John was born to Alexander and Ruth McLauchlan at Balmain, Sydney in 1895. He was working as a Wool Storeman for F.R. Hawke and Company at Inverell when he enlisted in December 1915. He joined with the district men who left Inverell as the First Contingent of The Kurrajongs on 12 January 1916. He became a member of the 33rd Battalion, 2nd Reinforcement and trained at Armidale and Rutherford. John was appointed Company Sergeant Major in March 1916 and attended No 9 School of Instruction before sailing from Australia on HMAT A15 Port Sydney in September 1916. After arriving in England he was appointed to 9 Training Battalion. He was sent to France in May 1917 and was wounded in October which required his evacuation to England for treatment for a gunshot wound to the head. By April 1918, John had returned to France where he was killed in action on 31 August 1918 and buried at Peronne Communal Cemetery Extension, France. He was awarded the Military Medal ‘For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty during operations near Bray on 22/23 August 1918’.
Lieut-Colonel Morshead, Officer in Charge of the 33rd Battalion wrote to John’s Mother saying … ‘Throughout his service with us your son did most excellent work. He was a very fine soldier, and his death is a great loss to the battalion. He proved himself at all times a courageous and determined leader and an unselfish and considerate comrade…’ This letter was published in The Inverell Times Newspaper, 21 January 1919.
Company Sergeant Major McLauchlan is remembered at Inverell where his name is inscribed on the Cenotaph and Honor Roll. A memorial tree was planted for him in 1919 in Kurrajong Parade.