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Premier’s Anzac Spirit School Prize 2019 – Wilfrid Jose by Shreyas Khanna

Thursday 28 November, 2019

This winning entry was researched and written by Shreyas Khanna of St Peter’s College

 

An excerpt from ‘Dulce decorum est, pro patria mori’ by Kenneth Scott

“…Home, school, and country, all have been his care,

His pride, his daily joy, his life, his soul:

Now can the soul that shed such influence there

Augment its power while endless aeons roll

One of God’s saints has found his right abode…”.

K.S Scott, ‘Dulce decorum est, pro patria mori’

 

Figure 1: [1] Our school emblem.

The Latin words, ‘Dulce decorum est, pro patria mori’ are most commonly interpreted as ‘It is sweet and proper to die for one’s country’. This phrase is not an unusual reference to World War I as it appears in numerous poems, as does it on our school’s emblem [see Figure 1]. This above excerpt is written in honour of Lieutenant Wilfrid Oswald Jose, an old scholar of St Peter’s College. The latter of Wilfrid’s service in World War I is situated in northern France. In early 1916, the Australian Imperial Force (AIF) and other divisions joined the British Army in France and Belgium, at last arriving at the major battle theatre of war. Here on the Western Front, terrible years of sacrifice and bloodshed was only to come.

Jose was born in Ningbo, China on 25th March 1895 to Reverend George Herbert Jose and Clara Ellen Jose-[1]. At 8, he migrated to South Australia upon the steamship SS Medic via Liverpool on a 70-day voyage-[2], finally arriving on 24th September as his father returned as the Anglican Dean of Adelaide-[3].

 

Figure 2: [2],[3] Figure 2: The 1913 St Peter’s College cricket team. Wilfrid Oswald Jose is the third member of the second row (centred).

Figure 3: The 1913 St Peter’s College football team. Jose is the third member in the second row from the left.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

He received his education at Queens School in Oxford, England and St Peter’s College in Adelaide, Australia (1905 – 1913)-[4]. During his schooling years, Jose achieved honours in every examination he undertook and won several scholarships such as the Young Exhibition and various other accolades-[5]. In 1912 became a prefect and academic dux of the school, while a member of the cadets and serving in numerous in-school committees. In 1913, he became the School Captain; played tennis, and was captain of both cricket and football teams respectively-[6] [as shown in both Figure 2 and Figure 3].

He entered Adelaide University in 1914 to undertake engineering, while pursuing his sporting interests, and also serving part-time as a Lieutenant in the 79th Infantry-[7] when the war intervened-[8]. He had begun Mechanical Engineering, ‘Fitting and Turning I’, Drawing I, Mathematics I among others-[9] [as seen in Figure 4].   He was the 38th enlistee in S. Australia-[10].

Figure 4: [4] Jose’s student card during his brief time at the University of Adelaide. As indicated, there are no examination results for him as the Great War hindered his academic aspirations.

Jose enlisted at Morphettville, South Australia on 19th August 1914 and was allocated to the A Company 10th Battalion-[11]. This included many former classmates including John Gordon, Tom Whyte, Phil Robin and Arthur Blackburn-[12]., [see Figure 5 and Figure 6]. After training at Morphettville Racecourse, he embarked on the HMAT Ascanius from Adelaide on 20th October-[13].

After training in Egypt, Jose embarked on a ship named the Ionian for the island of Lemnos in the Aegean Sea-[14]. This is where the landing on Gallipoli’s soil was mounted. As the first few to land on the shore, the damage they underwent was severe-[15].

 

Figure 5: The A Company 10th Battalion at a camp at Morphettville, South Australia in an informal group portrait. Wilfrid Jose is the third member of the group in the first row. Guy Fisher (third member of second row) mounted this photograph next to his shaving mirror every morning, to remind him of his fellow soldiers.

Figure 6: A focus on Jose in the same image.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tom Whyte, who had offered to row ashore was wounded on the hip, and sadly died at sea whilst being evacuated from the boat-[16]. Soon, many of his fellow soldiers in the photo above, Figure 5, including Francis Stokes, Phil Robin and Malcolm Teesdale-Smith-[17] were each killed-[18]. In the final months of 1915, Jose contracted diarrhoea and was admitted to the 1st Field Ambulance Hospital on 26th August-[19]. On 5th December he was evacuated to Mudros with jaundice-[20] [see Figure 7 and Figure 8], yet still managed to serve for the rest of the campaign-[21]. On 9th September, he was promoted to Temporary Corporal and Corporal on 17th March -[22]. The 50th Battalion left Alexandria on the Arcadian; part of 13th Infantry Brigade, 4th Division-[23].

 

Figure 7/8: [7],[8] An extract from his casualty form of travel history, general activity with the army, as well as all of the corresponding dates for these events.

  

 

 

 

Figure 913: A photograph of Wilfred Oswald Jose, a member of the 50th Battalion, and supposedly taken during his time in England before returning to France.

Jose, who was in the 50th Battalion arrived on 13th June at Marseilles and headed for north-western France via train-[24]. They went into the front line to relieve the 3rd Australian Infantry Brigade in the Petillion Section on 27th June-[25]. During their time in the line, the soldiers conducted raids into ‘No Mans-Land’ and into the front line of the German trenches, to investigate which of the enemy units were opposite them-[26].

Wilfrid was promoted to Lieutenant on the 10th July 1916 for his service-[27]. During this time, the Battle of Fromelles was fought with a disastrous number of casualties, equating to about 5,500-[28].

On 21st July, Wilfrid was sent to hospital with a condition known as ‘ophthalmitis’ affecting his left eye-[29]. Wilfrid was later evacuated to England and admitted to the 3rd London General Hospital-[30]. staying there for two months [see the photo in Figure 9]. In a letter by the hospital, a description of his infection is given-[31] [see Figure 10]. Only two days after leaving England on 7th December, did he to re-join his unit-[32]. 

Figure 10: [10] A hospital letter reads, ‘His mentioned that his heterophoria… antibiotic treatment, especially as his left eye shows signs of infection’.

The 50th Battalion replaced the 20th Battalion which was responsible for the central section of the line which ran between Lagnicourt and Noreuil, overlooking Noreuil to the north-[33].  [as seen in the modern photo in Figure 11]. The intelligence report from of a patrol in days prior found that the enemy had been built barricades on the roads of the village-[34].

The 50th Battalion in conjunction 51st Battalion attacked the village Noreuil at 5:15 am on 2nd April 1917-[35]. The 50th Battalion attacked the south east, while the 51st attacked the north. The artillery barrage caused the enemy to “shell little”-[36], as hostile machine guns devasted the attack and resulted in substantial casualties- [37] [as shown in Figure 12]. The few places where the line was held up by machine guns troops on either side pressed forward, enveloping guns with the aid of grenades and barricades-[38]. At one point, the line secured themselves within 100 yards of the objective after a successful advance of over 1700-yards-[39]. A day later, the perilous position of the battalion was rectified when the Germans withdrew their post at Noreuil-[40].

During the aftermath of the attack, Jose was listed as ‘missing’, however, a day later on the 3rd April, it was confirmed that he had been killed in action, as given in his enlistment record from the NAA-[41]. He was only 22 years of age and is at the Noreuil Australian Cemetery-[42] [see Figure 13], lying beside many of his 13th Infantry Brigade (which comprised of the 49th, 50th, 51st, 52nd Battalions) comrades-[43].

Figure 11: [11] The view of Noreuil as seen by the soldiers 50th Battalion including Wilfrid, looking north towards the village.

The circumstances of Jose is cited specifically in Charles Bean’s post-war account, “a platoon of the enemy with a machine gun, protected by a barricade, a steep bank, and some wire, enfiladed the advance and caused many casualties-[44] Lieutenants Jose and Bidstrup – the latter after emptying his revolver into the Germans were killed”-[45]. Wilfrid’s father G.H Jose, when completing the circular for the AWM’s Roll of Honour wrote that his son had been in charge of the first wave of the attack-[46].

Suitably proud of his son, he was also certain that he was the ‘young officer’ in Bean’s dispatch, “as found lying between 2 machinegun positions with only 1 cartridge unfired in his revolver”-[47].

Figure 12: [12] The original list of casualties from the Noreuil which can be found in the 50th Battalion War Diary AIF, courtesy of the Australian War Memorial. In it, Lieutenant Wilfrid Oswald Jose would have been listed as one of the 3 officers ‘missing in action’, an initial error resolved a day later.

 

Reference List

Textual References – (In chronological order)

[1] Thornton, K 2010, The messages of its walls and fields; a history of St Peter’s College, 1847 to 2009, Wakefield Press, Adelaide.

[2] Form of Passenger List 24 September 1903, 1903, Passenger List, National Archives of Australia, accessed 11 January 2019, <https://www.archives.sa.gov.au/sites/default/files/documentstore/passengerlists/1903/GRG_41_34_0_553-1903_Medic.pdf>.

[3] Kearney, R 2015, Fallen Saints: The stories of 180 old scholars while serving during the Great War 1914-1918, 2nd edn, Openbook Howden Printing, Adelaide

[4] Kearney, R 2015

[5] The Late Lieutenant W.O Jose’ 1917, The Adelaide Chronicle, 21 April, pp. 42-42, accessed 11 January 2019, National Library of Australia, Trove.

[6] 1917, The Adelaide Chronicle, pp. 42-42

[7] Kearney, R 2015

[8] 1917, The Adelaide Chronicle, , pp. 42-42

[9] Student Card, University of Adelaide

[10] Kearney, R 2015

[11] Kearney, R 2015

[12] Virtual War Memorial Australia n.d., Jose, Wilfred Oswald, accessed 11 January 2019, <https://vwma.org.au/explore/people/173634>.

[13] Virtual War Memorial Australia n.d.

[14] Virtual War Memorial Australia n.d.

[15] Virtual War Memorial Australia n.d.

[16] Virtual War Memorial Australia n.d.

[17] Private Francis Stokes and friends 1914, National Library of Australia accessed 11 January 2019, <https://trove.nla.gov.au/work/208559261?q=wilfred+oswald+jose&c=picture&versionId=228851621>.

[18] Virtual War Memorial Australia n.d.

[19] National Archives of Australia n.d., NAA: B2455, Jose W O Lieutenant, Australian Government, accessed 11 January 2019, <https://recordsearch.naa.gov.au/SearchNRetrieve/Interface/ViewImage.aspx?B=11270874&S=16&R=0>.

[20] National Archives of Australia n.d.

[21] Kearney, R 2015

[22] National Archives of Australia n.d.

[23] National Archives of Australia n.d.

[24] Riley, TW 2009, The South Australians: Waldemar Robert Hawkes, Wilfrid Oswald Jose, Ivan Bede Jose, Adelaide.

[25] Riley, TW 2009

[26] Riley, TW 2009

[27] Kearney, R 2015

[28] Riley, TW 2009

[29] Kearney, R 2015

[30] Riley, TW 2009

[31] National Archives of Australia n.d.

[32] National Archives of Australia n.d.

[33] Noreuil village, as seen from the D5 Langicourt-Marcel to Noreuil road. n.d., photograph, Australian Government, accessed 24 April 2019, <https://anzacportal.dva.gov.au/sites/default/files/nor-30.jpg>.

[34] The Anzac Portal n.d., Australians on the Western Front: Noreuil, 2 April 1917, Australian Government, accessed 24 April 2019, <https://anzacportal.dva.gov.au/history/conflicts/australians-western-front-19141918/australian-remembrance-trail/bullecourt-13>.

[35] Riley, TW 2009

[36] The Anzac Portal n.d., Australians on the Western Front: Noreuil

[37] Australian Imperial Force unit war diaries, 1914-18 War 1917, Australian War Memorial, pdf, accessed 26 January 2019, <https://www.awm.gov.au/collection/C1345871?image=1>.

[38] Riley, TW 2009

[39] Riley, TW 2009

[40] The Anzac Portal n.d.

[41] Virtual War Memorial Australia n.d.

[42] Kearney, R 2015

[43] Wikipedia n.d., 13th Brigade (Australia), accessed 24 April 2019, <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/13th_Brigade_(Australia)>.

[44] n.d., photograph, Australian Government

[45] Kearney, R 2015

[46] Kearney, R 2015

[47] UNSW n.d., Oswald Wilfred JOSE, ADFA, Canberra, accessed 11 January 2019, <https://www.aif.adfa.edu.au/showPerson?pid=158874>.

 

Visual References – (In chronological order)

[1] St Peter’s College emblem n.d., Illustration, St Peter’s College, accessed 11 January 2019, <https://www.stpeters.sa.edu.au/wp-content/themes/st-peter/img/st-peter-collage-logo.png>.

[2] Ziegler, E CV 1913, St Peter’s College Inter-Collegiate Cricket, photograph, held at Nicholas Jose’s Private Collection, Adelaide.

[3] Ziegler, E CV 1913, St Peter’s College Inter-Collegiate Football, photograph, held at Nicholas Jose’s Private Collection, Adelaide.

 [3] Student Card, 1914-1917, Student Card, University of Adelaide, Adelaide.

[4] Private Francis Stokes and friends 1914, National Library of Australia accessed 11 January 2019, <https://trove.nla.gov.au/work/208559261?q=wilfred+oswald+jose&c=picture&versionId=228851621>.

[5] Private Francis Stokes and friends 1914, National Library of Australia

[6] National Archives of Australia n.d., NAA: B2455, Jose W O Lieutenant, Australian Government, accessed 11 January 2019,

[7] National Archives of Australia n.d., NAA: B2455, Jose W O Lieutenant, Australian Government

[8] Portrait of Lieutenant (Lt) Wilfrid Oswald Jose, 50th Battalion from North Adelaide, South Australia 1916, Photograph, Australian War Memorial, accessed 24 January 2019, <https://www.awm.gov.au/collection/C1255902>.

[9] National Archives of Australia n.d., NAA: B2455, Jose W O Lieutenant, Australian Government, accessed 11 January 2019, <https://recordsearch.naa.gov.au/SearchNRetrieve/Interface/ViewImage.aspx?B=11270874&S=52&R=0>.

[10] Noreuil village, as seen from the D5 Langicourt-Marcel to Noreuil road. n.d., photograph, Australian Government, accessed 24 April 2019, <https://anzacportal.dva.gov.au/sites/default/files/nor-30.jpg>.

[11] Australian Imperial Force unit war diaries, 1914-18 War 1917, Australian War Memorial, pdf, acCessed 26 January 2019, <https://www.awm.gov.au/collection/C1345871?image=1>.

[12] Pauwels, J n.d., Oblique view of Noreuil Australian Cemetery, Image, Remembering the Fallen, viewed 30 April 2019, <https://www.ww1cemeteries.com/noreuil-australian-cemetery.html>.

[13] Riley, TW 2009, Wilfrid Oswald Jose’s headstone at the Noreuil Australian Cemetery, Adelaide.

 

Complete Bibliography – (In alphabetical order)

Anzac Spirits of South Australia n.d., South Australian Battalions in the Fighting Lines, Adelaide, accessed 24 January 2019, <https://saanzacspirits.weebly.com/10th-battalion1.html>.

Australian Imperial Force unit war diaries, 1914-18 War 1917, Australian War Memorial, pdf, accessed 26 January 2019, <https://www.awm.gov.au/collection/C1345871?image=1>.

Australian War Memorial n.d., First World War Embarkation Roll: Oswald Wilfred Jose, accessed 11 January 2019, <https://www.awm.gov.au/collection/R1963891?image=1>.

Calendar of the University of Adelaide for the Year 1915, v1915, W.K Thomas & Co Printers, Adelaide.

Commonwealth War Graves Commission n.d., Noreuil Australian Cemetery, accessed 24 April 2019, <https://www.cwgc.org/find-a-cemetery/cemetery/68005/noreuil-australian-cemetery/>.

‘Divided Russia’ 1917, The Advertiser, 13 April, pp. ?, accessed 11 January 2019, National Library of Australia, Trove.

Faces of Gallipoli: Wilfred Oswald Jose’ 2015, The New Daily, 24 April, accessed 11 January 2019, <https://thenewdaily.com.au/news/people/2015/04/24/faces-gallipoli-wilfred-oswald-jose/>.

Faulkner, A 2017, ‘Cherished photo last reminder of Lieutenant Wilfred Jose, a hero who never came home’, The Advertiser, 22 April, accessed 24 January 2019, <https://www.adelaidenow.com.au/news/south-australia/cherished-photo-last-reminder-of-lieutenant-wilfred-jose-a-hero-who-never-came-home/news-story/498c746646369388aae21f99ad0088e0?memtype=anonymous>.

Faulkner, A 2019, pers. comm., 25 January.

Form of Passenger List 24 September 1903, 1903, Passenger List, National Archives of Australia, accessed 11 January 2019, <https://www.archives.sa.gov.au/sites/default/files/documentstore/passengerlists/1903/GRG_41_34_0_553-1903_Medic.pdf>.

Freeman, V & Frore, M n.d., A Guide to British Campaign Medals of WW1, The Great War 1914-1918, accessed 29 April 2019, <http://www.greatwar.co.uk/medals/ww1-campaign-medals.htm>.

Gordon, B 1995, ‘The flowers of the forest’, in The flowers of the forest, Adelaide, accessed 11 January 2019, SA Memory, State Library of South Australia.

Group portrait of the officers of the 50th Battalion. 1918, Photograph, Australian War Memorial, accessed 26 January 2019, <https://www.awm.gov.au/collection/C1163>.

Hawkes, W 1917, Dear Mother…, Letter

Jose, N 2019, pers. comm., 20 January.

National Anzac Centre n.d., Oswald Wilfred Jose, Adelaide, accessed 24 January 2019, <https://www.nationalanzaccentre.com.au/oswald-wilfred-jose>.

National Archives of Australia n.d., NAA: B2455, Jose W O Lieutenant, Australian Government, accessed 11 January 2019, <https://recordsearch.naa.gov.au/SearchNRetrieve/Interface/ViewImage.aspx?B=11270874&S=16&R=0>.

National Archives of Australia n.d., NAA: B2455, Jose W O Lieutenant, Australian Government, accessed 11 January 2019, <https://recordsearch.naa.gov.au/SearchNRetrieve/Interface/ViewImage.aspx?B=11270874&S=52&R=0>.

Noreuil village, as seen from the D5 Langicourt-Marcel to Noreuil road. n.d., photograph, Australian Government, accessed 24 April 2019, <https://anzacportal.dva.gov.au/sites/default/files/nor-30.jpg>.

Pauwels, J n.d., Oblique view of Noreuil Australian Cemetery, Image, Remembering the Fallen, accessed 30 April 2019, <https://www.ww1cemeteries.com/noreuil-australian-cemetery.html>.

Portrait of Lieutenant (Lt) Wilfrid Oswald Jose, 50th Battalion from North Adelaide, South Australia 1916, Photograph, Australian War Memorial, accessed 24 January 2019, <https://www.awm.gov.au/collection/C1255902>.

Private Francis Stokes and friends 1914, Photograph, National Library of Australia, accessed 11 January 2019, <https://trove.nla.gov.au/work/208559261?q=wilfred+oswald+jose&c=picture&versionId=228851621>.

Queen’s School [B 29751] • Photograph 1902, Photograph, State Library of South Australia, accessed 11 January 2019, <https://collections.slsa.sa.gov.au/resource/B+29751>.

Remembering the Fallen n.d., Noreuil Australian Cemetery, accessed 11 January 2019, <https://www.ww1cemeteries.com/>.

Riley, TW 2009, The South Australians: Waldemar Robert Hawkes, Wilfrid Oswald Jose, Ivan Bede Jose, Adelaide.

Riley, TW 2009, Wilfrid Oswald Jose’s headstone at the Noreuil Australian Cemetery, Adelaide.

Kearney, R 2015, Fallen Saints: The stories of 180 old scholars while serving during the Great War 1914-1918, 2nd edn, Openbook Howden Printing, Adelaide

SA Memory n.d., AIF unit histories – First World War, State Library of South Australia, Adelaide, accessed 26 January 2019, <http://www.samemory.sa.gov.au/site/page.cfm?u=1529>.

Scott, K 1917, War Verses and Others, G. Hassel & Son, Adelaide.

‘Speech Days.’ 1913, The Advertiser, 13 December, pp. 12-12, accessed 11 January 2019, National Library of Australia, Trove.

Second Reinforcements, 50th Battalion, c1916 1916, Photograph, State Library of South Australia, accessed 24 January 2019, <https://www.flickr.com/photos/state_library_south_australia/26602613963>.

St Peter’s College emblem n.d., Illustration, St Peter’s College, accessed 11 January 2019, <https://www.stpeters.sa.edu.au/wp-content/themes/st-peter/img/st-peter-collage-logo.png>.

Student Card, 1914-1917, Student Card, University of Adelaide, Adelaide.

The Anzac Portal n.d., Australians on the Western Front: Noreuil, 2 April 1917, Australian Government, accessed 24 April 2019, <https://anzacportal.dva.gov.au/history/conflicts/australians-western-front-19141918/australian-remembrance-trail/bullecourt-13>.

The Late Lieutenant W.O Jose’ 1917, The Adelaide Chronicle, 21 April, pp. 42-42, accessed 11 January 2019, National Library of Australia, Trove.

Thornton, K 2010, The messages of its walls and fields; a history of St Peter’s College, 1847 to 2009, Wakefield Press, Adelaide.

UNSW n.d., Oswald Wilfred JOSE, ADFA, Canberra, accessed 11 January 2019, <https://www.aif.adfa.edu.au/showPerson?pid=158874>.

Virtual War Memorial Australia n.d., Jose, Wilfred Oswald, accessed 11 January 2019, <https://vwma.org.au/explore/people/173634>.

Wikipedia n.d., 13th Brigade (Australia), accessed 24 April 2019, <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/13th_Brigade_(Australia)>.

Ziegler, E CV 1913, St Peter’s College Inter-Collegiate Cricket, photograph, held at Nicholas Jose’s Private Collection, Adelaide.

Ziegler, E CV 1913, St Peter’s College Inter-Collegiate Football, photograph, held at Nicholas Jose’s Private Collection, Adelaide.

 

Visits

Visits to the Barr Smith Library in the University of Adelaide on 9-11, 15 January 2019

Visit to the Migration Museum on 9 January 2019

Visit to the NAA Front Desk at the State Library of South Australia on 9 January 2019

Visits to the State Library of South Australia on 8 -11 January 2019

Visit and interview at the Jose Family home on 22 January 2019

 

 

Special thanks to:

Lee Danielle Hayes

Nicholas Jose

Sally Bartz

The Jose Family

 

 


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