Enlistment Address

Cumnock NSW

Service Number



54th Battalion


Brother William Burrell


RTA August 1918


BURRELL John 2134

John Burrell stated he was a 43 year old labourer of Cumnock when he enlisted on 18 March 1916 at Cumnock NSW. John was 5’ 11 ½” tall, 12stone 10lb (81kg), 39” chest, fair complexion, grey eyes and light brown hair. He had two pea rifle scars on his left leg and a scar on the right side of his right knee. His wife, Margaret was his stated next of kin and his religion was Presbyterian.

John trained at Dubbo and Bathurst before he embarked from Sydney on board HMAT A42 ‘Boorara’ on 19 August 1916 with the 54th Battalion, 4th Reinforcement. They arrived in England to train at Bovington Camp. He joined his unit in France on 23 December 1916 and served with the 54th Battalion until 13 March 1917 when he was admitted to hospital and treated for Trench foot. In June 1917 he was assigned to the Army Veterinary Corps and served with the Australian Veterinery Hospital, which was set up near Calais to treat the thousands of horses and mules used in the war. The Veterinary Unit Diary records details of the food, diseases, treatments and the fate of the horses and mules that went through the hospital.

John was invalided to England in June 1918 and commenced his return to Australia on 24 August 1918 on the transport ship ‘Medic’. He disembarked at Melbourne and was admitted to the No 11 Australian General Hospital. John died on 21 October 1918 of Myocarditis and Pulmonary Oedema (heart disease). His wife, Margaret was present and the funeral held the next day at the Coburg Cemetery.

Margaret was issued his medals, the British War Medal and the Victory Medal. She also received the Memorial Plaque and Scroll. He is commemorated on the Cumnock RSL Memorial Hall and Gates. His brother William lived in Gilgandra.

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