Joseph Henry Whitehouse Jr.
Serial No. 4790
Joseph Henry Whitehouse Jr. - Information
Joseph Henry Jr., known as Joe, was the second child of Joseph Henry and Catherine Whitehouse. Joe was born in Waverly on the 23rd of September 1889. In the 1890s, Joe’s father moved the family to a property on Eagleview Rd in Minto, where he set up a grape vineyard and orchard. The Whitehouse family grew with the birth of two daughters, Agnes and Catherine. Sadly, in 1905, they were to loose their mother, when Catherine passed away in Minto on the 29th of November. Joe served in the Scottish Rifles for 1½ years, and while he was still young, got a job delivering mail on horseback for the Minto Post Office. When he was older, he moved in with his older brother, Alec and his wife, Olive, at their property of Shiloh on Sydney Rd in Campbelltown. Here, he continued to work as a letter carrier in the area. In November 1915, Joe’s father decided to enlist in the AIF. The following year, Joe followed suit. He enlisted in the AIF at Casula on the 6th of January 1916, aged 26. He then said goodbye to his family and commenced his training. On the 27th of January, Joe was made Voyage Only Corporal with B Company, 12th Reinforcements, 19th Battalion, and departed Sydney onboard the HMAT Ceramic on the 13th of April 1916.
Joe arrived in Egypt in May, and was shortly shipped out from Alexandria to England. He set down in Plymouth Harbour, and was marched out to the 5th Training Battalion. In early September, Joe was sent to France. At Etaples Base on the 11th of September, he was appointed Acting Corporal, before reverting to Private when he joined the 19th Battalion during the terrible Somme Campaign. After the battles of Pozières and Mouquet Farm, the Australian Divisions were given a reprieve from the Somme up north in Belgium. Here, Joe was admitted to a field aid post with tonsillitis in mid October. After a week and a half, he returned to the lines and was presently moved back south for renewed attacks in the Somme Sector. The I ANZAC Corps was ordered to advance on the Germans at Flers, an area which thanks to consistent artillery fire and heavy rainfall, was caked in hip deep mud. Reaching the Germans’ position, Joe received a bayonet lunge through his neck from an enemy soldier. He was carried away by stretcher bearers and admitted to hospital in Rouen and Etaples. Other than his neck wound, Joe was generally unwell. He was diagnosed with disordered action of the heart (DAH), a form of shell shock. This was characterised by cardiac neurosis and tachycardia. In January 1917, he reported to Base Details on light duties at the 2nd Australian Division Base Depot in Havre. From there, he was sent to England and was then marched into Weymouth Camp in November. He remained in the UK, until he was invalided back to Australia with DAH on the 1st of February 1918 onboard the HT Balmoral Castle. Joe was then medically discharged in early May and returned home.
Joe arrived back in Campbelltown, to 9 Sydney Rd, where he collected a pension for his injuries. He was able to reunite with Alec and his father, and resumed working for the Post Office. In 1922, Joe married Esther Gladys Pierce, and had three children Joan, Merle and Lois. Esther, known as Essie, was later awarded an MBE for her charitable services to the community. Joe and Esther had a long life together until Joe passed away in Concord in 1969.