Biography

Birth date: 15 July 1914
Birth place: Australia: Queensland, Crows Nest
Death date: 04 September 1942
Death place: New Guinea: Papua New Guinea, Papua, Milne Bay
Final rank: Corporal
Service number: QX1071 - Second World War, 1939-1945
Unit: 2/9th Australian Infantry Battalion

John French (1914-1942) 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 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.

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Rolls and Awards

  • Rank: Corporal
  • Date of Death: 04 September 1942
  • Unit: 2/9th Australian Infantry Battalion
  • Recommended for: Victoria Cross
  • Conflict: Second World War, 1939-1945
  • Awarded: Victoria Cross
  • Unit: 2/9th Australian Infantry Battalion
  • Conflict: Second World War, 1939-1945

Collection Items

Photograph

Timeline

Date of birth 1914-07-15
Date of death 1942-09-04