bridge street. Port Melbourne, and a nephew of Mr F. W. Porter, physical culturist. He is attached to C Company, 22nd Battalion, 6th Infantry Brigade, but is now in the hospital at Hellopolis suffering from the effects of the gas. In a cable message to his mother he stated that he was making good progress. Lance - Corporal Kruger is 18 years of age. His first notable feat was to compete in tho featherweight boxing championship of Broadmeadows, which he won after 15 severe contests, defeating several professional boxers in the competition,
the prize for which was a medal. His next performance was to compete in and win the championship of the transport — the Southland, which was torpedoed.


Biography contributed by Sharyn Roberts

Writing to Mrs. Kruger, Bridge street, Port Melbourne, mother of No. 37, Lance-Corporal Joseph A Kruger, D.C.M. 22nd Battalion, Warrant-Officer R. Porter gives some particulars regarding the death of Kruger, which occurred on February 26 as the result of wounds received in France.

Warrant-Officer Porter says that he had considerable difficulty in obtaining details, but he learned that Kruger was acting as a runner when he was wounded, and died when undergoing an operation.

"The boys tell me," Warrant-Officer Porter says, 'that he was just the same daredevil man that he was on Gallipoli.  I believe he paraded before the commanding officer at Larkhill, when he arrived in England, and asked to be sent to France as soon as possible.  He told..... that he was going for the Victoria Cross when he got over, but he was unlucky."

Lance-Corporal Kruger left Australian early in the war, and served for some time on Gallipoli.  He was awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal in January, 1916, for bravery in rescuing some comrades who had been overcome by gas in a sap which had been mined by the Turks.  He returned to Australia soon afterwards, and the medal was presented to him at the Broadmeadows camp by Senator G.F. Pearce, Minister for Defence, on July 7, 1916.

Fresh interest was taken in the case when it was announced a few days before the presentation that Kruger was missing from the camp, and had been posted as being absent without leave.  It was thought that he was desirous of avoiding the public ceremony. He returned to the camp, however, a day or two before the date fixed for the ceremony, which was witnessed by a large number of the men in training.