|Place of birth||Dudley, Newcastle, New South Wales|
|School||Abermain Public School, New South Wales|
|Address||Meath, New South Wales|
|Age at embarkation||18|
|Next of kin||Mother, Mrs Margaret purcell, Meath PO, via West Maitland, New South Wales|
|Previous military service||Served for 3 years in the Senior Cadets, Area 14B.|
|Place of enlistment||West Maitland, New South Wales|
|Rank on enlistment||Private|
|Unit name||31st Battalion, 3rd Reinforcement|
|AWM Embarkation Roll number||23/48/3|
|Embarkation details||Unit embarked from Melbourne, Victoria, on board HMAT A70 Ballarat on
|Rank from Nominal Roll||Private|
|Unit from Nominal Roll||31st Battalion|
|Fate||Killed in Action
|Age at death from cemetery records||17|
|Place of burial||Anzac Cemetery (Plot I, Row D, Grave No. 7), Sailly-Sur-La-Lys, France|
|Panel number, Roll of Honour,|
Australian War Memorial
|Miscellaneous information from|
|Parents: Adam and Margaret PURCELL, Neath, New South Wales. Native of Dudley, New South Wales|
|Family/military connections||Brother:  Lt James Adam PURCELL MC, 35th Bn, returned to Australia, 1 November 1919.|
War service: Egypt, Western Front
Embarked Melbourne, 18 February 1916; disembarked Suez, 23 March 1916.
Taken on strength of 31st Bn, Duntroon Plateau, 1 April 1916.
Embarked Alexandria to join the British Expeditionary Force, 16 June 1916; disembarked Marseilles, France, 23 June 1916.
Killed in action, 19 July 1916.
Buried New Cemetery, Sailly-sur-La-Lys by Reverend W. Meredith Holliday, 20 July 1916.
Statement, Red Cross File No 2220110, 527 Pte A.H. MARSHMAN, B Company, 31st Bn (patient, 1st Southern General Hospital, Bournbrook, Birmingham, England), 25 July 1916: 'On 19th July 1916 at Fleurbaix, nr. Armentieres, just previous to the attack by the Australians, J.W. Purcell was severely wounded in the head and neck. I tried to render first aid but was immediately afterwards badly wounded in my left arm. I managed to get out of the trench which was in the shallow, and reached the first Field Station. I told them that Purcell was left, but the attack was made almost at once and I am afraid Purcell was left in the trench. He appeared to be in a terrible condition and I fear he may have been left behind to die.'
Second statement, 2125 Pte C. CLARKE, D Company, 31st Bn (patient, 1st Southern General Hospital, Dudley Road, Birmingham, England), 18 December 1916: 'Informant states that on the 19th July at Fruemelles (sic) Fleurbaix Purcell was shot through the neck privious (sic) to an advance and was buried outside at Sailly. I was informed of this by Purcell's friend Freddie Matchett who showed me the grave with the man's name upon it.'Medals: British War Medal, Victory Medal
|Sources||NAA: B2455, PURCELL John William
Red Cross file 2220110