Biography

Birth date: 22 November 1878
Birth place: United Kingdom: England, Northumberland, Hexham
Death date: 1978
Death place: Australia: New South Wales, Sydney
Final rank: Staff Sergeant
Service number: 1003 - First World War, 1914-1918
N74800 - Second World War, 1939-1945
Units:
  • 2 Battalion
  • 2nd Australian Infantry Battalion

John Wesley Hetherington was born in Northumberland, England on 22 November 1878 to Thomas and Margaret Hetherington. Hetherington worked as an engineer tool maker in Sydney, Australia before enlisting in the Australian Imperial Force on 17 September 1914 as an armourer corporal. He was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 1st Infantry Brigade and departed Australia for Egypt on 18 October 1914 aboard HMAT Suffolk.

After training in Egypt, the battalion took part in the ANZAC landing on Gallipoli on 25 April 1915. Hetherington was wounded during the landing and spent four months in hospital in Malta. He re-joined the 2nd Battalion at Gallipoli, where they remained until the evacuation in December 1915.

After returning to Egypt from Gallipoli in December 1915, the 2nd Battalion arrived at Marseilles, France on 28 March 1916. Since the Gallipoli landing the previous year, Hetherington had received numerous promotions and was an armourer sergeant by March 1916. From July through to September 1916, the 2nd Battalion was engaged in its first major battle in the Western Front, the battle of Pozières. Following the end of this battle, Hetherington went to England on leave before re-joining the battalion in France. From February to May 1917, Hetherington attended the Armoury School of Instruction and was promoted to the rank of regimental quartermaster sergeant(warrant officer class 2) on 25 May 1917. Throughout 1917 and 1918, the 2nd Battalion took part in operations against the German Army in the Somme Valley in France and Belgium . Hetherington returned to Australia aboard HT Devon in October 1918. Hetherington was discharged in January 1919.

John Wesley Hetherington enlisted again during the Second World War on 10 June 1940. He reduced his age by stating his year of birth was 1888. He was discharged on 2 February 1945 with the rank of staff sergeant.

John Hetherington died in Sydney in 1978.

Rolls and Awards

First World War Embarkation Roll

  • Rank: Armourer Corporal
  • Date of embarkation: 18 October 1914
  • Place of embarkation: Sydney

Digitised Collection

Letters from John Wesley Hetherington to his Family, 1914-1915

Letters relating to the service of 1003 Warrant Officer John Wesley Hetherington, 2nd Battalion. The letters were written by Warrant Officer Hetherington to his family between 21 October 1914 and 6 December 1915. They describe his service at Gallipoli, convalescence on Malta and subsequent return...

RCDIG0000259

Letters from John Wesley Hetherington to his Family, 1916-1918

Letters relating to the service of 1003 Warrant Officer John Wesley Hetherington, 2nd Battalion. The letters were written by Warrant Officer Hetherington to his family between 23 January 1916 and 20 August 1918. They describe his time recovering in hospital in England, on leave and fighting in...

RCDIG0000260

Certificates for John Wesley Hetherington, 1919-1945

Certificates of discharge relating to the service of 1003 Warrant Officer John Wesley Hetherington, 2nd Battalion. The certificates relate toWarrant Officer Hetherington's discharge from service. The certificates are dated 23 January 1919 and 16 January 1945.

RCDIG0000261

Private Record

Hetherington, John Wesley (WO, b.1888 - d.?)

Collection relating to the service of 1003 Warrant Officer John Wesley Hetherington, 2 Battalion, AIF, At sea, Egypt, Gallipoli, Lemnos, Western Front, England, 1914-1919. Collection consists of 70 letters written by Hetherington to his family, and two Certificates of Discharge. The letters cover... Maker: Hetherington, John Wesley

PR03795 (With records)

Photograph

E01671

Meteren, France. 13 February 1918. Group portrait of the Non-commissioned Officers (NCOs) of the 2nd Battalion, AIF at Meteren. Left to right, back row: 6590 Sergeant (Sgt) N. D. Thomas; 3936 Sgt W. T. Smith; 2456 Sgt J. S. Oakes; 395 C. F. Dobbie; 3715 Sgt A. H. Buckeridge; 2454 Sgt A. R. McPhee;...

E01671

Timeline

Date of birth 1878-11-22
Date of embarkation 1914-10-18
Date of death 1978