John Farthing Groves
Service Number: 3761
Units Served: 10th Battalion
Personal Details: John was born in Stone Hut South Australia to George Groves and Hannah Maria (nee Hincks). He grew up on the family farm near the small town of Stone Hut. Being born into a farming family he had always planned on taking over the family farm when the time came.
Enlistment Details: John Groves enlisted on August 25th 1915 in Adelaide South Australia. He was 26 years of age.
Details about his role in War: After enlistment John departed Adelaide on the 5th of December 1915 before arriving in Egypt early January. Here he was in Cairo accompanied by many of the other Laura boys who had also enlisted. For some of that time their camp was based near the Nile River, which he describes in great detail in his letters home to his family members. This is where they trained and prepared for deployment to the European battle fields until their departure on March 24th 1916. On his arrival to Marseilles, France on the 10th of April they moved to Etaples where there was further training. On the 24th of May they were deployed to the Somme to join the Battalion and were taken on strength by the 10th Battalion on the 26th of May. In July he was involved with the Battle of Pozieres. On the 25th July 1916 John received wounds to the knee, thigh and hands in battle. These wounds were received when John crawled over 150 yards across open ground in No Mans' Land to within 30 yards of a machine gun post that was holding up the attack. He threw bombs at the position and took the machine gun out of action. He was recommended for a Victoria Cross for this action, but the award was never given to him. There are current moves to see that this award is made over 100 years after the incident happened. Despite his wounds he made it back to his line and was treated there, before being sent back through the army's extensive medical support system. He made it back to the 11th Stationary Hospital in Rouen for treatment, and as written in his last letter he was expecting to soon be transported to England for further treatment. However he never made it as the wounds he received became infected and he had to have his leg amputated, resulting in his hospital transfer being delayed and unable to travel. As a result on August the 14th 1916 in the 11th Stationary Hospital, Rouen, France John passed away due to his infection.
Age at Death: 14/8/16 age 27 in 11th Stationary Hospital, Rouen, France
Cemetery or Memorial Details: St Sever Cemetery Extension, Rouen, France
Interesting Material: As we have read through many of the letters that he sent to his sister one thing that we noticed was how positive he always was towards everything, including; his training, travel arrangements, sleeping conditions, the natives of Egypt and even in some of his last letters he continued to comment on how well the medical staff were looking after him and treatment of his wounds. He seemed a very positive man despite what he must have been witnessing and experiencing with the circumstances of war.