Corporal John Alexander French VC
Date of birth: 15 July 1914
Place of birth: Crows Nest, near Toowoomba, QLD
Date of death: 4 September 1942
Place of death: Milne Bay, Papua
John French was typical of many single young men who had enlisted early in the war. He went on to serve in Britain, Egypt, and Libya. By the time that he was sent to Papua with the 2/9th Battalion, in August 1942, he was an experienced infantry non-commissioned officer.
In early September French’s company came across Japanese positions near Goroni and was held up by intense fire from three machine-gun posts. Ordering his own section to take cover, French successfully assaulted two positions with grenades. He then attacked the third with a sub-machine gun but finally fell dead in front of the enemy gun pit. He is buried in the Port Moresby (Bomana) War Cemetery.