Just Another Pair Of Socks

Melton District ANZACS

James Joseph MCPHERSON


Born: 11 March, 1888

Birth registration: Victorian Births, Deaths & Marriages Registration No. 14486

Birthplace: Port Melbourne

Parents: Donald Murray McPherson (C1860 1896)
Eliza Mary Lyle or Lefiley

Died: 12 June, 1917

Cause: Killed In Action

Place of death: Messines, Belgium

Burial place: Unknown

Awards and Honours

  • 1914-1915 Star
  • British War Medal 1914-20
  • Victory Medal
  • 1914-1918 Memorial Plaque


13 Reinforcements, 14th Infantry BattalionC Company, 46th Battalion, AIF



Regimental Service Number: Officer- Z 1203

Enlistment date: 3 April, 1915 Melbourne

Age at enlistment: 26 years 11 months

Address at enlistment: Alverton, Wanda Grove & Hughendon Roads, East St. Kilda, the home of parents-in-law, Mr. & Mrs. William Newton Tripp.

Religion: Presbyterian

Marital Status: Married

Next of kin: Wife - Mrs. Ethel May McPherson (nee Tripp), Alverton, Watts and Hughendon Roads, East St. Kilda.

Physical Description: Height: 5 feet 8 inches
Weight: 11 stone 4 pounds
Complexion: Fair
Eyes: Blue
Hair: Fair
Distinctive marks:

Embarkation ship: HMAT A64 Demosthenes.

Rank: Captain

War Service Summary

16/05/1915 - Officer school Broadmeadows; 2nd Lieutenant
26/07/1915 - At Randwick
18/11/1915 - Married Ethel May Tripp at St. Georges Church, East St. Kilda
29/12/1915 - Proceeded overseas aboard HMAT A64 Demosthenes
12/03/1916 - Promoted Lieutenant; Tel-el-Kebir
02/06/1916 - Proceeded from Alexandria to aboard Kinsfauns Castle.
08/06/1916 - Disembarked at Marseilles
20/08/1916 - Promoted to Captain in the field
14/11/1916 - Wounded In Action; Gurudicourt, Belgium; Taken to 1st Anzac Main Dressing Station; Gun Shot Wound to the face, top jaw and back. Enters through left nostril, exit through hard palate, front teeth carried away and tongue wounded. Small sequestrum removed from upper jaw.
15/11/1916 - Transferred to 38th Casualty Clearing Station
16/11/1916 - Admitted No. 2 British Red Cross Hospital
18/11/1916 - Embarked for England aboard H.S. Carisbrook Castle from Harve
20/11/1916 - Admitted to 3rd London General Hospital.
29/11/1916 - Hospital report stated that he is not disfigured at all - doing very well is going out several teeth were knocked out. Red Cross Report
Spends a few months recuperating.
23/01/1917 - Transferred to Cobham Hall. Wounds healed, plate holding the whole front teeth of upper jaw, feels well, appetite good, but medical officer thinks he is suffering from shell shock.
14/02/1917 - Placed on Supernumerary list of Officers of the 46th - Battalion
12/03/1917 - Discharged to Perham Downs
20/03/1917 - Marched out to No. 1 Command Depot
19/04/1917 - Proceeds overseas to Etaples, France from Tiddworth
21/04/1917 - Marched in to 4th Australian Divisional base Depot
24/04/1917 - Rejoined 46th Battalion

12/06/1917 - Killed In Action: Messines, Belgium;
Hit by a shell.

War Service Commemerated

Killed in action.

Date: 12 June, 1917

12/06/1917 - Killed In Action: Messines, Belgium;
Hit by a shell.
From Red Cross Report:
“Ordered men into trench called the Black Line when battalion was coming out for support. He was buried close by at a point 200 yards to the right of Messines. The grave was marked.” Capt. W.A. Syme
“Wounded in abdomen & arm, taken to dressing station and died almost immediately. Rumour that he was hit again while on stretcher, but stretcher bearers say this is wrong.” Captain P.W. Simpson
“He was hit in the body by a piece shrapnel. I was acting as stretcher bearer and I helped to dress his wounds. He was hit again whilst he was being carried away on a stretcher and killed.” E.L. Lorenge (1874) Charles Neville Saunders
“He was wounded at Messines and was being taken to the Dressing Station when a shell caught him killing him instantly. I did not see him killed and cannot say where he was buried.” Pte. J. Diamond, 2289, not Melton’s John Diamond Service No. 689 .

Red Cross report contains may statement saying he was a popular Company Commander who had the support of his men.

16/08/1917 "He was a friend of mine and I knew his people well at Melton. Victoria, and I wrote to his aunt and the town all about him. He was O.C. of my Coy, (C Coy) His aunt is Mrs. McPherson." Witness: Pte. Matheson 46th Bttn, G Southall.

Burial location. Taken to battalion dressing station, Gooseberry Farm; “buried … Rowlands … The map reference is Ploeg street map V3C88” (Red Cross Records) but by 1922 the remains had not been found and identified.

Memorial: Menin Gate Memorial, Ypres, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium

James Joseph McPherson's name is located at panel 142 in the Commemorative Area at the Australian War Memorial

Goods sent home:
Wallet, scissors, Cigarette case and:
One Kitbag (sealed) – 1 sleeping bag, portion of safety razor, badges, regulation colours, 1 ink well, 5 razors, 1 pair of scissors, 1 housewife, 1 pair spurs, 1 treatment, nail clippers, 10 handkerchiefs, 4 collars, 1 tie, 1 rain coat, 1 great coat, 1 cap, 1 pair leggings, 1 “Sam Browne” belt, 2 pair gloves, 2 pair gloves, 1 scarf, 1 woollen cap, 1 pair hamper straps, sleeping bag straps, 1 pair slacks, 1 pair breeches, 1 drill tunic, 1 brush
One tin trunk (sealed) – military textbooks, Notebooks, negatives, 1 identity disc, semaphore signalling cards, 1 razor, 1 pocket book, snaps, 1 wallet, 5 shirts, 1 pipe, postcards, field glasses in case, 4 pair socks, 7 collars, 2 ties, 1 camera, 1 drill tunic, 1 S.D. tunic, 1 pair S.D. slacks, 1 pair white kid gloves, 1 scarf, 1 pair white slacks, 4 pair underpants, 1 singlet, 1 helmet, 2 pair drill shorts, 1 pugaree, 2 handkerchiefs, 1 pair mittens, 1 suit case, 1 hair brush, 1 kit bag containing – military textbooks, notebooks, postcards, 1 tobacco pouch, playing cards, 1 pyjama suit, 9 pair socks, 1 leather vest, 1 pair underpants, 1 pair clippers, stars, badges, souvenirs, 2 housewives, 1 pipe, 3 collars, 1 tie, regimental colours, 1 compass, 1 pair scissors, 1 cap, 1 towel.

Additional Information

Clerk 1914
Names of wife and children:
18/11/1915 - Married Ethel May Tripp at St. Georges Church, East St. Kilda Reg. # 11452

Educated: Melbourne High School / School

Place/s of residence:
42 Byron St., St Kilda, also at residence, Emily May, furrier & Eliza Mary, home duties (1914 Electoral Roll)

Family Information:
Father: Donald Murray McPherson (C1860 1896) Mother: Eliza Mary Lyle, who lived at 42 Byron St., St. Kilda in 1916.
Donald was the eldest son of Mrs McPherson, Kirkton, Melton, so James is her grandson.
19/08/1896 - Donald, an engine driver for Victorian Railways for 19 years lived at Port Melbourne with his wife and 4 children, was thought to have committed suicide by jumping in front of a train. His inquest determined that it was accidental death due to poor eyesight leading to a misjudgement of the trains location. His wife testified that he had eye trouble and everyone reported that he had no problems. (Footscray Independent, 22/08/1896)
Donald & Eliza had four children: May, Mary, Mrs. Edward Gowers & James (See: Death notices Argus)

Melton Express
30 June 1917, p. 2
Captain McPherson, who was killed in action in France on 12th inst., was a grandson of Mrs. MacPherson, sen., of Melton. He was only 29 years of age, and had been on service for 18 months.

Melton Express
Saturday 30 June 1917, P 2

On Active Service.
McPHERSON. - Killed in Action in France, on 12th June, Captain James Joseph McPherson, the dearly loved husband of Ethel McPherson, "Alverton," Hughenden road, East St. Kilda, and dearly loved only son of Lyle and the late Donald Murray McPherson, of St. Kilda. After eighteen months' Active Service.
Aged 29 years.
He died as he lived - a man.

Melton Express
Saturday, 17 June 1916, P 2

Roll of Honor unveiled at Melton
State School, containing the 34 names of old pupils:--J. Minns, Jas. McPherson, John McPherson, T..J. Lang. H. Lang, W. Dodemaide, W. Whiteside, F. Coburn, C. Moulsdale, E. Moulsdale, R. Pratt, D. Pratt, M. Pratt, S. Skinner, L. Norton, T. O'Callaghan, S. O'Callaghan, J. O'Callaghan, W. Black, H. Black, S. Wilson, E. Carew, J. McNulty, W. Wade, A. Cantlon, J. Neal, F. Neal, K. Neal, F. Byrnes, J. Ryan, F. Ryan, C. Ryan, P. Williams, F. Chalmer.


Australian War Memorial
Service Record