Information about birth

Year of birth:
Place of birth:
Barra, Scotland, Scotland, United Kingdom

General information

Last known residence:
Barra, Scotland, Scotland, United Kingdom
Roman Catholic

Army information

Australian Imperial Force
Service number:
Enlistment date:
Enlistment place:
Normanton, Queensland, Australia, Australia
 —  Australian Infantry, 23rd Bn. (Victoria)  (Last known unit)

Information about death

Date of death:
Place of death:
Zonnebeke Château Grounds, Zonnebeke, Belgium
Cause of death:
Killed in action (K.I.A.)


Poelcapelle British Cemetery
Plot: LX
Row: A
Grave: 7

Distinctions and medals 2

Points of interest 4

#1 Place of birth
#2 Last known residence
#3 Enlistment place
#4 Place of death (approximate)

My story

John McLean, a former seaman, was born in August, 1886 in Barra, Scotland. He was the brother of Jonathon McLean. On October 6, 1916 he enlisted in Normanton, Queensland, Australia and embarked from Melbourne on board HMAT A70 Ballarat on February 19, 1917, with the 24th reinforcement of the 8th Battalion. He later joined the 23rd Battalion, part of the 6th Australian Brigade of the 2nd Australian Division.

The Division participated in the Battle of Broodseinde on the 4th of October 1917, a stage in the Third Battle of Ypres. The attack of the Division was carried by the 6th and 7th Australian Brigades, with the 6th Brigade’s attack led by the 21st and 24th Battalions, and the 23rd Battalion in reserve, providing ammunition carrying- and digging parties. Before the attack, on October 1, 1917 the Battalion was at the front line near Zonnebeke Lake. On October 2, the Battalion was relieved and returned to Anzac House. On that day, the Battalion suffered 8 casualties.

John, aged 31, was killed in action around 5 p.m. on October 2, 1917 after being hit by a shell while holding a strong point. Private McLean was found after the war where he fell, near Zonnebeke Chateau (28.D.28.a.20.25); his remains were exhumed and reinterred at Poelcapelle British Cemetery; Plot LX, Row A, Grave 7.

Sources 5

23rd Battalion Australian Infantry (Australian War Memorial, Campbell (AWM), AWM4 23/40/25).
Sources used
6th Brigade Australian Infantry (Australian War Memorial, Campbell (AWM), AWM4 23/6/26).
Sources used
Australian Red Cross Wounded and Missing Enquiry Bureau (Australian War Memorial, Campbell (AWM), RCDIG1064166).
Sources used
First Australian Imperial Force Personnel Dossiers, 1914-1920 (National Archives of Australia, Canberra (NAA), B2455).
Sources used
Unit embarkation nominal rolls, 1914-18 War (Australian War Memorial, Campbell (AWM), AWM8).
Sources used

More information 4