Information about birth

Year of birth:
Place of birth:
Nhill, Victoria, Australia

General information

Last known residence:
Woorak West, Nhill, Victoria, Australia

Army information

Australian Imperial Force
Lance Corporal
Service number:
Enlistment date:
Enlistment place:
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
 —  Australian Machine Gun Corps, 6th Coy.  (Last known unit)
 —  Australian Infantry, 21st Bn. (Victoria)

Information about death

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


Passchendaele New British Cemetery
Plot: XIII
Row: A
Grave: 17

Distinctions and medals 3

Points of interest 4

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

My story

John Bone was born in Nhill, Victoria in 1890. He was the 4th child of Helen and Peter Bone. When he volunteered in July 1915, John was working as a farmer and living with his family in Woorak West near Nhill. Two days before his departure, John married his sweetheart, Effie Bone from Lake Hindmarsh. John embarked in September 1915. On 7 January 1916, he was taken on by the 21st Battalion, part of the 6th Australian Brigade of the 2nd Australian Division. In August that year, he was transferred to the 6th Machine Gun Company, which was also part of the 6th Australian Brigade. On 8 November 1916, John suffered a gunshot wound to his neck on the Somme. He was admitted to a hospital in England. After his recovery, John rejoined his unit in May 1917.

When John was promoted to Lance Corporal in October 1917, he and his unit were active in Flanders in what was later called the Battle of Passchendaele. On 4 October 1917, the Allies had taken the Broodseinde ridge, which lead to the Passchendaele heights. The 2nd Australian Division had captured the hamlet of Broodseinde itself. A new advance towards Poelcapelle and Passchendaele was planned for 9 October. Sixteen machine guns from the 6th Company were brought to the crossroads near Broodseinde to support the 6th Australian Brigade's attack towards Dairy and Daisy Wood. Battery "A", consisting of six machine guns, was positioned near the German cemetery at Broodseinde. They were to support the infantry with a creeping barrage. In a small orchard, across the Roeselare Street, "B" and "C" Batteries with two machine guns each were set up. They were to move forward together with the Infantry Battalions of the 6th Brigade. Another two machine guns from Battery "D" were set up on the east side of the ridge to support the attack on Daisy Wood. Finally, four machine guns from "E" and "F" Batteries were in reserve; two at Knoet Farm and two at Hannebeek Wood. At 5.20am, the hour zero, "B" and "D" Batteries advanced with the infantry. The attack was quickly repulsed by machine-gun fire from Dairy and Daisy Wood. All but two men from "B" Battery were killed or wounded as they advanced towards Dairy Wood. On the right, both "D" machine guns were knocked out in the first rush on Daisy Wood. The rest of the men had to stay in shell holes until dark because of heavy machine-gun fire and snipers. The two machine guns of "C" Battery remained in the front line and covered the infantry attack on Daisy Wood. Two hours into the attack, five men of "C" Battery had been killed. In the afternoon, two machine guns were sent from the reserve to the ridge to reinforce the line.

The attack on 9 October immediately broke down Dairy and Daisy Wood and yielded nothing. The 6th Machine Gun Company lost 15 men, including John Bone, another 11 men were wounded. John was buried in front of Daisy Wood. In 1920, his body was interred at Passchendaele New British Cemetery, Plot XIII. Row A. Grave 17.

Files 4

Sources 3

6th Australian Machine Gun Company (Australian War Memorial, Campbell (AWM), AWM4 24/11/20).
Sources used
First Australian Imperial Force Personnel Dossiers, 1914-1920 (National Archives of Australia, Canberra (NAA), B2455, BONE J).
Sources used
Unit embarkation nominal rolls, 1914-18 War (Australian War Memorial, Campbell (AWM), AWM8).
Sources used

More information 4