Avery, John Bede

John Bede Avery – Cath (alto)

Service number 3005A

John Bede Avery

John Bede Avery

Private 7th Reinforcements 17th Battalion, then 50th Battalion
Enlisted 12 August 1915 Sydney
Embarked 23 December 1915 HMAT Suevic
Arrived Egypt 16 February 1916
Transferred to 5th Division Artillery 1 April 1916 (15th then 25th Field Artillery), Gunner
Arrived France 29 June 1916
Transferred to 14th Field Artillery Brigade 53rd Battery 25 January 1917
Killed in action near Corbie (support during battle for Villers-Bretonneux) 24 April 1918 aged 29; the unit diary noted the degree of fire the battery had been subject to.
Buried Bonnay British Cemetery

Place of birth Camperdown, Sydney

Unit diary entry for 24 April 1918

Unit diary entry for 24 April 1918

Pre-war lived at 58 English St Camperdown (a street now vanished, swallowed up by the building of King George V Hospital for Mothers and Babies and the expansion of Royal Prince Alfred Hospital)
Occupation tram conductor
Appearance grey eyes, fair hair, 6’1/2” tall
Age 27 on enlistment

Excerpt from Red Cross file

Excerpt from Red Cross file

Service commemorated at War Memorial in Camperdown Park and at Newtown Tramways Depot 1914-1918 Honor Roll[1]

“I had often heard about ‘Uncle Bede’ who had died trying to save his horses. He was my mother’s uncle, the brother of her mother (my maternal grandmother), a tram driver when he enlisted, and aged 29 when he died.

From the Avery family:

War Memorial, Camperdown Park. Image: R O'Neale

War Memorial, Camperdown Park. Image: R O’Neale

A billy cart wheel in a tram track stuck
With a toast rack drawing near
The tall conductor stopped the tram
Looking down at Mill and Greg
“What have we here my luv-lies?”
The tall man was their brother John
Adventure dead now their brother would see
that their mother knew that they were found
so far from home in King Street Newtown.

 ‘Why hold the phone this man John Bede
survived the footboard rides [so many didn’t]
to be a gunna in a war so far from home.
I wonder who told his mother?’

[1] Now located at Tempe Bus Depot, Princes Highway Tempe

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