Biography

Birth date: 03 August 1882
Birth place: Australia: Tasmania, Huon Island
Death date: 02 March 1946
Death place: Australia: New South Wales, Sydney, Glebe
Final rank: Sergeant
Service number: 481 - British Navy Era, 1788-1911
2902 - First World War, 1914-1918
347 - South Africa, 1899-1902 (Boer War)
Units:
  • 12th Australian Infantry Battalion
  • 2nd Tasmanian Imperial Bushmen

John Whittle was born in Tasmania. He served in the Boer War then joined the Royal Navy. After five years he returned to the army. He enlisted in the 12th Australian Infantry Battalion, AIF, in August 1915, was sent to France, and was made sergeant in late 1916.

Whittle was awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal for bravery in early 1917 when he bombed an enemy machine-gun post during an attack. He received the Victoria Cross for his actions around the villages of Boursies and Lagnicourt around 9 15 April: at one point he "rushed alone across the fire-swept ground" to attack a German machine-gun crew before they could bring their gun into action.

Wounded twice in 1918, Whittle returned to Australia on HMAT Medic with other Victoria Cross holders in October to take part in a recruiting drive. He was discharged in December and settled in Sydney. One of Whittle's sons, Ivan, was killed during the Second World War in New Guinea.

Whittle was awarded the Victoria Cross, DCM, service medals for the Boer War and First World War, the King George V Jubilee Medal, and the King George VI Coronation Medal.

Rolls and Awards

Pre First World War Conflicts Nominal Rolls

  • Rank: Private
  • Unit: 2nd Tasmanian Imperial Bushmen
  • Conflict: South Africa, 1899-1902 (Boer War)

First World War Embarkation Roll

  • Rank: Private
  • Date of embarkation: 27 October 1915
  • Place of embarkation: Melbourne

Honours and Awards (Recommendation) : Distinguished Conduct Medal

  • Unit: 12th Australian Infantry Battalion
  • Conflict: First World War, 1914-1918

Honours and Awards (Recommendation)

  • Unit: 12th Australian Infantry Battalion
  • Conflict: First World War, 1914-1918

Honours and Awards (Recommendation) : Victoria Cross

  • Unit: 12th Australian Infantry Battalion
  • Conflict: First World War, 1914-1918

Honours and Awards (Recommendation) : Victoria Cross

  • Unit: 12th Australian Infantry Battalion
  • Conflict: First World War, 1914-1918

Honours and Awards : Distinguished Conduct Medal

  • Unit: 12th Australian Infantry Battalion
  • Conflict: First World War, 1914-1918

Honours and Awards : Victoria Cross

  • Unit: 12th Australian Infantry Battalion
  • Conflict: First World War, 1914-1918

Photograph

044844

VICTORIA CROSS WINNERS FROM THE BOER WAR AND WORLD WAR 1 WHO GATHERED TO MARCH IN THE SYDNEY ANZAC DAY PARADE. BACK ROW LEFT TO RIGHT: LIEUTENANT (LIEUT.) J. ROGERS, SERGEANT (SGT) R. R. INWOOD, BRIGADIER A. S. BLACKBURN, SGT J. W. WHITTLE, SGT S. R. MCDOUGALL, MAJOR E. T. TOWNER, CAPTAIN (CAPT) A....

044844

072966

Port Melbourne, Vic. 1918. Australian Victoria Cross winners from World War 1 invited by the Prime Minister of Australia, The Honourable W. M. Hughes, to return home to assist in a recruiting campaign. The photograph was taken as the ship HMAT Medic was berthing. The identified men are, from the...

072966

H06186

PORTRAIT OF 2902, SERGEANT JOHN WOODS WHITTLE, VC, DCM, 12TH BATTALION.

H06186

H00175

A montage of nine portrait photographs taken at Westham camp. In the centre is a group portrait of fifteen Australian soldiers and is surrounded by individual portraits of eight of the men who are in the group portrait all of whom had been awarded the Victoria Cross (VC). The central group...

H00175

P01383.014

A portrait of Sergeant John Woods Whittle VC DCM. This photograph is a portion of P01383.017, a framed composite photograph (photo-montage) presented to Lieutenant John Hamilton VC by Dr Mannix on the occasion of the Saint Patrick's Day celebrations in Melbourne, 17 March 1920. The composite...

P01383.014

P01383.017

A framed composite photograph presented to Lieutenant John Hamilton VC by His Grace the Archbishop of Melbourne and the Irish citizens of Victoria, on the occasion of the Saint Patrick's Day celebrations in Melbourne, 17 March 1920. The composite photograph comprises portraits of fourteen Victoria...

P01383.017

P01383.018

This is a restored version of P01383.017. The original is is a framed composite photograph presented to Lieutenant John Hamilton VC by his Grace the Archbishop of Melbourne and the Irish citizens of Victoria on the occasion of the Saint Patrick's Day celebrations in Melbourne, 17 March 1920. The...

P01383.018

P00398.001

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA, 1918-10. ABOARD THE TROOP TRANSPORT 'MEDIC' TEN VICTORIA CROSS WINNERS OF THE FIRST AUSTRALIAN IMPERIAL FORCE WHO WERE INVITED BY THE PRIME MINISTER OF AUSTRALIA, W.M. HUGHES, TO RETURN TO AUSTRALIA TO ASSIST IN A RECRUITING CAMPAIGN. BACK ROW, LEFT TO RIGHT: SGT. W. PEELER,...

P00398.001

Private Record

Crooke, Cyril Ednott (Lieutenant, b.1892 - d.1965)

Collection relating to the First World War service of Lieutenant Cyril Ednott Crooke, Australian Flying Corps (AFC). Collection consists of a leather bound sketch book featuring detailed water colour paintings produced between 4 March 1918 and 24 September 1918. It depicts aeroplanes, troopships,... Maker: Crooke, Cyril Ednott

3DRL/2497 (With records)

Digitised Collection

Sketch book of Cyril Ednott Crooke, 1918

Sketch book relating to the First World War service of Lieutenant Cyril Ednott Crooke, Australian Flying Corps. The bound leather drawing book features detailed water colour paintings produced between 4 March 1918 and 24 September 1918. It depicts aeroplanes, troopships, Leeds Castle, Australian...

RCDIG0000352

Timeline

Date of birth 1882-08-03
Date and unit at enlistment (ORs) 1899 2nd Imperial Bushmen
Date and unit at enlistment (ORs) 1900 Royal Navy - served as stoker in various ships on the Australian Station.
Date returned to Australia 1900
Date and unit at enlistment (ORs) 1905 Rejoined the Army.
Date of discharge 1905
Date of enlistment 1905-01-16
Other units 1915-03 12 Battalion.
Date promoted 1915-03-14 Appointed Corporal.
Date promoted 1915-04-13 Appointed Lance Sergeant.
Date and unit at enlistment (ORs) 1915-08-06 Posted as a reinforcement to 26 Battalion.
Date of embarkation 1915-10-27
Date wounded 1916-06-18
Date promoted 1916-10-14 Appointed Sergeant.
Date of honour or award 1917-02 Awarded Distinguished Conduct Medal for gallantry in the assault on the villages of Le Barque and Ligny-Thilloy.
Date of recommendation honour or award 1917-03-01
Date of honour or award 1917-04-08 - 1917-04-15 Awarded Victoria Cross for action at West of Boursies and Lagnicourt, France whilst serving with 12 Battalion, 3 Brigade, 1 Division as a Sergeant.
Date of recommendation honour or award 1917-04-24
Date wounded 1918-03
Date of recommendation honour or award 1918-04-29
Date wounded 1918-07
Date of discharge 1918-12-15
Date of death 1946-03-02