James Robert DUFF

DUFF, James Robert

Service Numbers: 642, 95
Enlisted: 13 January 1902
Last Rank: Private
Last Unit: 4th Light Horse Regiment
Born: Nar Nar Goon, Cardinia - Victoria, Australia, 17 May 1883
Home Town: Nar Nar Goon, Cardinia, Victoria
Schooling: Not yet discovered
Occupation: Butcher
Died: Unknown, Colac, Victoria, Australia, 19 January 1950, aged 66 years
Cemetery: Colac General Cemetery, Victoria
Memorials: Beeac War Memorial
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Boer War Service

1 Oct 1899: Involvement Private, 642, 2nd Battalion, Australian Commonwealth Horse
13 Jan 1902: Enlisted Australian Army (Post WW2), 642, 2nd Battalion, Australian Commonwealth Horse

World War 1 Service

20 Aug 1914: Enlisted AIF WW1, Private, 95, 4th Light Horse Regiment, Served as L/Cpl 95, 4th Light Horse Regiment
19 Oct 1914: Embarked Private, 95, 4th Light Horse Regiment, HMAT Wiltshire, Melbourne
19 Oct 1914: Involvement Private, 95, 4th Light Horse Regiment
7 Jan 1918: Embarked Private, 95, Detached for duty with A.P.M. 2nd Aust. Division

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Biography contributed by Maddison Knight

James Robert Duff was born on the 27th of May 1883, in Nar Nar Goon, Victoria. He was the son of James Duff and Margaret Emma Little. He had nine siblings all together, him being the 3rd youngest out of the 9 siblings. Three of the siblings were stepsiblings. When the step-sibling’s Mother died, James’ Father remarried Margaret Emma Little in 1869.

In his young years, James was a butcher. On the 13th of January, 1902 at the age of 19, he enrolled at Milltown, Victoria to serve in the Boer War.

After returning from the Boer War, James had married Agnes Conder in Geelong, Victoria on the 28th December, 1908. Between 1909 and 1914 the couple had had four children, two boys; James Garnet and Basil Charles, and two girls; Dorothy Agnes and Nancy Margaret. All their children were born in Beeac, Victoria. James’ wife Agnes sadly passed away on the 9th of May, 1914 at the age of 33.

James enlisted in the A.I.F private on the 18th of September, 1914 at Broadmeadows, Victoria. After enlisting he embarked from Port Jackson, N.S.W with the 12th regiment on the 13th of June, 1915, on the HMAT (His Majesty’s Australian Transport) Wiltshire A18 as a 4th Light Horseman. The steamship was requistioned for use as by the Australian Government as a troop transport.

On the 18th of June the boat docked off at Adelaide for an hour then continued its journey. The Wiltshire arrived in the Gulf of Aden on the 10th of July. The Light horseman received orders from the G.O.C (General Officer Commanding) to stand by: later leaving on the 13th to sail to Suez by 22nd.  The regiment were sent to Palais de Koubben where they stayed until the 9th of September when given orders to proceed to Anzac, Gallipoli.

James was admitted sick to hospital in Anzac, Gallipoli on the 8th of August 1915. He was later again admitted to hospital in Alexandria, Egypt on the 15th of August, 1915. He was transferred to England by the Hospital Ship, Letitia on the 2nd of October 1915. By the 1st of January, 1917, James was transported to the Anzac Provost Corps in the Dominican Republic.

The 4th was the only Light Horse Regiment that saw significant service in both the Middle East and the Western Front. Two squadrons of the 4th Light Horse were despatched to the Western Front. The remainder of the regiment, including James, stayed behind in Palestine.

He was later discharged near the end of the war in Melbourne and returned to his hometown in Victoria at the age of 35.  He had received the Allied Victory Medal and the General Levied Medal.

In 1917 he married Mary Leach at Salisbury, Victoria. They had four children; Pamela, Patrecia, Margaret and Judith all in the years of 1919 and 1932. Although Pamela Duff sadly died seven days after birth on the 22nd of October, 1919.

James Robert Duff later died on 19th of January, 1950, from causes which are unknown. He has been buried at the Colac cemetery in Victoria, row 32, grave 64.