Wyndham History

James Towe (1896-1916)


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Dublin Core



James Towe (1896-1916)



Wyndham City Libraries





World War One Veterans Item Type Metadata


James Towe

Birth Date


Service Number


Enlistment Date

Next of Kin

Joseph Towe

Address at time of Enlistment

Coronation Street, Footscray


Marital Status


Death Date

Place of Burial

V.C. Corner (Panel No 22), Australian Cemetery, Fromelles, France

Biographical Text

No. 3268 Private James Towe
James Towe was born in 1896 in Footscray Victoria to Joseph and Matilda Towe (nee Rock).  He had eight brothers:
  • Joseph Henry
  • John James
  • William Charles
  • Edward Albert
  • Robert George
  • Richard Daniel
  • Alan
  • Leslie Roy
He also had four sisters:
  • Sarah Matilda
  • Rose Violet Victoria
  • Emily Vera
  • Alice Ivy
[His brother Edward Albert also joined the army 22 October 1915 and was in the 9th Unit 24th Reinforcements]. Edward Albert married named Rose Parker from Cambridge England and returned to Australia after serving in the war for four years.

War Service
James enlisted into the Army at Melbourne, Victoria on 10 August 1915, without parental permission.  His father wrote refusing consent on 19 August 1915, and Towe was discharged without pay on 28 August 1915. He then re enlisted on the 9 September 1915 after receiving his father Joseph Towe’s approval. (Army records have this letter)

At the time of his second enlistment, James was 18 years and 11 months, he was 5 feet and eight inches tall.  James weighed 11 stone 7 pounds and had a chest measurement of thirty three to thirty six inches. His complexion was fresh, with blue eyes and light brown hair. His next of kin was listed as his father, Joseph Towe of Corornation Street, Footscray.  All of this was recorded at the time of his enlistment.

James was a Private in the 21st Battalion and was initially detached to School of Instruction, Zeitoun (date not recorded); rejoined Battalion, Duntroon Plateau, from detachment on 29 April 1916.  He embarked in Alexandria to join the British Expeditionary Force 18 June 1916, disembarking in Marseilles, France on 29 June 1916.  

James was killed in action 19 July 1916.  There is no known grave for James Towe, however there is a memorial for him at the V.C. Corner (Panel No 22), Australian Cemetery, Fromelles, France.

A small notice regarding his death in France, as well as a photograph, was published in the local press.
Independent (Footscray), 23 September 1916, p.2 

Medal and Entitlements:
[received by his father Joseph Towe]
Images of James Towe's medals can be viewed by clicking on the above links.


War Records

Family Records

Harvard/Australian citation
1916 'ROLL OF HONOR.', Independent (Footscray, Vic. : 1883 - 1922), 23 September, p. 2, viewed 14 May, 2014, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article74255336

Medals and Entitlements

1914-15 Star
British War Medal
Victory Medal


“James Towe (1896-1916),” Wyndham History, accessed December 4, 2023, http://wyndhamhistory.net.au/items/show/1685.


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