JOHN OULD 1895–1916
Born 11th August 1895 in Radford, Nottingham
Died of wounds 8th August 1916, France, following battle of Pozières at the Somme
Buried Boulogne Eastern Cemetery VIII. B. 126
Commemorated on Radcliffe on Trent War Memorial. Also commemorated on (Panel) 102 in the Commemorative Area at the Australian War Memorial, Treloar Crescent, Campbell ACT 2612, Australia
Brother of Charles Ould
Age 5 living in Bermondsey, London with father Richard, age 32, leather finisher, mother Catherine (maiden name Hull), age 26, born in Radcliffe on Trent and his sisters Margaret 6, Ellen 2 and a visitor Alice Hull, Catherine’s sister, who was born in Radcliffe on Trent. Alice, age 22, was a ‘mental nurse’. The family were living next door to William Ould, age 57, and his family.
Age 15 living on Bingham Road, Radcliffe on Trent, with mother Catherine, charwoman (housework) and his sisters Margaret 16, Ellen 12, brothers Charles 9 and Richard 7. He is employed as a printer at Edmund Wright’s, Bailey Lane. Catherine is recorded as wife not head of the family.
1913 UK Outward Passenger lists:
Age 17, emigrated to Australia on 29th July 1913 on the ship Port Lincoln, Milburn steamship line, from London, Tilbury to Melbourne.
Service Number: 479
Military Unit: B Coy, 24th Battalion Australian Infantry, 6th Brigade, 2nd Division, Australian Imperial Force
Theatres of War: Balkans (Gallipoli); Egypt – date of entry 10.1.16; France and Flanders – date of entry 26.3.16
John Ould was initially in the 31st AIF. He later joined the 24th AIF and fought with them at the battle of Pozières, Mouquet Farm, the Somme, where he was fatally wounded.
Enlisted: 22nd March 1915 in Melbourne, Australia
Age 21 years 5 months (according to his birth date he was 19 years 7 months old)
Occupation: farm hand
Height 5 feet 8¾ inches, weight 11 stone 0lbs, chest 35½ inches, complexion medium, eyes brown, hair brown; religion C of E
Next of kin: Mrs Catherine Ould, Radcliffe on Trent, Nottingham, England
From 22.3.15 to 28.4.15 Depot; B Coy 24th Batt.
30.8.15: Proceeded to join Mediterranean Expeditionary Force, Gallipoli Peninsula
6.11.15: Promoted temporary Corporal
30.11.15: Promoted temporary Sergeant
8.12.15: Promoted Sergeant; place Canal zone
10.1.16: Disembarked ex Mudros at Alexandria
20.3.16: Proceeded to join British Expeditionary Force, Alexandria
26.3.16: Disembarked at Marseilles
Took part in raid on enemy’s trenches on the night of 29/30.6.16, France
5.8.16: Wounded in action GSW (gunshot wound) thigh. Evacuated to Hospital from 3rd Casualty Clearing Station at Puchevillers, Somme.
7.8.16: Admitted to Base Hospital GSW thigh
7.8.16: Admitted No.13 General Hospital, Boulogne GSW thigh
8.8.16 (4.45 pm): Died of wounds in No.13 General Hospital, Boulogne, age 20
Details of death
Died three days before his 21st birthday.
The Australian Red Cross files state in a letter dated Boulogne 2 Jan. 1917 that he ‘Was admitted to No.13 Gen. Hosp. in a moribund condition with severe gas infection on 8th Aug. and died on the same day. He had G.S.W. (Gun shot wound) with compound fracture of femur. Gas gangrene set in. The sister who was then in charge has been moved so that we cannot now get more details’.
He was buried on 10 August in Boulogne Eastern cemetery. Grave no. B689/371.
Personal effects received by Mrs Ould on 25 February 1917:
3rd Echelon No. 5192: Metal wrist watch (damaged), metal wrist watch strap, wallet, letters, neck tie.3rd Echelon No.5188: Metal wrist watch & strap, knife, letters, 2 notebooks.
According to the Particulars form completed by his mother Catherine for the Roll of Honour of the Australian War Museum, he had his 18th birthday on the water going to Australia. On the Particulars form his mother also states that ‘Pte Charles Paine was my son’s friend. They went to school together, worked together, went to Australia together, joined the AIF together and practically died together. C. Paine was killed on Aug 6/16. My son was wounded and died 2 days later’. Mrs Ould was living on Bingham Road, Radcliffe on Trent at the time this form was completed. Mrs Paine, Charles Paine’s mother, was living in Dunstable, Bedfordshire. Charles Paine was killed on 5th August, the same day that John Ould was wounded (not the 6th as John’s mother believed).
The 6th Brigade, Australian Imperial Force consisted of 4 infantry battalions: 21st, 22nd, 23rd and 24th. The following excerpt from the War diary for the 6th Brigade tells the story of how all four battalions were deployed on the day that John Ould was wounded.
From the War Diaries of the 6th Infantry Brigade, Australian Imperial Force, August 1916 (www.awm.gov.au):
Aug 5th Pozières
Fine weather. Germans counter-attacked our new position along whole front at 5 am. Attack repulsed with heavy losses. New lines held by 22nd & 23rd Bns subjected to severe bombardment by large calibre H.E. 3 machine guns and about 150 prisoners captured during 4/5 Aug. Work of consolidating proceeded but men much shaken. 5th Aust Inf Bde on the right of divisional front relieved by 12th Aust Inf Bde. 7th Aust Inf Bde on our right and 36th Bde on left. 15th Bn, 4th Bde attached to Bde and moved to relieve 22nd Bn whose place in front line was taken over by 24th Bn. Relief completed at 5 am.
Killed 5 Officers 57 Other Ranks
Wounded 12 Officers 373 Other Ranks
Missing 2 Officers 49 Other Ranks
The War diary of the 24th Battalion, AIF (that of John Ould) gives details of movements and casualties for his battalion for the same period (www.awm.gov.au):
Aug 4th Map Ref Mouquet Farm 1/5000
6 p.m. Bn moved to Pozières Trenches. A Comp occupying trench R34 a 22 – R34 c 75. D Comp occupying R34 c 75 – 58 as reinforcements to 22 Bn in this attack on OG1, OG2. B Comp x4…98 – R34 c 51. C Comp 34 c 44-22 in reserve. A + D Comps went to assistance of 22 Bn and formed part of the garrison of OG1. Lt John Ross Clark killed.
Aug 5th Pozières
5 a.m. A Comp returned from OG1 to ‘jump off’ trench R34 a 22 to R34 c 75. D Comp returned to rest gully, Sausage Valley. 2nd Lt Frank Reginald Hays killed in action. 2nd Lt Hays recommended for gallantry on morning of 5.8.16.
6 p.m. B Comp relieved 22nd Bn in OG2 S9 34 b 12 to 34 a 69. 7 Bde on right, left flank exposed. A Comp relieved 22nd Bn in OG2 S9 34 a 91 to 34 a 77. 7 Bde on right, left flank exposed. Measures taken by means of blocks to guard left flanks. C Comp in trenches 34 c 44 to 34 c 80. Heavy shelling by enemy.
At daybreak enemy noticed in numbers and scattered parties from 300 to 700 yds to our front. Enemy scattered by Lewis Machine Gun & rifle fire. Enemy seen limbering up artillery and taking it away. Enemy appears to be in confusion. One German walked unknowingly towards our trenches. He was shot when attempting to move back. Heavy shelling by H.E. and shrapnel from Courcelette. Enemy gun firing H.E. shrapnel from a position 28 d 58.
12(?) p.m. Bn relieved by 15 Bn. Bn moved to Tara Hill for bivouac.
Casualties from 4th to 6th August: 2 Officers killed, 27 Other Ranks killed, 121 Other Ranks wounded, 79 missing.
Medals awarded: 1914-15 Star, British War and Victory
Mrs Ould received a War pension of 20 shillings p.f. (per fortnight?) (£1) from 16.8.17, to be reviewed on 11.10.17. This was renewed on 11.10.17, to be reviewed again on 10.10.18. (no further information available).
John Ould’s cousin, Joseph William Hull, was also killed in WWI. Catherine Ould’s brother, William Hull, was Joseph’s father.
John’s memorial plaque and scroll were sent to his mother in 1922.
‘OULD. In ever loving memory of my dear son, Sergeant J. Ould, Australians, died of wounds August 8th, 1916, age 20. Ever in our thoughts. Silently mourned, sadly missed. – Loving mother, sisters, and brothers.’
‘OULD. – In proud and loving memory of my dear brother, Sergeant John Ould, Australians, died of wounds August 8th, 1916. Ever remembered. – His loving sister Maggie and Bert.’
From the Nottingham Evening Post, 8th August 1917.
Reasons for inclusion on the Radcliffe on Trent Roll of Honour
Lived and worked in Radcliffe on Trent