Saturday, 9 November 2013

John Percival Young (1896 - 1918)

John Percival Young (1896 - 1918), known as Jack, was the older brother of my husband's grandfather Cecil (1898 - 1975).

I have previously written about Cecil's early life.

Jack enlisted in the Australian Imperial Forces on 6 October 1916. He gave his age as eighteen years, two months; but in fact he was twenty years and two months.  His trade was engineer (fitter).  He was unmarried; his father was next of kin.1

Jack was assigned to the AIF signal school. He was there from 12 October to 30 November 1916. On 16 December 1916 he embarked at Melbourne on HMAT A7 Medic for Plymouth.

Departure of Medic on 16 December 19162

Departure of Medic on 16 December 19163

Departure of Medic on 16 December 19164
HMAT Medic (A7) departs Melbourne assisted by a tug, and watched by a crowd of well-wishers on the wharf.5

Jack disembarked at Plymouth on 18 February 1917. He was at Sutton Mandeville and Fovant in Wiltshire for the remainder of 1917.

Fovant is noted for twenty regimental badges cut into a chalk hill nearby by soldiers stationed there from 1916. The largest is the Australian Rising Sun badge, which covers an area half the size of a football field. Eight badges remain. The soldiers cut outlines into the grassy hill and then filled the them in with chalk. The badges took about fifty men six months to complete.6

Fovant, England. The Australian Rising Sun emblem cut in the side of a hill.7

Fovant: The badges originate from 1916. From the left:- The Royal Wiltshire Yeomanry, 6th London Regiment and the Australian Commonwealth Military Forces.8

Jack had been attached to the 10th Training Battalion, but by the end of 1917 he was back with his own battalion, the 37th, which sailed for France on 1 January 1918.  On 13 February he was detached for duty with the 3rd Divisional Signal Company. In August he was serving in the 10th Infantry Brigade.

I believe Jack is the Private J. Young in the group portrait of the Signal Section of the 10th Infantry Brigade taken on 7 July 1918.

Group portrait of the Signal Section of the 10th Infantry Brigade, outside the Chateau at Querrieu, 7 July 1918. Pte J. Young is in the back row eighth from the left (fourth from the right).9

On 26 August Jack was admitted to an L of C hospital (Line of Communications hospital), wounded in a mustard gas attack on 25 August while serving with HQ 10th Brigade. On 28 August he was invalided to England and admitted on 29 August to Beaufort Hospital near Bristol.


Beaufort War hospital 191810


Dartford, England. 1918-12. A ward with patients and some staff at No 3 Australian Army Auxiliary Hospital.11
On 26 September Jack was discharged on furlough from Beaufort hospital, but on 6 November he was in hospital again, the 3rd Auxiliary Hospital Dartford. At 11:40 a.m. on 9 November 1918, two days before the war ended, Jack died of pneumonia. He is buried at Brookwood Cemetery.

National Archives of Australia: Australian Imperial Force, Base Records Office; B2455, First Australian Imperial Force Personnel Dossiers, 1914-1920; Young John Percival : SERN 2763 : POB Timor VIC : POE Melbourne VIC : NOK F Young John http://recordsearch.naa.gov.au/scripts/Imagine.asp?B=1911839  folio 27

from http://www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/399265/YOUNG,%20JOHN%20PERCIVAL
Jack's father John completed the Roll of Honour circular.
Australian War Memorial: For the First World War the circulars were forms sent to next of kin seeking information about the deceased. The circulars are the basis of the card indexes from which the Roll of Honour was compiled. Retrieved from http://www.awm.gov.au/research/people/roll_of_honour/person/R1680249/


Dulce Et Decorum Est

Bent double, like old beggars under sacks,
Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge,
Till on the haunting flares we turned our backs
And towards our distant rest began to trudge.
Men marched asleep. Many had lost their boots
But limped on, blood-shod. All went lame; all blind;
Drunk with fatigue; deaf even to the hoots
Of disappointed shells that dropped behind.

GAS! Gas! Quick, boys!-- An ecstasy of fumbling,
Fitting the clumsy helmets just in time;
But someone still was yelling out and stumbling
And floundering like a man in fire or lime.--
Dim, through the misty panes and thick green light
As under a green sea, I saw him drowning.

In all my dreams, before my helpless sight,
He plunges at me, guttering, choking, drowning.

If in some smothering dreams you too could pace
Behind the wagon that we flung him in,
And watch the white eyes writhing in his face,
His hanging face, like a devil's sick of sin;
If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood
Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs,
Obscene as cancer, bitter as the cud
Of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues,--
My friend, you would not tell with such high zest
To children ardent for some desperate glory,
The old Lie: Dulce et decorum est
Pro patria mori.

-- Wilfred Owen


1. National Archives of Australia: Australian Imperial Force, Base Records Office; B2455, First Australian Imperial Force Personnel Dossiers, 1914-1920; Young John Percival : SERN 2763 : POB Timor VIC : POE Melbourne VIC : NOK F Young John http://recordsearch.naa.gov.au/scripts/Imagine.asp?B=1911839
2. Australian War Memorial ID number PB0580 Photographer Barnes, Josiah Object type Black & white - Glass original half plate negative Place made Australia: Victoria, Melbourne, Port Melbourne Date made 16 December 1916 Collection Photograph Description "Medic" A7 retrieved from http://www.awm.gov.au/collection/PB0580
3. Australian War Memorial ID number PB0583 Photographer Barnes, Josiah Object type Black & white - Glass original half plate negative Place made Australia: Victoria, Melbourne, Port Melbourne Date made 16 December 1916 Collection Photograph Description "Medic" A7 retrieved from http://www.awm.gov.au/collection/PB0583
4. Australian War Memorial ID number PB0588 Photographer Barnes, Josiah Object type Black & white - Glass original half plate negative Place made Australia: Victoria, Melbourne, Port Melbourne Date made 16 December 1916 Collection Photograph Description "Medic" A7 retrieved from http://www.awm.gov.au/collection/PB0588
5. Australian War Memorial ID number PB0573 Photographer Barnes, Josiah Object type Black & white - Glass original half plate negative Place made Australia: Victoria, Melbourne, Port Melbourne Date made 16 December 1916 Collection Photograph Description HMAT Medic (A7) departs Melbourne assisted by a tug, and watched by a crowd of well-wishers on the wharf. retrieved from http://www.awm.gov.au/collection/PB0573
6. https://www.awm.gov.au/encyclopedia/chalk/ ,   http://www.fovantbadges.com/his_det.htm , http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fovant_Badges
7. Australian War Memorial ID number H13577 Photographer Raf Negno Sop/A 392p Object type Black & white - Print silver gelatin Collection Photograph Description Fovant, England. The Australian Rising Sun emblem cut in the side of a hill. (Donor Official Secretary, Australia House, London). retrieved from http://www.awm.gov.au/collection/H13577
8. © Copyright Miss Steel and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence
9. Australian War Memorial ID number E03830 Makers Unknown Australian Official Photographer (Photographer); Object type Black & white - Glass original half plate negative Place made France: Picardie, Somme, Corbie Albert Area, Querrieu Date made 7 July 1918 Collection Photograph Description Group portrait of the Signal Section of the 10th Infantry Brigade, outside the Chateau at Querrieu. Left to right, back row: 1053 Private (Pte) A. Poppleton; 10840 Lance Corporal (L Cpl) V. V. Hallissey MM; 48 Pte P. F. McKinley MM; 19121 Sapper (Spr) A. S. Dawkins; 10836 Spr H. Dunn; 21132 Spr H. C. Stienhauser; 10831 Spr Edmund Abberton; Pte J. Young; 2411 Pte V. Warne; 14228 L Cpl H. H. Ford; 34131 Spr D. M. Morpeth MM. Middle row: 34185 Spr G. C. Muldoon; 10855 Spr G. H. Underwood; 2869 Spr F. J. O'Connor; 19112 Spr A. J. Williams; 21099 Spr K. Berriman; 7497 Spr W. B. Thom; 10624 Spr C. E. Hopkins; 2271 Pte E. Hynds MM; 17460 Spr G. W. Wells; 2115 Spr W. B. Bowtell; 2151 Spr J. R. C. McGhee; 19179 Spr R. J. Thompson. Front row: 16401 Spr A. L. Hager MM; 10838 L Cpl V. R. Ford; 10584 Cpl E. Benner MM; 10852 Sergeant (Sgt) Eric D. Strang; Lieutenant L. V. Smith MC; 10841 Sgt E. J. Hocking MM; 10843 Corporal (Cpl) H. Hurley; 10834 L Cpl J. Brown; 17077 Spr J. C. Wallace MM. retrieved from http://www.awm.gov.au/collection/E03830
10. uploaded to Flickr by Paul Townsend and made available under Creative Commons license retrieved from http://www.flickr.com/photos/brizzlebornandbred/9330852837/in/photostream/
11. Australian War Memorial ID number H03892 Object type Black & white - Print silver gelatin Collection Photograph Description Dartford, England. 1918-12. A ward with patients and some staff at No 3 Australian Army Auxiliary Hospital. retrieved from http://www.awm.gov.au/collection/H03892



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