Also Known as: Jack Bourke
Birth date: 1892
Birth place: Australia: Victoria, Edi
Death date: 20 September 1917
Death place: Western Front: Western Front (Belgium), Ypres Area
Final rank: Lieutenant
Service number: 48 - First World War, 1914-1918
  • 5th Australian Infantry Battalion
  • 2nd Australian Machine Gun Company

John Joseph Bourke was born at Edi, Victoria in 1892 and worked as a miner before the outbreak of the First World War. He was 22 years old when he enlisted in the 5th Infantry Battalion on 17 August 1914. He departed Melbourne aboard HMAT Orvieto on 21 October 1914. Bourke landed at Gallipoli late on 25 April 1915 with the 5th Infantry Battalion, suffering a head wound in the process. After recuperating in Alexandria, Bourke re-joined his unit on the Gallipoli peninsula in June, but only served two months before returning to Egypt to recover from fever.

In 1916, Bourke moved to France and was transferred to the 2nd Machine Gun Company and received two quick promotions. In August 1916, he was promoted to corporal and then again to sergeant in November. In early 1917, Bourke attended the Australian Machine Gun Training Depot at Belton Park in England and then transferred to 21st Machine Gun Company.In the process, he become a second lieutenant. After returning to active duty in France in March 1917, Bourke fell ill, forcing a return to England. On 20 September 1917, a little over a month after becoming a lieutenant, he was killed in the fighting at Menin Road. John Bourke is commemorated on the Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial, Belgium.

Rolls and Awards

Roll of Honour

  • Rank: Lieutenant
  • Date of Death: 20 September 1917
  • Unit: 2nd Australian Machine Gun Company

First World War Embarkation Roll

  • Rank: Private
  • Date of embarkation: 21 October 1914
  • Place of embarkation: Melbourne

Honours and Awards (Recommendation) : Distinguished Conduct Medal

  • Unit: 2nd Australian Machine Gun Company
  • Conflict: First World War, 1914-1918

Collection Items

Private Record

Bourke, John Joseph (Lieutenant, b.? - d.1917)

Collection relating to service of Lieutenant John Joseph Bourke, 2 Machine Gun Company, Gallipoli and France, 1914-1917. Collection includes letters written to family in Australia. Letters describe training in Egypt and active service in Gallipoli and France. Copies made 1928 by Australian War... Maker: Bourke, John Joseph

1DRL/0140 (With records)

Digitised Collection

Letters from John Joseph Bourke to his Parents, 1914-1917

Photostat copies of letters relating to the First World War service of Lieutenant John Joseph Bourke, 2nd Machine Gun Company. The original letters were written by John Bourke to his family in Australia between 9 December 1914 and 23 February 1917. The letters describe his training in Egypt and...



Date of birth 1892
Date of embarkation 1914-10-21
Date of recommendation honour or award 1916-09-09
Date of death 1917-09-20