Pte - Stretcher Bearer
John Crawford

Informationen zu Geburt

Geburtsjahr:
1875
Geburtsort:
Ballarat, Victoria, Australia

Allgemeine Informationen

Letzter bekannter Wohnsitz:
West Brunswick, Victoria, Australia
Beruf:
Chauffeur
Religion:
Church of England

Informationen zum Armeedienst

Land:
Australia
Truppe:
Australian Imperial Force
Rang:
Private - Stretcher Bearer
Dienstnummer:
5443
Einberufung datum:
15/03/1916
Einberufung ort:
Brunswick, Victoria, Australia
Einheiten:
 —  Australian Infantry, 22nd Bn. (Victoria)  (Letzte bekannte Einheit)

Informationen zu Tod

Sterbedatum:
04/10/1917
Sterbeort:
Zonnebeke Lake, Belgien
Todesursache:
Im Kampf gefallen
Alter:
42

Gedenkstätte

Auszeichnungen und Orden 2

British War Medal
Medaille
Victory Medal
Medaille

Punkte von Interesse 4

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

Meine Geschichte

John Crawford, a former driver, was born in October 1875 in Ballarat, Victoria, Australia. He was the son of James and Mary Crawford. He was married to Mrs Agnes Crawford, and the father of Beatrice M., Margt. Grace, Laurence Raymond, and Winifred Rhona Crawford. On March 15, 1916 he enlisted in Brunswick, Victoria and joined the 22nd Battalion, part of the 6th Australian Brigade of the 2nd Australian Division. He embarked from Melbourne on board HMAT A32 Themistocles on July 28, 1916, with the 14th reinforcement of the 22nd Battalion.

On the 4th of October 1917 the 2nd Australian Division participated in the Battle of Broodseinde, a phase in the Third Battle of Ypres. The 22nd Battalion was part of the 6th Brigade, which 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. They made use of shell holes and old trench systems to form a line.

At 5.35 a.m. moments before the Battalion would attack, the German artillery, including minenwerfers, started shelling the jump-off line, causing heavy casualties. The Germans were about to attack themselves in the hope of recapturing Zonnebeke. The heavy shell fire was very destructive.

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, aged 42, was killed in action on October 4, 1917. According to multiple witnesses he was instantly killed by a shell in his side, at Zonnebeke Lake near the starting off tape, on the morning of the attack. At the time he served as a stretcher bearer, and was marked as one of the very best. According to one witness he was carrying a wounded man at the moment he was hit. Private Crawford was mentioned on a cross close to where he fell, near Zonnebeke Lake (28.D.28.a.30.40), together with 3 others. He was buried where he fell by Private George Tilley. The cross was initially re-erected at Perth China Wall Cemetery. His remains were not recovered or identified after the war. John Crawford has no known grave and is remembered on panel 59G of the Menin Gate Memorial.

Dateien 1

Quellen 5

22nd Battalion Australian Infantry (Australian War Memorial, Campbell (AWM), AWM4 23/39/26).
https://www.awm.gov.au/
Verwendete Quellen
6th Brigade Australian Infantry (Australian War Memorial, Campbell (AWM), AWM4 23/6/26).
https://www.awm.gov.au/
Verwendete Quellen
Australian Red Cross Wounded and Missing Enquiry Bureau (Australian War Memorial, Campbell (AWM), RCDIG1064166).
https://www.awm.gov.au/
Verwendete Quellen
First Australian Imperial Force Personnel Dossiers, 1914-1920 (National Archives of Australia, Canberra (NAA), B2455).
https://www.naa.gov.au/
Verwendete Quellen
Unit embarkation nominal rolls, 1914-18 War (Australian War Memorial, Campbell (AWM), AWM8).
https://www.awm.gov.au/
Verwendete Quellen

Weitere Informationen 4