Enlistment Address

Wongarbon NSW

Service Number



3rd Pioneer Battalion


Tooraweenah Kookaburra


RTA 31.1.1918


Private James Alfred Ransom was a 29 year old labourer of Wongarbon when he enlisted on January 21, 1916 at Tooraweenah and joined the recruitment march to Bathurst. The medical examination describes him as 5’ 11” tall, 178 lbs (80.7kgs), 35-37” chest expansion, dark complexion and hair, brown eyes, religion Church of England and no distinctive marks. His mother, Jane Ransom of Dubbo was his next of kin.

James trained at Bathurst and joined the 3rd Pioneer Battalion at Camberfield in Victoria. The Pioneers assisted with digging trenches, labouring, constructing strong points and undertaking battlefield clearance, as well as needing combat skills. In June 1916 the Battalion marched through the streets of Melbourne and embarked on the HMAT Wandilla A12, bound for England via Cape Town. James disembarked at Plymouth on July 27, 1916 and after further training at Salisbury Plains, he left for France on November24, 1916. The unit spent a cold winter around Armentieres, and James’ service in France ended on January 20, 1917, when he had a bad accident. James was dismantling an old dugout when he fell and fractured his head. He was evacuated to England through the 10th Australian Field Ambulance, the 8th Stationary Hospital at Wimereux and admitted to the Edmonton Military Hospital where he remained until April 1917. A Court of Inquiry into the accident determined that James was on duty at the time and that he was not to blame.

He spent the rest of his time in England stationed at the Training Depot at Perham Downs, Group Signal School and No 2 Command Depot at Weymouth. James commenced his journey back to Australia on January 31, 1918 (on the HTA8) and arrived in Sydney on the ‘Osterley’ on April 15, 1918. He was discharged medically unfit on May 18, 1918 and died April 12, 1943.

James was issued with the British War Medal and the Victory Medal.

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