Lieutenant, 37th Battalion Australian Infantry.

Died 12th August 1918 aged 27.

Buried at Heath Cemetery, France.

Former student of arts.


John was the son of Reverand Samuel and Sarah Hall Kershaw of the Moravian Church, Fairfield. He was born in 1891 at Belfast, educated at Fulneck School, Leeds and entered Manchester University in 1908. When war broke out he was farming at Carron Downs, Melbourne, Australia. On 15th June 1915 he enlisted with B Company 37th Battalion Australian Imperial Force. His service record is very detailed. It notes that he spent 1 year in the University Officer Training Corps. He took his oath of service on 21st June 1915. He was 24 years and 5 months old, 5ft 6.5 inches tall and weighed 10 stones with a chest measurement of 33/35 inches. His complexion was noted as fair with brown eyes and dark brown hair. He had two vaccination marks on his left arm and 8 or 9 teeth missing from his top jaw.

From 5th July 1918 until 11th March 1916 John was at a training depot. On 3rd June 1916 he embarked on Perisc, and disembarked in Plymouth on 25th July. He was promoted to lance sergeant on 30th June 1916 and to sergeant on 20th August 1916. He proceeded to France on 22nd November 1916. He was sick in hospital for 3 days in February 1917 with myaglia. In April 1917 he went to an Officer Cadet Battalion in Oxford and was appointed a 2nd lieutenant on 1st August 1917 and returned to france on 15th August 1917. He reported sick with gastric pains and vomiting on 3rd September 1917. Five days later he was in hospital in London where he remained until 4th December being treated for suspected appendicitis which was later determined to be a duodenal ulcer. He was promoted on 1st December 1917 to lieutenant.

John returned to France in early February 1918. On 12th August 1918 he was in charge of No. 16 platoon D company, 37th battalion at Proyart in France. At about 2pm he was instructed to gain a footing on a railway line east of Froyart on the Somme. The enemy held the railway and the river beyond it. While on a reconnoitre of the area he was struck in the neck by a machine gun bullet. Death was instantaneous and painless. He was mentioned in despatches on 8th November 1918. Originally buried at Vaire Wood Cemetery he was later moved to Heath Cemetary.


He was mentioned in despatches and killed at Proyart in August 1918.

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