The AIF Project


Regimental number4858
Place of birthWishall Scotland
ReligionRoman Catholic
Address6 Fitzroy Street, Marrickville, New South Wales
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation27
Next of kinFather, J Semple, Craigleith Cottage, Craigleith, Eden, Scotland
Enlistment date23 August 1915
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name1st Battalion, 15th Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/18/4
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Sydney, New South Wales, on board HMAT A15 Star Of England on 8 March 1916
Rank from Nominal RollSapper
Unit from Nominal Roll5th Divisional Signal Company
FateReturned to Australia

Military Medal

'For courage and devotion to duty. They [608 J.P. O'CONNELL, 4858 J. SEMPLE] are members of No. 3 Section of this Company attached to 14th Australian Infantry Brigade. During successful operations forward of HEILLY on night of 28th/29th July 1918, they performed excellent work under heavy fire from the enemy, in establishing and maintaining telephone communications in the forward area. From 7 a.m. until 10 p.m. on the 28th July the worked consistently and hard in establishing communications, and from 12.30 a.m. until 6 a.m. on the 29th July in maintaining same. They were responsible for the lines to the Advanced Brigade position and the flanks, and during the latter period mentioned, bravely carried out their duties under heavy enemy artillery fire. When our offensive action had ceased, Sapper O'CONNELL did remarkable work and controlled the linesmen forward of Battalions. He was greatly assisted by Sapper SEMPLE. It was largely due to the bravery and devotion to duty of these men that almost continuous communication was maintained throughout the operations and subsequently that normal communications were established.'
Source: 'Commonwealth Gazette' No. 36
Date: 14 March 1919

Other details

War service: Western Front

Medals: Military Medal, British War Medal, Victory Medal
Date of death24 August 1953
Place of burialWoronora Crematorium

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