John William Armstrong
Serial No. 7439
John William Armstrong - Information
John William was born in 1900 in Ashfield, and was the only son of Thomas George and Maria Louisa Armstrong. Unfortunately, John lost his mother at a very young age. Thomas remarried Emily Josephine Vardy in Campbelltown in 1915, and the family took up residence in Ivy Cottage at 6 Allman Street.
John was too young to enlist in the military. However, this did not dissuade many a young lad longing for a uniform. He joined up on the 15th of June 1917 at the Naval House in Darlinghurst. On his enlistment form, he stated that he was 18 years and 11 months old, really he was only 17. After training, he left Sydney Harbour aboard the HMAT Euripides on the 31st of October 1917. John arrived at Devonport on the 26th of December and was conditioned for the Western Front. He was then shipped to Calais in April 1918, and soon joined the 4th Battalion as they were desperately repelling the German Spring Offensive. Three days later, on the 28th of April John was knocked down, hit in his right thigh. He was transported to the 13th Australian General Hospital for treatment. John's wound was severe and in October he was evacuated to Hurdcott in England, where he remained, recuperating for almost a year. He was then invalided home to Australia in August 1919 aboard the Ormonde.
Back in Campbelltown, John was able to meet his new step-sister Marie Therese, ‘Tess,’ who was born in 1918. He returned to his life as a clerk in the area. He then re-enlisted in the army during the Second World War. However, he did this under the name Jack William Anderson Q130012. In his amalgamated WWI and WWII Service Record, John states that the name ‘Armstrong’ was false as he was underage at the time of enlistment. The reason for this supposed name change is a mystery.