James Stuart McLean

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McLEAN, James Stuart

Service no: 519 [1]

Place of birth: Walgett, 1893

Address: Cranley, Bloomfield, via Orange

Occupation: Farmer

Next of kin: James Fletcher McLean (father), Cranley, Bloomfield, later Misrule Orchard, Orange

Date of enlistment: 29 October 1914

Place of enlistment: Liverpool

Age at enlistment: 21

Fate: Embarked A31 Ajana, Sydney, 19 December 1914. Admitted to 4th Auxiliary Hospital, Cairo, suffering from mumps, 8 February 1915. Rejoined unit 26 February 1915. Taken on strength Mediterranean Expeditionary Force, Maadi, 28 February 1915. Taken on strength 2nd Res Reg, Maadi, 1 March 1915. Assigned rank of Gunner 26 March 1916. Transferred to 10th Field Artillery Brigade, Tel-el-Kebir, 1 April 1916. Assigned rank of Bombardier 1 May 1916. Proceeded to join British Expeditionary Force, Alexandria, 5 June 1916. Disembarked Marseilles 13 June 1916. Promoted to Temporary Colonel 24 January 1917. Promoted to Colonel 21 June 1917 Proceeded to England on leave 31 November 1917. Rejoined unit, France, 13 December 1917. Admitted to 9th General Hospital, Rouen, suffering from appendicitis, 13 January 1918. Transferred to Tidworth Military Hospital, England, with pneumonia, 15 January 1918. Discharged to Hurdcott Camp, No. 3 Command Depot, 25 March 1918. Rejoined unit, France, 28 June 1918. Embarked Devon, Taranto, Italy, for return to Australia, 24 September 1918. Returned to Australia 24 November 1918. Discharged due to termination of period of enlistment, 23 January 1919.

Date of death 4 April 1966, Repatriation General Hospital, Concord


James Stuart McLean was born in Walgett in 1893, one of ten children born to James Fletcher and Sara McLean. In 1894 the family moved to the Parkes district, where they remained for several years.

By 1914 the family had relocated to Orange, where the family worked Cranley at Bloomfield. In October 1914 James junior volunteered his services to the AIF and, in December, embarked for overseas service.

Private McLean was a regular correspondent to his family. In a letter written from 7th Australian Light Horse Camp at Ma’adi he describes the difficulty of completing training drills in the sand: “The ground here is worse than Maroubra; everywhere there is sand.” [2]

In April 1916 James was transferred to the 10th Field Artillery Brigade at Tel-el-Kebir; in June he joined the British Expeditionary Force in France as a Bombardier. In January 1917 he was promoted to Temporary Colonel, and, in June, to Colonel.

Colonel McLean suffered an attack of appendicitis in January 1918 which saw him transferred to the Tidworth Military Hospital in England. In March he wrote home from Hurdcott Convalescent Camp praising the quality of the cuisine and the amusements. He also recalled that this is now the fourth Easter that he has seen in the Army. [3]

In June 1918 Colonel McLean rejoined his unit in France, and in November he returned to Australia. James returned to Orange on the train with Alfred Joseph Allan. They were greeted at the Orange Railway Station by the Mayor, Ald Bouffler, as the Model Band played Home Sweet Home. They were then escorted through a guard of honour to the Town Hall for a civic reception. [4] James was given a second welcome home reception at Bloomfield several weeks later. [5]

In January 1919 James married Florence Emma Allen. The couple later moved to Sydney, where James was an employee of NSW Tramways. They lived at Penshurst until their deaths. James died in the Repatriation General Hospital at Concord in 1966, aged 72.

James is commemorated on Bloomfield Honour Roll and the St John's Presbyterian Church Orange Honour Roll.

James’ brother Alfred Fletcher McLean also served in WWI.

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