John Bede Creagh
Serial No. 3781
John Bede Creagh - Information
At the age of 41, John enlisted in the AIF on the 15th of February 1916 in Newcastle. At the time, he was living at Rosemont in Ingleburn with his wife, Theresa. Born in Yass, John did well at his studies becoming a teacher. During training, he was assigned to the 9th Reinforcements, 30th Battalion. He farewelled his family as he departed Sydney on the 24th of August 1916 onboard the HMAT Anchises.
John landed in Plymouth Harbour in early October, and was marched out for training in Codford. In mid December, he was transported to the Western Front. He joined the 30th Battalion two days before Christmas, bunking down in the lines through the horrific winter. Early in 1917, as the Allies were preparing for their Arras/Nivelle Offensives, the Germans were making plans of their own. To conserve manpower they constructed a new defence system known as the Hindenburg Line, thus shortening their front. The Germans then withdrew to their fortification. The 30th Battalion were ordered to chase them, seizing Bapaume. They held the reserve line during the Battle of Bullecourt during much bitter fighting. Later in the year, they fought during the Third Battle of Ypres in Belgium at Polygon Wood. In 1918, a war of movement returned to the Western Front following the launch of the German Spring Offensive. The Germans gained much ground but were halted by the Allies. They began to push back with a series of operations and battles, including Morlancourt and Amiens on the 8th of August in which the 30th Battalion took part. Following Amiens, the Allies were consistently advancing. John was then wounded on the 27th of August when shrapnel penetrated his left buttock. The 15th Field Ambulance took him to the 41st Casualty Clearing Station. From there, he was admitted to the 1st Australian General Hospital in Rouen and evacuated to England two days later. He was still at the 3rd Auxiliary Hospital when the war ended. He was then invalided home to Australia on the 20th of November. He reunited with Theresa, whom relocated to St Kilda, Victoria in June 1917.