John Patrick Ferguson
Serial No. 27
Australian Army Medical Corps
John Patrick Ferguson - Information
When John Patrick Ferguson decided to enlist for war service, he was residing at 178 Phillip St in Sydney and working as a surgical assistant. John was born in Menangle c1891, where his family remained. He was a son of Catherine and John Ferguson, a Railway Inspector who sadly passed away. Shortly after the recruitment booths opened, John decided to do his duty and enlist. He signed up in Sydney on the 24th of August 1914, aged 23. Due to his work experience, John was posted as a Private to the 1st Light Horse Field Ambulance. He was then shipped out for war service, departing Sydney Harbour onboard the HMAT Southern on the 23rd of September 1914.
John disembarked in Egypt, and was stationed to various camps. After the initial advances at Gallipoli proved ineffective, the Light Horse Regiments were mustered as reinforcements. The staff of the Field Ambulances followed. John joined them in late July. The conditions on the Peninsula were terrible. Intense heat, flies, fleas, contaminated water and lack of fresh fruit and vegetables caused much sickness. On the 9th of September, John reported to the Casualty Clearing Station at Anzac Cove with dysentery. The same day, he was transported to the 1st Stationary Hospital on Lemnos Island. After the campaign at Gallipoli was called off, the men were evacuated back to Egypt in December. The Light Horse Field Ambulances then followed Regiments out on their patrols and into battle, to transport wounded and sick troops to casualty stations and hospitals. In late March 1916, John was transferred to the 13th Field Ambulance. On the 10th of May, John was appointed Lance Corporal, and the following month proceeded to the Western Front in France. For a few weeks at the end of July, he was attached for duty with the 2nd Field Ambulance. John worked very hard, saving the lives of many of his wounded comrades. For his efforts, he was recommended for an award in early October, for persistent and competent work completing his duty. However, by the start of December, John was feeling unwell. Two days before Christmas, he was evacuated to England to the Tooting Military Hospital in London with rheumatic fever. By March 1917, he was detached to Parkhouse Camp undertaking Army Medical Corps Details. At the time, he had been transferred to the 16th Field Ambulance. In April, he was detached for duty with the 1st Australian Dermatological Hospital in Bulford. On the 10th of March 1918, John was transported back to France via Folkestone. A week later, he was taken on strength to the 3rd Australian General Hospital. John and his unit helped to take care of the wounded, mutilated and scared troops. In late September, he was invalided back to England with rheumatic fever and taken to the Northamptonshire Hospital.
After John recovered, he married his sweetheart, British local Winifred Woodmansey. At the time, Winifred was residing at the St John’s Volunteer Aid Detachment Hospital on Cottingham Rd in Hull. She most likely worked there as a VAD nurse, taking care of chaps wounded by war. They married at St Charles Catholic Church in Sculcoates on the 2nd of November 1918. Shortly after the war ended, John returned to Australia with his lovely bride, and settled down in Kogarah.