John Daniel ('Jack') McLachlan

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McLACHLAN, John Daniel (‘Jack’)

Service no: 1583 [1]

Place of birth: Cumnock, February 1895

Address: Peisley Street, Orange

Occupation: Butcher

Next of kin: John McLachlan (father), Peisley Street, Orange

Date of enlistment: 12 December 1914

Place of enlistment: Liverpool

Age at enlistment: 19

Fate: Embarked HMAT A49 Seang Choon, Sydney, 11 February 1915. Joined Mediterranean Expeditionary Force 5 April 1915. Wounded in action 25 July 1915. Appointed Lance Corporal 1 August 1915. Admitted to hospital in Cairo 7 August 1915. Transferred to No. 2 Convalescent Depot, Heliopolis, 11 August 1915. Admitted to 1st Australian General Hospital, Heliopolis, Greece, with a bullet wound to the left hand, 11 August 1915. Admitted to No. 1 Auxiliary Hospital, Luna Park, Cairo, with a septic heel, 19 November 1915. Discharged to base, Zeitoun, 24 December 1915. Awarded 28 days detention, Ghezireh, 29 December 1915. Rejoined unit 6 March 1916. Proceeded to France 28 March 1916. Wounded in action 25 July 1916. Admitted to No. 13 Stationary Hospital, Boulogne, suffering a gunshot wound to the right eye, 26 July 1916. Transferred to No. 1 Command Depot, 29 July 1916. Rank reverted to Private 21 August 1916. Awarded 28 days detention 22 August 1916. Awarded a further 28 days detention 15 September 1916. Transferred to 54th Battalion 13 October 1916. Transferred to No. 2 Stationary Hospital 19 October 1916. Admitted to No. 5 Convalescent Depot with an abscess 1 November 1916. Transferred to 3rd Battalion 24 November 1916. Killed in action.

Date of death: 9 April 1917

Buried: Beaumetz Cross Roads Cemetery, Beaumetz-les-Cambrai, France, Row F, Grave 7

John Daniel McLachlan was born in Cumnock in 1895, the fourth child and eldest son of John Angus McLachlan and his wife Emma nee Kearney. John Angus – or ‘Jack’/’Jock’, as he was known – was the the highly popular proprietor of the Cumnock Hotel between 1888 and 1904.

The family moved to Peisley Street in Orange following the sale of the hotel in 1904. In 1912 John Daniel – also known as ‘Jack’ – started a two-year apprenticeship with the butcher Thomas Hamer on Bathurst Road in East Orange. In December 1914 Jack enlisted in WWI; he embarked the following February, a private in the 3rd Battalion, 3rd Reinforcements.

In April 1915 Private McLachlan joined the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force and proceeded to Gallipoli, where he was hospitalised twice. In July he sustained a gunshot wound to his left hand, and in November an infected heel. On 1 August 1915 he was appointed Lance Corporal, however this promotion would later be revoked.

In March 1916 McLachlan proceeded to France. Three months later he was admitted to No. 13 Stationary Hospital in Boulogne, suffering a gunshot wound to the right eye. In October he was transferred to the 54th Battalion. Jack was hospitalised for a fourth time, in November 1916, with an abscess.

Private McLachlan was transferred back to the 3rd Battalion late in 1916. He was killed in action on 9 April 1917.

Jack McLachlan is commemorated on the Patrician Brothers’ Roll of Honour, St Joseph’s Church Orange Honour Roll and on the World War I Roll of Honour on the southern face of the Orange Cenotaph. He is also remembered on his sister Bertha’s headstone in Orange Cemetery.

In 1923 the Anzac Memorial Avenue of trees was planted along Bathurst Road to commemorate fallen WWI soldiers. A tree was planted in honour of “Pte JD McLachlan”; it was donated by Orange High School. Very few of the trees are still standing today.

Leader, 2 May 1917, p1.

Obituary. Private J. McLachlan [2]

Memorial to John McLachlan, Orange Cemetery. Image courtesy Elizabeth Griffin.

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