No.5722 John Thomas Morrow
John Thomas (Thomas) Morrow was born on 12 September 1891 at Williamstown, Victoria, Australia.
His parents were John James Morrow and Anastasia Scarborough. They had four children:
- Bertie Morrow – 1890-1963
- John Thomas Morrow – 1891-1963
- Sarah Ann Morrow – 1893-1973 born in Newport
- Florence Isabella Morrow – 1908-1992 born in Werribee
He enlisted on 5 February 1916 at Melbourne, Victoria.
He was sent to the Broadmeadows Camp for initial training from 28 March til 27 April 1916, part of which was spent with 'A' Company of the 22nd Battalion at Royal Park.
On 28 April 1916, he joined the 7th Battalion, 18th Reinforcement at Broadmeadows. The unit embarked from Melbourne, Victoria, on board HMAT A33 Ayrshire on 3 July 1916, disembarking at Plymouth on 2 September 1916
On 15 September 1916, he marched in from overseas to the 2nd Training Battalion, Perham Down, England.
After three months training he proceeded overseas to France on 21 December 1916 per SS Princess Clementine from Folkestone. On 1 January 1917, he again joined the 7th Battalion, 18th Reinforcement.
On 21 August 1917, he was attached to 6th Battalion as a Bandsman, and on 26 September 1917 he rejoined his unit ex detachment.
His service records have him being attached to the 6th Battalion as a bandsman, but there is no record of what instrument he played. While music as a form of entertainment was an important part of the war effort on the home front, less well-known is how important it was on the frontlines of battle. The Army valued it so highly it employed bandsmen, whose music galvanised troops into battle, marked solemn occasions like burials and offered entertainment during downtimes.
Bandsmen were trained soldiers expected to support their battalions in battle. They would become stretcher-bearers when their units were mobilised. Others carried food up to the trenches or took part in combat.
On 13 December 1917, he was attached for duty to 177th Tunnelling Company Royal Engineers, France.
The 177th Tunnelling Company was one of the tunnelling companies of the Royal Engineers created by the British Army during World War I. The tunnelling units were occupied in offensive and defensive mining involving the placing and maintaining of mines under enemy lines, as well as other underground work such as the construction of deep dugouts for troop accommodation, the digging of subways, cable trenches and underground chambers for signals and medical services.
He rejoined his unit ex detachment on 11 February 1918.
On 15 March 1918, he detached for duty as miner at 1st Australian Division Headquarters and on 29 March 1918 he rejoined his unit.
John was admitted to the 3rd Australian Field Ambulance on 29 June 1918, suffering influenza. He rejoined his unit on 30 July 1918.
He returned to Australia 12 May 1919 on board Hospital Transport Soudan and reached Melbourne on 29 June 1919. John was discharged on 21 August 1919 (Demobilisation).
John Thomas Morrow married Florence Anastasia Beamish, second daughter of Mr. and Mrs. John Beamish, of Rockleigh, Werribee in January 1926.
Werribee Shire Banner, 14 January 1926, p.5.
They had three children:
- Howard Morrow – 1927-2009
- Gordon Bruce Morrow – 1928-2010
- Kevin Thomas Morrow – 1935-2015
The Electoral Rolls have John and Florence living in Chirnside Avenue, Werribee.
John passed away on 28 January 1972 and his remains are at the Werribee Cemetery.
Medals and Entitlements:
- British War Medal
- Victory Medal