Serial No. 4546
John McCracken - Information
John McCracken was an Irish immigrant, born in Down c1883, and came to Australia with his brother. John eventually resided in Campbelltown, where he worked as a railway signalman at the Train Station. John boarded with a Mrs Meredith and her family on Queen St. When the war started, he was still living in Campbelltown, and decided to enlist in the AIF. He joined up at Holsworthy on the 14th of August 1915, aged 32. During training, John was designated to the 14th Reinforcements, 2nd Battalion. He then departed Sydney on the 18th of January 1916 on the RMS Osterley.
John arrived in Egypt, and by the end of March was shipped to France from Alexandria, as part of the I ANZAC Corps. He was then marched out to join his unit in the field in May. In July, the much anticipated Somme Offensive was fading. The I ANZAC Corps were mustered as reinforcements. The Anzacs, in one of the only successful battles, launched at the village of Pozières. Unfortunately, here John was killed in action on the 25th of July 1916. His comrades buried him near the village, later known as the British Cemetery, Ovillers-La Boisselle. Shortly after this loss, John’s father passed away. Sorrowfully, John’s mother was to loose a husband and a son in such a short time.