Sergeant John Jeffery, a labourer, enlisted on 24 August 1915 at the age of twenty one. He came from the Hunter’s Hill area. He named his wife Marion as his next of kin. At the time of his enlistment, he and his wife were living with her parents in Dixon Street, Parramatta.
John embarked for service overseas on 1 April 1916 to serve with the 3 Australian Infantry Battalion. In July 1917 he was promoted to the rank of Corporal and then to Sergeant in October of 1917.
Sadly, Sergeant John Jeffery was killed in action in France on 17 April 1918. His mother wrote to the Base Records Office in 14 April 1919 seeking a photograph of his grave. In her correspondence she related information she had received from Corporal Gardiner of 3 Battalion that her son had been killed by a sniper’s bullet in the vicinity of Strazeele, possibly Pradelles. His death was reported in the Cumberland Argus of 25 May 1918 at page 10.
Sergeant John Jeffery is buried at Villers-Bretonneux Memorial, Villers-Bretonneux, Picardie, France. His name is on the Roll of Honour engraved on the Memorial Arch at Saint John’s Anglican Cathedral Parramatta and is also located on the Roll of Honour at the Australian War Memorial.
He was awarded the British War Medal and the Victory Medal. These awards, a Memorial Scroll and Memorial Plaque were given to his wife.
Janet Britton, Volunteer Research Assistant, City of Parramatta, Parramatta Heritage Centre, 2016