PATERSON, James Knox

Service Number: Officer
Enlisted: Not yet discovered
Last Rank: Lieutenant
Last Unit: Unspecified British Units
Born: Semaphore, South Australia, 20 September 1888
Home Town: Gawler, Gawler, South Australia
Schooling: St Peter's College, Adelaide
Occupation: Engineer
Died: Killed in Action, At sea , 10 November 1918, aged 30 years
Cemetery: No known grave - "Known Unto God"
At Sea
Memorials: Adelaide National War Memorial, Gawler Council Gawler Men Who Answered the Call WW1 Roll of Honor, Gawler War Memorial, Hackney St Peter's College Fallen Honour Board, Portsmouth Naval Memorial England
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World War 1 Service

10 Nov 1918: Involvement Lieutenant, SN Officer, Unspecified British Units

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


Key Image from The Advertiser 2 November 1916, page 4

From the book Fallen Saints - James Knox Paterson of Unley was born at Semaphore, South Australia and after leaving St Peter’s College travelled to the United Kingdom where he joined the Royal Naval Reserve. An article published in the School Magazine in September 1919 gives some idea of his activities immediately before his death.

 … has been promoted to Chief Engineer of a new ship which is being built on the Clyde. He is superintending her construction, and looking after three other vessels, which are being built under Admiralty order. His promotion has been rapid, as he it is only eighteen months ago that he joined as engineer without rank. [i]

Thirty year old Engineer Lieutenant James Knox Paterson was serving aboard the Paddle steamer minesweeper HMPMS Ascot when it was torpedoed and sunk by German submarine UB 67 off the Farn Islands the day before the signing of the armistice; it was the last ship to be sunk by enemy action in the Great War.

His brother Sergeant William Paterson (OS) an original member of 3rd Light Horse Regiment suffered a severe gunshot wound to the head at Gallipoli but rejoined his unit at Destroyer Hill on 29 September. He returned to Australia in 1919.  On 4 March 1942 William’s son, Able Seaman James Knox Paterson, Royal Australian Naval Reserve was aboard HMS Anking when the Japanese sank it; he was 19 years of age. 

[i] ibid, December 1916, p. 38