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.

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Rolls and Awards

  • Rank: Private
  • Unit: 2nd Tasmanian Imperial Bushmen
  • Conflict: South Africa, 1899-1902 (Boer War)
  • Rank: Private
  • Date of embarkation: 27 October 1915
  • Place of embarkation: Melbourne
  • Recommended for: Victoria Cross
  • Unit: 12th Australian Infantry Battalion
  • Conflict: First World War, 1914-1918
  • Recommended for: Victoria Cross
  • Unit: 12th Australian Infantry Battalion
  • Conflict: First World War, 1914-1918
  • Unit: 12th Australian Infantry Battalion
  • Conflict: First World War, 1914-1918
  • Recommended for: Distinguished Conduct Medal
  • Unit: 12th Australian Infantry Battalion
  • Conflict: First World War, 1914-1918
  • Awarded: Victoria Cross
  • Unit: 12th Australian Infantry Battalion
  • Conflict: First World War, 1914-1918
  • Awarded: Distinguished Conduct Medal
  • Unit: 12th Australian Infantry Battalion
  • Conflict: First World War, 1914-1918

Photograph

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