Private 4525 William Henry Jukes

Jukes William 96 368x600 Jukes William 96 400x600

Died of Wounds on Saturday, 10th November 1917, age 28.
Buried in Grave XXII. CC. 25. at Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery, Poperinge, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium.

4th Bn., Australian Infantry A.I.F.

Son of William and Elizabeth Jukes, of 23, Martin Rd., Park Estate, Tipton, Staffs, England.
Born: Burnt Tree, Enlisted: Sydney, Australia, Resident: Sydney, Australia.

First landed Egypt, 7th March 1916.
Medal entitlement: British War Medal, Victory Medal.
Soldier's Papers at National Archives survived and transcribed.

Commemorated on the Tipton Library Memorial.
Commemorated here because he appears on a Tipton memorial.

Link to Commonwealth War Graves Site: www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/431349/

Genealogical Data

1901 Census
3 Whitehouse Street, Dudley Port, Tipton, Staffs.
Elizabeth Jukes (46, Widow, Laundress, born Lye), and her 4 children: Uriah (17, Brickmaker, born Tipton), Florrie (15, Tailoress, born Tipton), William (11, born Tipton), and Albert (9, born Tipton). The Jukes family were recorded as lodging with Elizabeth's brother Edwin Baker, and his 2 children.

The relationship of Edwin and Elizabeth as 'brother & sister' must have been given to make the situation more respectable, as they married in March quarter 1902.

1911 Census
10 Victoria Terrace, Whitehouse Street, Burnt Tree, Tipton, Staffs.
Edwin Baker (48, Carpenter, born Lye), his wife Elizabeth (56, born Lye), his 2 children: Samuel Baker (15, Iron Maker's Apprentice, born Tipton) and Henrietta Baker (14, Factory Girl, born Tipton), her 3 children: Florrie Jukes (23, Factory Hand, born Tipton), Mary Jukes (22, Factory Hand, born Tipton), and Albert Jukes (18, Ironwork Riveter, born Tipton), and their own child: George F. Baker (8, School, born Tipton).

It is possible that William was lodging in Dudley
1911 Census
77 Wellington Road, Dudley, Worcs.
Ada Maud Pratt (49, Widow living on Private Means, born Dudley), her brother John Westley (68, Mill and Forge Brass Founder, born Dudley), and William Jukes (21, Visitor, Sheet Mill Roller, born Tipton).

Personal Data

During 1911 William Jukes emigrated to Australia, living in Sydney where he enlisted with the 14th Reinforcement of the 4th Battalion on 24th November 1915. He was 5 feet 4½ inches tall, weighed 138 pounds with a 34½ inch chest, had a fair complexion, blue eyes, and auburn hair. He was 27 years and 10 months old, employed as a Fireman, was a Methodist, and was resident at 187 West Street, North Sydney. His next of kin was his mother, Mrs Elizabeth Jukes of 22 Martin Road, Tipton. He had previously served with the 1st Worcesters, but had been discharged, as he was the sole support for his mother. His rate of pay was to be 5 shillings per day.

He embarked at Sydney on HMAT Wandilla on 3rd February 1916, landing at Alexandria on the 7th March. Two weeks out, William received a punishment of 4 days Field Punishment No 3 for "smoking on fire drill parade." His service in Egypt started inauspiciously when he was admitted to the 1st Australian Dermatological Hospital in Abbassia on the 21st March with Venereal Disease - Gonorrhoea. His 4-day stay did not seem to effect a cure as he returned there on the 1st May with the same condition. This time it was 2 months before he returned to the 1st Australian Division Base Detail at Tel-el-Kebir. His unit departed for Perham Downs, England on 29th July 1916 to continue their training, arriving there on 9th August.

From November 1916 William had a series of disciplinary problems, all of them 'Absence without Leave". The first absence was from 16th to 23rd August, but more seriously he was found to be in possession of a forged pass which was considered a criminal matter. Whilst he was in detention awaiting trial, he was absent from 29th September to the 11th October. He was imprisoned for 2 months for the forged pass, and forfeited 39 days pay in addition to the 100 days forfeiture whilst in detention awaiting his trial.

Within 3 weeks of his release from prison, he was again Absent Without Leave, from the 24th to 25th January 1917; on this occasion he received 2 days Field Punishment No. 2, and forfeited a further 3 days pay. His final Absence in England occurred from the 15th to 17th February; he received 72 hours detention and a total of 6 days loss of pay.

William's Battalion departed from Folkestone for France on 3rd May 1917, and he arrived with his unit, the 4th Australian Battalion, on the 11th May.

Two months later, on the 6th July 1917, William was diagnosed with scabies, and was in the medical system for over 2 months before being discharged to Base Details on 20th September, and not re-joining the 4th Battalion until 4th October. One final Absence without Leave occurred between the 13th and 14th October, for which he lost a total of 5 days pay.

Action resulting in his death

The 4th Battalion War Diary records the 4th Battalion marching into the Ypres Salient on 1st November onto Westhoek Ridge, and then taking over from the 12th Infantry Battalion around Zonnebeke on 5th November. Here they were just to the right of the Canadian attack on Passchendaele village on 6th November, which lead to heavy German shelling on the 4th Battalion front in case they were also about to attack. On the 7th November, German shelling was described as 'promiscuous'. 8th November saw the 4th Australian Battalion being relieved by the 1st Australian Battalion, returning to Westhoek Ridge. November 9th has a simple entry "Westhoek: Men building shelters and making duckboard track." Neither the 8th or 9th November has any mention of enemy action or of any casualties, but this does not preclude the random shelling which was a constant background to the Ypres Salient.

Records show William Jukes arriving at 3rd Australian Field Ambulance on 9th November 1917 with SW (Shell Wound) Fracture to Legs, and he was forwarded to the Casualty Clearing Station. The letter from his Lieutenant said he was wounded by shellfire on 9th November whilst in a dugout. By 10th November 1917 he had been moved to the 17th Casualty Clearing Station (Lijssenthoek) as this was where he died of wounds and is buried in Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery.

Newspaper Cuttings

Tipton Herald 15th December 1917
The many people who know Mrs E. Jukes, of 23 Martin Road, Park Estate, Tipton, regretted to hear that her eldest son, Private W. Jukes, had died of wounds received in the great campaign on November 10th, at a Casualty Clearing Station in France (actually Belgium). He was buried at a military cemetery.
The deceased's father died years ago, and three other sons have also enlisted.
The late Private W. Jukes was born at Burnt Tree and six years ago, when 21 years of age, proceeded to Australia. When the war broke out he joined the 4th Battalion Australian Engineers, and was one of the first to land in Salonica (actually Egypt).
The mother received the following letter dated 20th November from the Lieutenant of the deceased's Company:- "I am very sorry to have to inform you that your son, Private W. Jukes, has died of wounds. On the morning of November 9th, a shell landed in the dugout occupied by your son and five others. Both his legs were badly injured, but he was quite conscious when we sent him off to the dressing station. I have never seen a man bear his wounds so bravely, for he never even uttered a word about his pain, but spoke to us quite cheerfully.
We have had official notification from the Casualty Clearing Station that your son died there. He always proved himself a good and faithful soldier, and was ever ready to do his bit." (The officer was either unaware of William's record, using irony, or trying to spare William's mother's feelings.)

Tipton Herald 9th November 1918
In Memoriam
JUKES. In loving memory of my dear son, Private William Jukes of the Australian Imperial Forces, who died of wounds received in action in France on November 10th 1917. Ever remembered by his loving mother, brothers Urias (on Salisbury Plain), Albert (in India), George (at home), sisters Phoebe, Florrie and Mary (Tipton).
"A devoted son, a faithful friend,
One of the best that God could lend;
He bravely answered duty's call,
His life he gave for one and all.
But the unknown grave is the bitterest blow
None but an aching heart can know."