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Private: 6618a Joseph "Jack" RYAN.

Born: 1887. Cobar, New South Wales, Australia. Birth Cert:/1887.





Joseph "Jack" Ryan re-enlisted with the 19th Reinforcements, 20th Battalion AIF on the 6th of December 1916 and left Sydney on board HMAT A18 "Wiltshire" on the 7th of February 1917. Jack was transfered to the 35th Battalion in France and was Wounded in Action on the 5th of April 1918 and was taken prisoner by the Germans and was held captive for the remainder of the war and returned to Australia on the 5th of September 1919.

29th May 1918.

Informant; Private: 6856 George William WALSH B Company No:8 Platoon. They were about 5 yards from me in a trench at VILLERS-BRETONNEUX at 7:00am, and were buried by practically a direct hit from a shell. It was a shallow front line trench and there were just the 5 of us in it. I was the only man who got out. Sergeant: 942 Richard Patrick CAHILL of B Company, No:8 Platoon, 35th Battalion came up after it happened and we could see some of the helmets, etc cut to pieces, lying in the dirt.

They were not dug up as we retired 5 minutes later. They were all B Company No:8 Platoon. Private: 3768 Samuel John MOORE tall, thin only Moore in Company, people live in England. Private: 6993 Charles William Morrice RICKS, short, black hair, curious walk. Private: 6618 Joseph "Jack" RYAN 5' 9", well built, original 2nd Battalion, and had been in Gallipoli and re-enlisted. Private: 6884 Simon SPRINGER 5' 8", fair, nuggety,about 28, came from 20th reinforcements of 19th Battalion, the only Springerin Company.

Confirmed by Private: 2596 Richard Percy GILBEY B Company, No:8. London, England.

11th June 1918

Informant; Private: 6856 George William WALSH B Company No:8 Platoon. At VILLERS-BRETONNEUX in front line, about 6 o'closk in the morning a 5.9 shell landed in the bay of trench, burying the 3 and another, Private: 6618 Joseph "Jack" RYAN of same Company. I was in the same bay, but about 5 yards away and was myself buried with exception of head, shoulders and one arm.

I dug myself out with shovel that was lying near. The top of the heads of the 4 men were just visible with helmets lying about. No effort made to get them out. They showed no sign of being alive, and in witness's opinion they were undoubtedly dead. Had to retire from frony line almost immediatlely after the shell fell. Private: A P REECE, 35th Battalion, B Company No:8 Platoon, still in France was the only other witness of what occured. Bodies were left where they were. was not him myself.

WEYMOUTH, England.

Family Information

Joseph was a single 29year old Labourer from Nyngan, New South Wales, Australia prior to enlistment.

Military Records

(Australian National Archives)


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