John Joseph CURRAN (1892-1963)

9th Infantry Brigade AIF

MAIN MENU. 36th BATTALION PAGE.


Leaving Farley Station

36th BATTALION 35th BATTALION A.I.F.

Corporal: 1959A John Joseph CURRAN. M.M.


Born: 1892. Junee, New South Wales, Australia. Birth Cert: 17814/1892.

Married: 1916. Junee, New South Wales, Australia. Marriage Cert:5966/1916.

Wife: Delia Elizabeth Curran. nee: Smith-Jones

Died: 1963. Griffith, New South Wales, Australia. Death Cert:25175/1963


Father: Micheal Curran.

Mother: Jane Curran. nee: McManus


INFORMATION

John Joseph Curran enlisted with the 2nd Reinforcements, 36th Battalion AIF on the 27th March 1916 and left Farley Station on the 3rd of September for Sydney and left on board HMAT A15 "Port Sydney" on the 4th September 1916 and disembarked at Plymouth England on ther 29th October 1916. The reinforcements were entrained to the Durrington Army Camp at Larkhill to the 9th Training Battalion until he proceeded overseas for France via Folkstone on the 4th February 1917.

7th June 1917

THE BATTLE OF MESSINES

The 3rd Australian Divisions first major offencive was at Messines Ridge on the 7th June 1917. The Australian 3rd Division was a part of the II Anzac Corps which was allotted to the first assault. The 25th New Zealand, 3rd Australian Division with the 4th Australian Division in reserve. The 4th Division were battle hardened troops who had fought many major battles.The 3rd Australian Division were having problems getting to the "jump off" point. The day before the 9th and 10th Infantry Brigades were bombarded by German Gas-Shells around Hill 63 and Plugstreet Wood. Many of the Aussies were not wearing gas masks, but dispite this they pressed on even though they received 500 casulties.

They made it to the "jump off" point but only just with some of the men from the 9th and 10th going straight over the top without stopping. The mines went up and the attack commenced behind a protective barrage. The II Anzac Corps were attacking on the right with their objective being the southern shoulder of the ridge which included Messines, the Dover and St Yves areas as far south to the east of Plugstreet Wood.

Major General Sir John MONASH's 3rd Division had to contend with a tricky 3 mile approach out of Plugstreet Wood and after the German gas attack, but they were not detered. The 9th Infantry Brigade under Brigadier General: Alexander JOBSON and the 10th Infantry Brigade under Brigadier General W R NICHOLL had just made the jumping off point but some of the men did not stop, going straight into the assault from the approach march.

Their objective lay between St Yves and the Douve. The mines at Trench 127 and Trench 12 at Factory Farm were laid to aid this task. The explosions erupted a few seconds before zero hour and created craters of 200 feet in diameter, completely obliterating the German defence line as the 9th and 10th Infantry Brigades went over the top. The mine crates forced the 9th and 10th Brigades to veer to the left and right which caused some confusion with the main assault. It is testimony to the quality of training that every man knew the ground, tasks and objectives so well.

Private: 1804 John CARROLL 33rd Battalion, rushed the enemy's trench and bayoneted four of the German occupants. He then noticed a comrade in difficulties and went to his assistance, killing another German. He then attacked single handed a German Machine Gun Team, killing all three of them and capturing the gun. He later rescued two of his comraded who had been buried alive by German Shell Fire, and in spite of heavy shelling and machine gun fire he dug them out alive and saved them from certain death. John was awarded the Victoria Cross.

The German foward zone was completely engulfed and taken by the main assault. The two supporting battalions of each brigade then passed the leading battalion to continue the advance. The men were constantly re-supplied and the ridge was taken. There were many German prisoners taken during the offencive. The 3rd Division was well ahead with the 9th Infantry Brigade pushing on beyond Grey Farm, and on the right the 10th Infantry Brigade were veering left towards Septieme Barn north of Douve.

The German resistance was heavy but was generally brushed aside by tanks and artillery before the infantry had to become too involved.The 4th Bavarian Divisions Artillery had made little impact, but as the day wore on the 3rd Division and later the 4th Australian Division received many casulties from German artillery. (70% of all casulties during WW1 were from artillery).

By 9:00am nearly 6 hours after the assault began the Germans were in dissaray, but there was a major problem as the Australians received less casulties as anticipated and when ordered to dig into the ridge they had so many men, that some could not find shelter. the 35th battalion were dug in around Seaforth Farm.

The second phase of the operation was to take the Oosttaverne Line. The 3rd Australian Division would now be in reserve with the 4th Division attacking. The 9th Infantry Brigade (33-34-35-36Bn) were near Thatched Cottage facing Warneton. The river Lys was to their right and the Plugstreet Wood was now behind them.

Once their objectives were taken the troops consolidated. A barrarge to stop and counter attack was shortnened and caught three battalions which had to retire. By 9:00pm this part of the Oosttaverne Line was abandonded. At 10:45pm General Godley ordered the 3rd and 4th Divisions to retake it. This they did by the early hours of the 8th of June.

The Battle for Messines Ridge during May-June 1917 saw 35 officers and 1,631 other ranks loose their lives.

9th Infantry Brigade Casulties.
33rd Battalion. AIF 8 Officers 382 Other ranks
34th Battalion. AIF 10 Officers 378 Other ranks
35th Battalion. AIF 5 Officers 431 Other ranks
36th Battalion. AIF 9 Officers 421 Other ranks
9th Machine Gun Company. AIF 2 Officer 17 Other ranks
9th Light Trench Mortor Battery. 1 Officer 2 Other ranks

John was Wounded in Action on the 8th June 1917 at MESSINES but rejoined his unit on the 16th June and was promoted to Temporary Corporal on the 6th November 1917, Private: 2121 Leonard Harold ROBINSON. evacuated sick. Maurice was Wounded in Action; 2nd occassion on the 12th of April 1918 and reverted bact to Private upon evacuation to England on the 17th of April suffering from a Gun Shot Wound to the Neck

MILITARY MEDAL

07/03/1918. Lance Corporal. 1959 J.J. CURRAN. 36th BN AIF For gallentry and devotion th duty on night of 4th/5th March 1918 during raid on enemy's trenches in the vacinity of WARNETON. He was in charge of the STRETCHER BEARERS and although under heavy Machine-Gun fire, gallantly continued the work of evacuation of the wounded during the whole evacuation. As a result of his courage, not one wounded man was left behind in the enemy line.

London Gazette 7th January 1919. Page 315 Position 5.

Commonwealth of Australia Gazette 23rd of May 1919. Page 893 Position 8.

Whilst in England the 36th Battalion was disbanded on the 30th of April and Maurice was transfered to the 35th Battalion and proceeded overseas for France on the 3rd July via Folkstone and Taken on in Strength with the 35th Battalion and allocated the prefix A. He was appointed Lance corporal on the 26th of July and Wounded in Action; 3rd occassion on the 8th August 1918

8th August 1918.

1: At about 1:00am a halt was made a few hundred yards in rear of the assembly tape and hot cocoa was served out to the men. The approach march was over and the Battalion on the tape, which had been ably laid by Lieutenant WARLAND and his scouts by 2.30am. The enemy was very quiet and we suffered no casualties before Zero hour which was at 4:20am when the barrage opened and the advance commenced as per App 11. At 6:45am the objective was reached by the most advanced troops and consolidation commenced. Tanks from the rear came forward and and formed up at the rear with the 4th Australian Division in artillery formation. At 8:20am as the barrage lifted the whole line went forward through us as if on parade.

Maurice rejoined his unit on the 12th September 1918 and was awarded the Croix de Guerre on the 18th October 1918.

FRENCH CROIX-de-GUERRE:

16/09/1918.Lance Corporal. 1959A J.J. CURRAN. 35th BN AIF On the 8th August in the attack on ACCOCHE WOOD and afterwards L/CPL CURRAN (Lewis Gunner) although wounded on the "Jumping Off" line carried his gun forward, effectivily engaging an enemy gun during the advance and silenced it allowing the advance to continue. He got his gun to the final objective where he had to be evacuated. He displayed exeptional grit and determination throughout the advance and was a fine example to his men of devotion to duty.

Commanding Officer; 35th Battalion AIF. Lieutenant Colonel: Harold Lamb.

London Gazette 25th April 1918. Page 5037 Position 13.

Commonwealth of Australia Gazette 7th of August 1918. Page 1657 Position 50.

John returned to Australia on the 21st June 1919 onboard the "Koenigan Luise".

Brother; Private: 2042 Maurice Joseph CURRAN. 36th Battalion AIF.

1: 35th Battalion War Diary.

Family Information

John Curran was a single 23year old Blacksmith from Coolamon via Junee, N.S.W upon enlistment. His parents Michael and Jane Curran were married in 1874 at Tumut, N.S.W. Marriage Cert:3987/1874 and had 12 children, 6 boys abd 6 girls. Catherine Josephine Curran born 1875 at Adelong, N.S.W. Birth Cert:12511/1875. Mary A Curran born 1877 at Forbes, N.S.W. Birth Cert:11474/1877. Andrew Michael Curran born 1879 at Adelong, N.S.W. Birth Cert:14696/1879. Willam Henry V Curran born 1881 Temora, N.S.W. Birth Cert:16372/1881. James P Curran born 1884 at Wagga Wagga, N.S.W. Birth Cert:26599/1884. Ellen G Curran born 1886 at Junee, N.S.W. Birth Cert:28098/1886. Joseph Maurice Curran born 1887 at Junee, N.S.W. Birth Cert:28894/1887. Julia Curran born 1888 at at Junee, N.S.W. Birth Cert:29655/1888. Julia A Curran born at at Junee, N.S.W. Birth Cert:17265/1890.John Joseph Curran born at at Junee, N.S.W. Birth Cert:17814/1892. Jane C Curran born 1893 at at Junee, N.S.W. Birth Cert:18108/1893. William L J Curran born 1894 at at Junee, N.S.W. Birth Cert:17238/1894.

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Commonwealth of Australia (National Archives of Australia)

Under Construction; 01/07/2007-24/01/2017.


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