YOUR STORY: Private John Lavercombe was one of 21 killed
FAMILY living in the region have visited the grave of of Private John Lavercombe in Gallipoli for the centenary of the campaign.
They share his story.
John Lavercombe was born in Cloncurry, Qld. on 12 March 1890. He began his formal education at Winton State School in 1895 and left school in 1903. At the age of 10, his father James, passed away.
John worked as a miner and may have spent time at the Ravenswood mines. He was the nephew of Onias Josiah Lavercombe who was assistant station master at Maryborough in 1915.
On 12 Oct 1912, John Lavercombe married Mary Bradshaw of Townsville. Mary died 11 months later of blood poisoning aged 28 years and was buried in the Belgian Gardens cemetery, Townsville on 17 Sept 2013.
John and Mary did not have any children.
On 14 Dec 1914 John enlisted in the Australian Imperial Force at Townsville and on 8 Feb 1915 was assigned to the 2nd/ 3rd re-inforcements of the 9th Battalion Royal Queensland Regiment.
On his enlistment papers he is described as being 5 ft 9 in tall, weighing 11st 7 lbs and of fresh complexion. Both parents are noted as deceased. His next of kin were his sister Margaret and brother Alex.
The 9th Battalion landed at Gallipoli on 25 April 1915 and Private John Lavercombe went ashore at some stage during the day. He survived for two months.
On 28 June 1915, B and C companies of the 9th Battalion were assigned to attack Sniper's Ridge South and Razor Back Ridge to provide co-operation with the Southern Force and to pin down Turkish forces.
To attack Sniper's Ridge South the soldiers had to cross the Valley of Despair and Allah Gully.
The attack commenced at 1.00 pm and both companies came under heavy fire. The action finished at 2.50 pm with 21 killed, 62 wounded and 22 missing.
Private John Lavercombe was one of 21 killed during this engagement. He was 25.
He is buried in Shell Green Cemetery, 500 metres inland and about 1 kilometre north from the site of the initial landing.
He was awarded the Star Medal, the British War Medal and the Victory Medal.
Recently, relatives of John Lavercombe, Anne (eldest daughter of Loretta and Basil Massingham of Maryborough) and Tony Hallam of Gympie, and John Massingham of Brisbane, (grandson of Loretta and Basil Massingham) visited Gallipoli for the centenary of the campaign.
They located John Lavercombe's grave at Shell Green Cemetery, placed flowers and paid their respects.
Thankyou to those people and organisations who provided valuable information on the life of John Lavercombe.
As the 100th anniversary of the withdrawal from Gallipoli is commemorated-Lest we forget.