No.3727 Gunner James David McIntosh
James David McIntosh was born in Little River, Victoria, the son of Duncan and Ellen McIntosh. He was one of nine children, and their only son. James's mother died when he was just 8 years old. His father died in 1910, when he was 31. His sister Sarah Helen (Sadie) McIntosh also served as a nurse in the Great War.
James was 38, single and living in Little River as a farmer when he enlisted in Melbourne on 11 May 1917. He gave his next of kin as his sister Helen, of St Kilda. He was described as being 5 foot 9 ½ inches tall (176.5 cm), 159 lbs (72 kilograms) with blue eyes and brown hair. He enlisted as a Private.
Private McIntosh was allocated to the 4th Light Horse Regiment, 29th Reinforcements. He left Sydney as a Trooper on 8 August on board HMAT A68 Anchises and disembarked in Liverpool, England on 2 October. From there, he was sent to Larkhill Camp on the Salisbury Plains for training.
On 30 November 1917, James left England bound for the Western Front via Rouelles, France. Once in France, he was transferred to the 4th Field Artillery Brigade as a Gunner. The brigade badly needed reinforcements at that point, following months fighting at the Ypres Front. During the previous two months, the brigade had suffered its heaviest casualties of the war and was in the process of reorganisation, reinforcement and training.
When the Germans began their Spring Offensive in March 1918, James's brigade supported the Australia Corps as it attempted to stop the rapid advance of the German forces. When the Germans broke through to Villers-Brettoneux the following month, the 4th Brigade moved to the Somme. In August, when the Australian offensive began, the brigade supported the infantry of the Australian Corps as it moved through Peronne, Mont St Quentin, Bullecourt and the Hindenburg Line. On 18 October, exhausted from fighting and illness, the 4th was relieved. The troops were in Peronne on 11 November when they received news of the Armistice.
In May 1919 James returned to England. On 4 July 1919, he left England, disembarking back in Australia on 8 August. He was discharged from the Army on 17 September 1919.
Back in Little River, James returned to his life as a farmer. He lived there until the early 1940s, when he moved to Werribee. In 1942, he was living at 100 Watton Street, Werribee and working as an overseer (supervisor).
James does not appear to have married or had children. He died in hospital in Werribee on 25 October 1945, aged 66.
The Argus (Melbourne), 26 October 1945, p.2.
His funeral service was held at St Andrew’s Church, Werribee, and he was buried in Rothwell Cemetery, Little River.
Medals and Entitlements:
- British War Medal
- Victory Medal
AIF Project, James David McIntosh
Australian War Memorial, 4th Australian Field Artillery Brigade
Wikipedia, 'Military history of Australia during World War 1'Family history searches through Ancestry.com
Military service record found through the National Archives of Australia Record Search.