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Local Heroes WW1

GAGE, John Richard Samuel

(Pte) John Richard Samuel Gage

Private John Richard Samuel Gage 27th Battalion, C Company of  Rosewater enlisted the day after his 18th birthday, on the 22nd February 1915. His face is that of a young boy and it is quite likely that the enlistment officer would have been concerned that he may have been attempting to over-state his age. His younger brother, Frederick William Gage did exactly that just one month later.

Regimental number 562
Religion Church of England
Occupation Farrier
Address William Street, Rosewater, South Australia
Marital status Single
Age at embarkation 18
Next of kin Father, John Gage, William Street, Rosewater, South Australia
Enlistment date 22-Feb-15
Date of enlistment from Nominal Roll 23-Feb-15
Rank on enlistment Private
Unit name 27th Battalion, C Company
AWM Embarkation Roll number 23/44/1
Embarkation details Unit embarked from Adelaide, South Australia, on board HMAT A2 Geelong on 31 May 1915
Regimental number from Nominal Roll 562A
Rank from Nominal Roll Private
Unit from Nominal Roll 2nd Machine Gun Battalion
Fate Returned to Australia 5 April 1919
Awards Medals 1914/15 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal, Gallipoli Medallion (1967)
War Service Gallipoli, Vignacourt 


John Gage enlisted the day after his 18th birthday, on the 22nd February 1915. His face is that of a young boy and it is quite likely that the enlistment officer would have been concerned that he may have been attempting to over-state his age. His younger brother, Frederick William Gage did exactly that just one month later.


John was assigned to C Company of the 27th Battalion which was then forming at Mitcham Camp. After basic training, he embarked with the main body of the Battalion on the HMAT Geelong A2 from Outer Harbour on 31 May 1915.


After disembarking and joining the rest of the Battalion in Egypt, John Gage landed with the 27th Battalion at Gallipoli, embarking from Alexandria on the 4th September 1915. The Battalion landed on and around the 15th September from Lemnos.


Like many other AIF men on the Gallipoli Peninsular at this time, he succumbed to disease. While many men suffered from Enteric Fever, in John Gage's case he was diagnosed with Cecitis, a severe intestinal inflammation, in October 1915 and was evacuated eventually to London. By the time he had recovered, the Battalion had withdrawn from Gallipoli, reconstituted in Egypt and embarked for France, where John Gage re-joined them in April 1916.


In July 1916 he was detached to the Brigade's 7th Machine Gun Company. It appears in the absence of any information to the contrary that he remained with the 7th MG Company until officially posted in November 1916. He was mustered as a driver due most likely to his background with horses. As a driver he would have been tasked with moving food, stores ammunition and the Company's guns and people to from and around the front lines.


Shortly afterwards while billeted at Vignacourt (Check "Lost Diggers" imagery) he was kicked by a horse that he was shoeing, in the genitals. Not surprisingly, this rendered him a casualty and he was evacuated via Rouen, to hospital in London.  His injury was clearly serious as he spent nearly six months in hospital, finally returning via a number of postings to other MG Companies, between June and November 1917, to the 7th. After a period of leave in March 1918, he was re-admitted to hospital in May 1918. By this time the 7th MG Company had been consolidated into the 2nd MG Battalion and John eventually re-joined the larger unit in mid June 1918 serving out the balance of the war with it.


As a '1915 man' he was identified early in 1919 for repatriation to Australia and eventually embarked on the "Warwickshire" on 5 April 1919 disembarking on the 24th May 1919. 


He subsequently married and relocated to Tumby Bay on SA's Eyre Peninsular. He applied for and was awarded the Gallipoli Medallion in March 1967.

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