Informationen zu Geburt

Birchip, Victoria, Australia

Allgemeine Informationen

Letzter bekannter Wohnsitz:
Geelong, Victoria, Australia

Informationen zum Armeedienst

Australian Imperial Force
Einberufung datum:
Einberufung ort:
Shepparton, Victoria, Australia
 —  Australian Light Trench Mortar, 6th Bty.  (Letzte bekannte Einheit)

Informationen zu Tod

Brick Kiln & Yard, Zonnebeke, Belgien
Im Kampf gefallen


Hooge Crater Cemetery
Grabstelle: XIX
Reihe: L
Grab: 17

Auszeichnungen und Orden 2

British War Medal
Victory Medal

Punkte von Interesse 4

#1 Geburtsort
#2 Letzter bekannter Wohnort
#3 Einberufung ort
#4 "Todesort"

Meine Geschichte

John James Beckham, a former orchardist, was born in August 1894 in Birchip, Victoria, Australia. He was the son of William and Johanna Louisa Beckham. On March 16, 1915 he enlisted in Shepparton, Victoria and embarked from Melbourne on board HMAT A14 Euripides on May 8, 1915, with the 24th Infantry Battalion, part of the 6th Australian Brigade of the 2nd Australian Division. He later joined the 6th Australian Light Trench Mortar Battery, also part of the 6th Australian Brigade of the 2nd Australian Division.

The 2nd Australian Division participated in the Battle of Broodseinde on the 4th of October 1917. It attacked with two brigades, the 6th and the 7th Australian Brigades. The 6th Australian Light Trench Mortar Battery assisted the 24th Battalion.

They attacked on the right of the divisional front. The 22nd Battalion would take the first objective, the red line. Once they had taken this line, the 24th would pass through the 22nd on the right and the 21st would do the same on the left. The Battalion assembled before the attack at the jumping-off positions in front of Tokio, but soon moved closer to the road leading to Tokio on account of German artillery fire on and around Albania. By 4.45 a.m. the companies of the Battalion were in position at the jump-off trench. They made use of shell holes and old trench systems to form a line. Their goal were the German positions at the Broodseinde ridge, which they would reach by crossing the Zonnebeke Creek, up the rising, past De Knoet Farm and across the Broodseinde- Beselaere Road, over the crest of the ridge, and to the line, of the objective, on the forward slope.

At 5.30 a.m. moments before the Battalion would attack, the German artillery, including minenwerfers, started shelling the jump-off line. The Germans were about to attack themselves in the hope of recapturing Zonnebeke. The heavy shell fire was very destructive, killing forty men and two officers instantly. The Battalion’s strength was consequently reduced by round thirty per cent, even before the attack had commenced.

At 6 a.m. the British and Australian artillery opened fire on the German positions and the troops started to advance. The 22nd led off, followed by the 21st and 24th. Zonnebeke Lake was on the jumping-off line on the left. The three battalions had to storm the front over 3oo yards right of the lake. Once they had passed the lake the units on the left had to change direction to cover the ground allotted to them.
The German infantry was utterly surprised by the allied barrage. They were quickly dispersed, killed or taken prisoner by the advancing Australians. Docile Trench and De Knoet Farm fell without much opposition and the 22nd Battalion reached their objective by 6.50 a.m. On the right flank of the 24th Battalion the troops met resistance in Romulus Wood, but the Germans were eventually overpowered. At 7.30 a.m. the 21st and 24th moved up behind the protective barrage, reaching the second objective, the blue line at 8.10 a.m., where the dug in and prepared for eventual counterattacks.

John James, aged 23, was killed in action on October 4, 1917. He was at his gun, and was killed by a shell burst just before the hop-over. Private Beckham was initially buried where he fell, near Brick Kiln & Yard (28.D.28.c.40.70). After the war, his remains were exhumed and reinterred in the Hooge Crater Cemetery, Plot 19, Row L, Grave 17.

Dateien 1

Quellen 5

6th Australian Infantry Brigade (Australian War Memorial, Campbell (AWM), AWM4 23/6/26).
Verwendete Quellen
6th Australian Light Trench Mortar Battery (Australian War Memorial, Campbell (AWM), AWM4 13/119/1).
Verwendete Quellen
Australian Red Cross Wounded and Missing Enquiry Bureau (Australian War Memorial, Campbell (AWM), RCDIG1064166).
Verwendete Quellen
First Australian Imperial Force Personnel Dossiers, 1914-1920 (National Archives of Australia, Canberra (NAA), B2455).
Verwendete Quellen
Unit embarkation nominal rolls, 1914-18 War (Australian War Memorial, Campbell (AWM), AWM8).
Verwendete Quellen

Weitere Informationen 4