Thursday, June 19, 2008

The Story of Archibald Leonard Jago

Many of the stories about the soldiers from Quorn are short due to the horrifically dangerous nature of the situations they were put in. Archibald’s story is one of those from the other end of the spectrum. He was the longest serving of the Quorn soldiers from this group of forty. He managed to survive the war, but not the army, for a total of 47 months enlistment.

Archibald Jago was born near Carrieton. Prior to enlistment in April 1915 he was a grazier and was also a member of the Yanyarrie Rifle Club for two years.
A month later he embarked from Adelaide on the HMAT Afric as part of the 4th Light Horse Brigade Train as a driver.
Archibald has no entries in his military record for the period between June 1915 and March 1916. Other soldiers records from the same unit indicate that the Brigade Train was at Gallipoli during this time, traveling there on the “Inkosi” from Alexandria in September and some of them leaving during the evacuation in December.

On the 20th March Archibald embarked from Alexandria for Marseilles where he stepped onto French soil eight days later. A month later he was attached temporarily to the 20th Battalion. On the 21st of June Archibald rejoined his normal unit [the records are a little unclear, they refer to the 20th Corps or it could be the 4th Light Horse Baggage Train].
A little over a week later Archibald was admitted to hospital in La Nouvelle. Initial records noted he had influenza but three days later he was transferred to the 3rd Stationary Canadian Hospital in Bolougne where his condition was noted as PUO [Pyaemia of Unknown Origins].
A day later on the 3rd of July he was loaded aboard the HS “Jan Breydel” and shipped to England. Later that same day he was admitted to Graylingwell War Hospital in Bristol.
At the end of July Archibald seems to have been convalescing with a change of units in mind. On the 21st of the month his regimental number was changed from 5988 to 8894 as he left the Light Horse unit he had been with and on the 1st August he was taken on strength by the Australian Army Service Corps Training Depot in Perham Downs.

Toward the end of January 1917 Archibald was again sick enough to be admitted to hospital. This time it was the Brigade Hospital for the Service Corps at Parkhouse.
On 12 February he was discharged from the hospital back to the Training Depot. After a further month in the training depot he was transferred to the 30th Australian Service Corps.
For the rest of the year Archibald moved around England as part of the Service Corps, including Weymouth, Tidworth, Fovant and Westham. He also spent a further six days in the Monte Video Hospital at Weymouth during October.

In April 1918 Archibald was tried for the offence of breaking out of camp and given four days of Field Punishment Number 2. Shortly after this he was sent back to the Training Depot at Parkhouse, then a further month later he was sent back toFrance.
On the 8th May 1918, Archibald was in Le Havre and on the 13th he was marched out to join the 2nd Divisional Train.
At the end of June Archibald was temporarily detached to the 12th Battery, 16th Company AASC. This also happened for a short period at the end of September and end of November as well.

By this time the war had ended and Archibald spent the remainder of 1918 with the 20th Company AASC.

Archibald must have been relieved to have survived the war and in January 1919 he was transferred to the AGBD at Le Havre in preparation for his return to Australia. On the 15th he returned to England and marched into Sutton Veny. Once again Archibald was admitted to hospital. This time his diagnosis was “bronchopneumonia” and he was noted as dangerously ill. On the 9th February Archibald succumbed to his disease. He was buried at the local church, St John the Evangelist, four days later.

1 comment:

Claire and Cary said...

Most "old soldier" stories are sad stories. I suspect Archibald might have contrated the Spanish influenza; most of its victims died of broncho-pneumonia.