No. 1145 Private James Andrew Canny
James Canny was born at Werribee in 1894 to Thomas Michael Canny and Wihelamena Arandt. His siblings were:
- Daniel - born 1892
- Margaret - born 1895
- Catherine - born 1896
- Michael Thomas - born 1898
- Albert - born 1901
- Wina - born 1903
- Denis - born 1905
- Annie - born 1907
- Winifred - born 1909
James enlisted in the A.I.F. at Melbourne on 01 March 1916 as a Private, and was sent to “D” Company, 38th Battalion at Bendigo, for training. He was with them when they first deployed overseas.
The 38th Battalion were presented with the King’s and their own Regimental Colours at their camp at Campbell Field, Victoria, on 13 June 1916, prior to embarkation.
Private Canny embarked from Melbourne per HMAT Runic A54 on 20 June 1916 with the 10th Infantry Brigade, 38th Infantry Battalion, "D" Company. His voyage was not pleasant, as he was hospitalised on the ship for one week, suffering from measles. After a voyage of nearly two months he disembarked at Plymouth in England on 10 August 1916, and went to Lark Hill Camp on Salisbury Plains. The 38th Battalion, was part of the review of the 3rd Division of the A.I.F., by the King. This was held at Bulford Field, on 27 September, 1916.
On 26 August 1916, Private Canny was admitted to Bulford Military Hospital to be treated for V.D. He did not return to his Battalion until 15 October 1916, which meant that he was away for 51 days and for this he was fined five days pay.
The Battalion remained at the Lark Hill Camp until the 22 November 1916, when they embarked from Southampton to Havre in France. From there they moved to Strazelle, and arrived on 26 November 1916 and then, after two days of marching, they arrived at Armentiers, where they were billeted. The 38th Battalion released gas at the enemy in the Houplines area, near Armentiers, on 4 December 1916.
On the 16 January 1917, Private Canny was treated by the No.10 Australian Field Ambulance (A.F.A.) for Scabies. This would have possibly been due to the conditions in the field. He was discharged for duty on 14 February 1917, with his Battalion at Bois Grenier. (Bois Grenier is a village 3 kilometres south of Armentieres in France) After just three days he was readmitted to hospital.
On 17 February 1917, he was treated by the No 9 A.F.A. for scalding to his leg, and sent on to the D.R.S. He remained in hospital until being discharged to his unit on 25 March 1917. He survived in the field until 29 November 1917, when he was wounded.
The 38th Battalion had just relieved the 40th Battalion in the Warneton sector near Romarin in Belgium. He was first treated by No 2 A.C.C.S., and then No. 9 A.F.A. for gunshot wounds to his left foot, right thigh and shoulder. By 12 December 1917, he had been moved back to the No. 35 General Hospital at Calais, and on 20 December, he was admitted to the War Hospital at Norfolk in England. After treatment, he was transferred to the 1st Auxiliary Hospital at Harefield in England.
After recovering, Private Canny was granted leave between 9 and 25 February 1918, when he reported to No 2 Com. Depot at Weymouth in England. It was here that the decision was made that he would return to Australia for Discharge because of the gunshot wound to his left foot.
On 15 April 1918, he departed London per H.M.A.T. Marathon A74 for discharge in Australia, and disembarked on 12 June 1918. According to the Electoral Roll of 1919, he returned to live with his family at Exford.
At the Ordinary Meeting of the Werribee Shire Council on 24 June 1918, the appointment of supervisors for the spreading of metal on the roads in the various ridings was discussed. The Shire Engineer was instructed (on the motion of Cr M’Murray, and seconded by Cr Johnston) to interview ex-private Canny, with a view to his appointment to the position of North Riding Supervisor, if thought advisable.
Werribee Shire Banner, 27 June 1918, p.3.
He was presented Werribee Shire gold Medal in August 1918.
James Canny moved to the Swan Hill area in about 1924 and became a farmer. He married Elsie Myra Ward in 1930, and they farmed at Woorinen South in the Swan Hill District. He remained in the area, and died at Swan Hill in 1966 aged 73 years.
Medals & Entitlements:
- British War Medal
- Victory Medal
No previous Military experience prior to enlisting.
Not listed on the Werribee Cenotaph
Listed on the Werribee Shire Banner Honor Roll as Canny, J. A. Exford
Listed on the Council Honor Board as CANNY, J. A.
Federation Index Victoria 1889 – 1901 CD
Death Index Victoria 1921 – 1985 CD
Marriage Index Victoria 1921 – 1942 CD