John Bates (1892-1915)Subject
No. 195 John Bates
When John Bate(s) was born in 1892 in Corio, near Geelong, Victoria, his father, George, was 30 and his mother, Isabella Galwey, was 29.
He had two brothers and three sisters:
- George Galway Bate (1888-1967)
- Charles Bate (1890-1910)
- Ethel Victoria Isabel Bates (1894-1977)
- Isabella Bate (1896-1977)
- Alison Ivy Bate (1899-1945)
John enlisted on 19 August 1914 at Geelong, Victoria. His brother George enlisted on 3 November 1917 in the Australian Flying Corps, October 1917 Reinforcements.
His unit was the 8th Battalion, B Company which embarked from Melbourne, Victoria, on board Transport A24 Benalla on 19 October 1914.
When the AIF left Australia in November 1914, they were originally destined for England, but with overcrowding and shortages of equipment, it was decided they would spend the winter in Egypt. The training conditions in Egypt were tough with many Australians embracing the challenging lifestyle of a soldier.
John embarked on the OC Troopship HMAT A46 Clan McGillivray from Alexandria to join the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force (MEF) Gallipoli Campaign on 5 April 1915.
From April 1915, Egypt was the Base of the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force, which was fighting on the Gallipoli Peninsula, trying to open the straits of the Dardanelles.
On 8 May 1915, the Australian 2nd Brigade (Victoria) - 5th, 6th, 7th and 8th Battalions - attacked Turkish positions at Krithia in the British area at Helles. The attack was unsuccessful.
Charles Bean wrote: “The stone houses of Krithia were still 2000 yards away, but in advancing 1000 yards the brigade, already reduced at Anzac to 2,900 men, lost in one short hour another 1,000.”
A Court of enquiry at Nieppe, France on 16 October 1915 and again on 22 April 1916 found that John Bates was Killed in Action at Cape Helles, Gallipoli Peninsula Turkey on 8 May 1915.
He died in 1915 in Gelibolu, Canakkale, Turkey, at the age of 23.
HELLES MEMORIAL Panel 203 to 206 or 332. [Son of George and Isabella Bates, of "Riverside," Little River, Victoria, Australia. Of Geelong, Victoria.] Id 698642
A letter was sent to George Bates on 12 September 1915 from Private H. Deller, Ballarat (No 1082 A Company, 8th battalion). “Just a few lines to certify that I saw your son, last on the Peninsula of Gallipoli on May 9th. This being the occasion when the second Brigade of Infantry (Victorian) charged in conjunction with the New Zealanders, British and French troops on the southern end of the Peninsula. When I saw him last he looked as though he had just been dead about 5 minutes. The place where the body was, was under such heavy fire that it made it impossible to make a thorough examination of the body………”
Medals and Entitlements:
- 1914/15 Star
- British War Medal
- Victory Medal
There is some confusion with the surname as some records have him listed as Bate and others as Bates.
Census records have most of the family members down as Bate in 1915-16 and have John listed as Bates.
Both Little River Honor Boards have John listed as Bates.
The Werribee Shire Banner article has them all listed as Bates.
National Archives of Australia
Australian Electoral Rolls