John Francis Phelan


Name    John Francis Phelan

Number    3894

Battalion      59th Battalion  

Place of Birth   Leongatha or Mt Eccles

Next of Kin   His father, John Francis Phelan of Kardella Road Korumburra

Date and place of enlistment   Leongatha 9/7/1915

Physical details on enlistment   Age 18 years 2 months, 5’4”, 9 stone, blue eyes and dark brown hair

Religion   Roman Catholic

Occupation   Farmer

Date and place of death

He was missing in action after the battle of Fleubaix or Fromelles on 19/7/1916. It was considered that he had been killed in action by a Court of Enquiry held on 17/9/1916.

Location of grave or memorial

He has no known grave and is remembered on the Memorial at V C Corner Fromelles.

Relationship to Woorayl Shire He had connection to the Mt Eccles area

Military History

  • He attended Mt Eccles and Korumburra State School
  • 9/7/15 He enlisted Leongatha
  • His father and mother gave permission for him to enlist (see page 6 of his file)
  • He had been a junior and senior cadet
  • He was originally in the 12th reinforcement 8th Battalion
  • 3/4/16 He was taken on strength to the 59th from the 2nd training battalion at Ferry Post
  • 9/4/16 He was sick with influenza
  • 9/4/16 He was ill and transferred to The 2nd Casualty Clearing Station 15th Field Ambulance at staging camp
  • 13/4/16 He was discharged to duty and taken on strength from hospital at Ferry Post
  • 10/5/16 He was reported AWL 0800 to 0915 on 7/5/16 at Duntoon Plateau and received one weeks fatigue duty.
  • 26/5/16 He was ill with parotitis
  • 29/5/16 He returned to his unit at Monscar
  • All above in Egypt
  • 18/6/16 He embarked Alexandria on the Kinfauns Castle
  • 29/6/16 He disembarked at Marseilles
  • 19/7/16 He was missing in action at Fromelles
  • 29/8/17 A Court of Enquiry declared he was killed in action on 19/7/16
  • He was presumed to be buried in a mass grave
  • On page 13 of his file is a training certificate from the cadets
  • On page 22 of his file there is a letter from Mrs. Phelan written on October 20th 1916. She stated that she received information from a soldier from Korumburra saying jack Phelan was slightly wounded and was in a hospital somewhere.
  • His mother is in Korumburra and his father in Eaglehawk
  • The YMCA look into his case
  • 2/10/17 Mr. Lloyd of YMCA committee Korumburra sent a letter which is on page 34 of the file.
  • A private Wilkinson said that Jack Phelan was suffering shell shock having been wounded in the arm and was in a hospital No 17 Hut Weymouth Hospital West Ham England. Mrs. Phelan sent a photo to Pt. Wilkinson and he recognized it as the former mate he had seen in Weymouth.
  • All this has made Mrs. Phelan very nervous and upset
  • 27/6/17 Mrs. Phelan received a letter stating that No 3894 Private Phelan is alive and well and serving in France
  • 17/9/17A Letter was received by his family stating that J Phelan was found to have been killed in action on 19/7/16.

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