Serial No. 323
John Eather - Information
John, known as Joe, belonged to a Picton family, where he was born c1895. Remaining in Picton, he later found work as an engine cleaner. On the 5th of August 1914, Australia declared war on Germany. Soon afterwards the Government called for volunteers. Joe rushed into Sydney to join up on the 25th of August 1914. By October, Joe was ready for war as a Private with the 3rd Battalion. He departed Sydney Harbour upon the HMAT Euripides on the 20th of October 1914.
Joe found himself stuck in Egypt with all the other frustrated troops. Here, they endured months of further training before heading out to the Gallipoli Peninsula in early April. Joe was part of the first groups landing ashore at what was to be known as Anzac Cove on the 25th of April. He was then killed in action just four days later. What exactly happened to him is unclear. On the 5th of June 1916, a Court of Inquiry was held in France to question witnesses. There were varying and contradictory accounts about what happened to Joe. Some claimed he died in the ocean during the landings, others that he died in the trenches in May. With what evidence they could confirm, the Court concluded that he was killed in action on the 29th of April. His name was later inscribed on the Lone Pine Memorial, on the Gallipoli Peninsula in Turkey. Regrettably, his family would receive no closure about their son’s death.