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John Woods Whittle
Birth: Aug. 3, 1883
Tasmania, Australia
Death: Mar. 2, 1946
New South Wales, Australia

World War I Victoria Cross Recipient. At age 18 Whittle enlisted as a private in the 4th (2nd Imperial Bushmen) Tasmanian Contingent and served in the South African War for twelve months before returning home in June 1902. He then served five years as a stoker in the Royal Navy before joining the permanent forces of the Australian Military Forces. On July 23, 1909 in Hobart, he married with Catholic rites Emily Margaret Roland. On August 6, 1915 Whittle joined the Australian Imperial Force as a private, was allotted service number 2902 and posted as reinforcement for the 26th Australian Infantry Battalion. After arrival in Egypt he joined the 12th Australian Infantry Battalion and arrived in France with his unit in April 1916. He was wounded in action on June 18 and promoted sergeant in October. In February 1917 when the German withdrawal to a new defensive line, the Hindenburg line, began the 12th Battalion attacked the outpost villages of Le Barque and Ligny-Thilloy. Whittle bombed an enemy machine-gun post, forced the Germans to flee and was awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal. On April 9 the 12th Battalion attacked the village of Boursies and Whittle led his platoon in the initial assault. When the Germans counter-attacked Whittle checked and steadied the forward posts until reinforcements came forward and regained lost ground. Six days later at Lagnicourt on 15 April during a surprise counter-attack, Whittle rushed alone across the fire-swept ground attacking an enemy machine gun crew moving forward. Using grenades he killed the crew and captured the gun. He was awarded the Victoria Cross for his heroism at Boursies and Lagnicourt. He was wounded twice in 1918 and in August he joined a number of Australian Victoria Cross recipients who were being sent home to Australia for leave to help in recruiting. He was one of 10 Australian Victoria Cross recipients who sailed on HMAT Medic that reached Melbourne in October. Four weeks later the Armistice was signed and he was discharged on December 15. He lived in Sydney after the war and on February 7, 1934 he saved a small boy from drowning and though he departed without giving his name, the deed became widely known. At his death he was survived by his wife and four of their six children. (bio by: Anthony Staunton) 
Family links: 
  Ivan Ernest Whittle (1923 - 1943)*
*Calculated relationship
Rookwood Necropolis
New South Wales, Australia
Maintained by: Find A Grave
Record added: Apr 21, 2005
Find A Grave Memorial# 10828653
John Woods Whittle
Added by: Anthony Staunton
John Woods Whittle
Added by: Iain MacFarlaine
John Woods Whittle
Added by: Iain MacFarlaine
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