John Thomas (Jack) ARMSTRONG


ARMSTRONG, John Thomas

Service Number: 1303
Enlisted: 3 August 1915
Last Rank: Private
Last Unit: 51st Infantry Battalion (WW1)
Born: Tarra Glen, Victoria, Australia, January 1876
Home Town: Carlton, Melbourne, Victoria
Schooling: Yarra Glen State School, Victoria, Australia
Occupation: Labourer
Died: Illness - “General Paralysis of the Insane”, The Lord Derby’s War Hospital, Winwick, Warrington, England, United Kingdom, 23 January 1918
Cemetery: Warrington Cemetery, Lancashire, England
Plot C, Row CE, Grave No. 802
Memorials: Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour, Melbourne & Metropolitan Board of Works Employees Ass. Pictorial HR
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World War 1 Service

3 Aug 1915: Enlisted AIF WW1, Private, SN 1303, 13th Light Horse Regiment
23 Nov 1915: Involvement Private, SN 1303, 13th Light Horse Regiment
23 Nov 1915: Embarked Private, SN 1303, 13th Light Horse Regiment, HMAT Ceramic, Melbourne
20 May 1916: Transferred AIF WW1, Private, 51st Infantry Battalion (WW1)

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Biography contributed by Evan Evans

The summary below was completed by Cathy Sedgwick – Facebook “WW1 Australian War Graves in England/UK/Scotland/Ireland

Died on this date – 23rd January.... Private John Thomas (Jack) Armstrong was born at Yarra Glen, Victoria in 1876. He enlisted in the Australian Imperial Force (A.I.F.) on 3rd August, 1915 as a 39 year old, married, Labourer from Carlton, Victoria.

Private Jack Armstrong embarked from Melbourne, Victoria on HMAT Ceramic (A40) on 23rd November, 1915 with the 4th Light Horse Brigade, 13th Light Horse Regiment, 7th Reinforcements. He was transferred to 1st Light Horse Training Regiment at Tel-el-Kebir on 17th April, 1916 then transferred again on 20th May, 1916 to 51st Battalion.
Private Jack Armstrong proceeded to join B.E.F. (British Expeditionary Force) from Alexandria on Ivernia on 5th June, 1916 & disembarked at Marseilles, France on 12th June, 1916. He was attached to 4th Australian Divisional Infantry School in France from 3rd December, 1916 & rejoined his Unit on 24th April, 1917.

Private Jack Armstrong was detached for duty with Divisional Pack Troop on 2nd June, 1917. He rejoined his Unit in the field on 13th June, 1917.

Private Jack Armstrong was sent sick to Hospital on 28th July, 1917. He was admitted to 13th Australian Field Ambulance on 28th July, 1917 with Carbuncle & was transferred to England on the Hospital Ship Grantully Castle on 25th August, 1917 with Melancholia.

Private Jack Armstrong was admitted to Neurological Section, Royal Victoria Hospital, Netley, England on 26th August, 1917. The Hospital Admissions form reads: ”On admission to Netley patient was melancholic. Knee jerks exaggerated. General depression and fixed idea of getting home to Australia, There is no doubt that he is never likely to be fit for service and he appears to have been with the Australians ever since the landing at Gallipoli. Transferred to ____ (Australian Hospital crossed out) for disposal.”

Private Jack Armstrong was admitted to The Lord Derby’s War Hospital, Winwick, Warrington, England on 3rd September, 1917.

“Winwick Asylum, which opened in 1902, was home to over 2,000 patients when the First World War broke out. In 1915 the asylum and hospital were requisitioned as a military hospital and renamed the Lord Derby War Hospital. It has been estimated that between 1915 and 1920 this hospital treated approximately 56,000 injured soldiers. The hospital was portrayed as one of the largest in the country; a haven of rest with its large grounds and a staff of over 600 to care for the patients.

The Lord Derby War Hospital treated severe shell shock cases and experimented with ‘electrical treatment’.”

A Medical Report was completed on Private Jack Armstrong on 9th September, 1917 & the Medical Board recommended on 11th September, 1917 that Private Armstrong be repatriated to Australia.

Private Jack Armstrong died at 8.15 pm on 23rd January, 1918 at The Lord Derby’s War Hospital, Winwick, Warrington, England from “General Paralysis of the Insane”. Mrs H. Armstrong widow of the late Private Jack Armstrong was advised in a letter dated 17th April, 1918 that her husband had died of “General Paralysis”.

Private Jack Armstrong was buried in Warrington Cemetery (Manchester Road), Warrington, Cheshire, England where 8 other WW1 Australian Soldiers are buried.

(The above is a summary of my research. The full research can be found by following the link below)