John Joseph Face
Serial No. 609A
26th Battalion & 31st Battalion
John Joseph Face - Information
John Joseph Face was born in Camden c1879. After the war started, John was staying in the Criterion Hotel in Alpha in Central Queensland, while he worked as a miner. At the age of 36, John thought it would be a good idea to join the AIF. He enlisted in Emerald on the 18th of April 1915. John was made a Private with the 26th Battalion, and departed Brisbane on the 24th of May 1915 onboard the HMAT Ascanius.
John landed in Egypt, and shortly joined his unit at the Gallipoli Peninsula in early September. After a few bitter months suffering in the snow-filled trenches, John headed to Lemnos Island in December. The Campaign had proved too costly and it was called off. Blowing off some steam on Lemnos, he was charged for using insubordinate language to a superior officer. Then in early January 1916, he went absent without leave for five days at Tel-el-Kebir Camp in Egypt. For his trouble, he was sentenced to 14 days detention. When he was released, he reported sick in Ismalia on the 8th of February. He was taken to the 2nd Casualty Clearing Station, and later the No. 1 Stationary Hospital with venereal disease. He had recovered by mid March, and was transferred to the 31st Battalion the following month. He then travelled with his new unit to France in June. John was rushed back into action, with the Battle of Fromelles on the 19th of July. This attack was rather a costly ploy, aimed to annoy the enemy and prevent German reserves reaching the Somme Battlefield. Here, John was wounded on the 20th of July, with a hit to his right hand. Leaving the 1st Casualty Clearing Station, he was taken by Ambulance Train to the 8th Stationary Hospital in Wimereux. He was subsequently evacuated to England to the War Hospital in Leeds. After initial treatment, he was moved to the 1st Auxiliary Hospital in Harefield. From September, he was convalescing and enduring further training to gain mobility in his hand. In May 1917, he proceeded back to France. He rejoined his unit, whom were now in Belgium in preparation for the Third Battle of Ypres campaign. The fighting here was brutal. Many fell despite initial success as early onset autumn rains flooded the battlefields with mud. John and his unit participated in attacks at Polygon Wood, before he fell on the 12th of October, killed in action near Passchendaele Ridge. He was buried 400 yards south east of Zonnebeke, however, continued bombardments in the area left his remains unaccounted for. His name is now recorded on the Menin Gate Memorial, Ieper, (Ypres) in Belgium. His medals and memorial scroll went to friend Mrs T. Dale, whom he nominated as his next of kin. He knew her from the Criterion Hotel in Queensland, and as she explained, he said had no relatives.