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Page history last edited by Lenore Frost 6 years, 1 month ago

Volunteers of Essendon and Flemington, 1914-1918


From The Weekly Times, 6 July 1918.


Thompson J G   Driver    5402    John Garfield             1 Div Train    22    Confectioner    Single    Meth       

Address:    Ascot Vale, The Parade, 90   

Next of Kin:    Thompson, I, Mrs, mother, 90 The Parade, Ascot Vale   

Enlisted:    19 Dec 1914       

Embarked:     A54 Runic 12 Feb 1915   

Awards: Military Medal


Date of Death:   24/04/1918  Corporal

CWGC:  "Son of John and Isabel Sarah Phillippa Thompson, of 90, The Parade, Ascot Vale,

Victoria, Australia. Born Melbourne, Victoria".



How an enemy aviator who had been causing anxiety was brought down by
a machine-gunner is related in a letter from No. 5402, Corporal T. G. Thomp
son, M.M., of the Machine Gun Section, 52nd Battalion. This letter, dated

April 11, is the last written by the brave soldier, who was killed on April 24,

after three and a half years of active service. In November, 1914, he enlisted

in New South Wales in the Army Service Corps. His father, Mr J. Thompson,
lives at 90 The Parade, Ascot Vale.


"I find great pleasure in being able to write to you," says Corporal Thompson.

"We have been having a trying time. For a start, we were rushed off 100 miles

or so in motor waggons, and then after a halt of 24 hours, the staff discovered

we were wanted more urgently somewhere else. Well, of course, we were off

again, marching this time. We marched about 27 miles in 14 hours, and went

straight into the line. We were dog tired, but did not mind, for the occasion

demanded it, because things were and still are serious. For a week or so we

had a fair spin in reserve, but then it came our turn for the front line. We were

there for two days, and everything was as quiet as over it was. I was in charge
of a fighting post, with eight men and a machine-gun. Just as day was
breaking on the third day the chap whom I had on observing said to me,
'Corp, come here, and have a look at these Germans. I saw three Fritzs
sneaking toward our lines. They were in full lighting order, and I knew that
there were thousands of them under the excellent cover on the opposite side
of us.

"1 gave the order to 'Stand to,' and started operations. I was shooting
with the gun for about two hours without a stop. About midday a
hostile aeroplane came hovering over my post, and it was very ugly for us
to be seen, for we would be bombed or machine-gunned by them in the plane,
so I told my men to keep well down. The blessed machine would not go
away, it stayed there for a full half hour, and I got fed up with it, and
decided to fire upon it, and risk all. I waited until I had a favorable chance,
and took it. He was about 100 yards away, and about the same distance in
the air when I opened fire. After firing about 20 rounds in a burst of fire
the machine burst into flames and fell to earth. You may imagine my

excitement, and the boys I had nearly went mad with joy. I did not have
a single casualty among my men.


"At about 3 in the afternoon I heard someone at my rear bellowing
out my name, and I looked and saw my officer there. He said, 'For God's
sake, Thompson, withdraw from that position. Just on your left the

Germans have broken through, and are advancing in fours and in waves of
ten.' I retired for about 100 yards, and found the company, for I was
much in advance of them. True enough, the enemy were coming in
heaps, and were coming toward, us at the run. I opened fire, and also
rounded about 20 more men up, and in all I had seven machine guns.
After about three hours' fighting of the most desperate character I have
been in, the enemy broke and ran away, our chaps in hot pursuit. We
regained our position in its entirety, and fought a good ten-to-one battle,
and had a win in, I suppose, the most hotly-contested battle the

Australian troops have been engaged in.

"We suffered severely in places, but I say that for every man we lost
tho enemy lost 20, and no troops could have fought better than our
fellows of the 4th Division. We had the best troops in the German army
against us, and they had a majority of 15 to 1, and we beat them easily.
So, hurrah for Australia and the gallant boys who gave the Huns such a
devil of a hiding! I was again recommended, and I expect I shall get an
other Military Medal or some other such token."

HUN MACHINE IN FLAMES (1918, September 2). The Herald

(Melbourne, Vic. : 1861 - 1954), p. 3. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article242724183


War Service Commemorated

Ascot Vale Methodists* MM 

Moonee Ponds West State School

Regimental Register 

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