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James Glanister

Lance Corporal

Serial No:
Serial No. 759

4th Battalion & 56th Battalion


James Glanister - Information

James migrated to Australia from England, and settled in Camden. Here, he began working for the Australian Nurseries and served as a fireman. When war was declared, he joined the quest to help the Mother Country. He signed up in Kensington on the 29th of August, aged 35. James was made a Private with the 4th Battalion, before leaving Sydney on the 20th of October 1914 sailing on the HMAT Euripides.

James joined the eager troops awaiting orders in Egypt. Soon they were mustered for an advance on the Dardanelles Straits. The 4th Battalion landed ashore at Gallipoli in the first few waves on the 25th of April. Climbing out of the boats, they rushed across the beach, finding steep cliffs and a determined enemy. James was wounded the following day, hit by shrapnel in the face. He was evacuated to Egypt to the 15th General Hospital in Alexandria. He enjoyed some rest at a Convalescence Depot before rejoining his unit back on the Peninsula in mid June, and was appointed Lance Corporal on the 30th of July. Any progress to move forward was stifled. So the Allies planned a breakthrough, in launching a series of attacks in August. The 4th Battalion participated in the assault at Lone Pine on the 6th of August. Here, James was shot in the shoulder as they ran across No Man’s Land to the Turkish trenches. He was then evacuated to Egypt, admitted to hospital in Heliopolis on the 11th. After recovering, James returned to his unit in mid September as they were resting on Lemnos Island. The Campaign was shortly called off after months of terrible weather and mounting casualties. In the new year, James was back in Egypt, reverting to Private at Tel-el-Kebir. In February, he was transferred to the 56th Battalion. James and his new unit made their way to the Western Front in June.

The 56th Battalion was brought into the lines near Armentières. They were ordered to launch an assault against the Germans at Fromelles. On the 19th of July, upon hearing the whistle, they ran into German machine gun crossfire. Although some units reached the German lines, they had to withdraw. It was a devastating attack, and the 5th Division ceased to be an effective fighting force, but remained in the lines under strength. After a bitter winter, fierce fighting erupted after the Germans withdrew to their Hindenburg Line in early 1917. The Allies were ordered to chase them. Later in the year, the Anzacs were to play a significant role in the Third Battle of Ypres. The 56th Battalion attacked the Germans at Polygon Wood in September. The following month, James was promoted Lance Corporal and granted Blighty leave. While on leave, he was treated for defective vision, most likely a result of years of fighting at the front. He returned to his unit in mid January 1918. On the 21st of March, the Germans launched their Spring Offensive, an attempt to break through the lines. The Germans gained much ground, while the Allies, using the Australian Corps as their spearhead fervently counter attacked to halt the advance. In September, James was taken to England for special 1914 home leave. He proceeded to Australia on the 24th of September onboard the Kaiser-i-Hind. Luckily, the war ended while he was at sea.