John was born at Tingha NSW, the eldest child of William and Sarah Oliphant. He was a Miner at Copeton when at the age of twenty-nine he enlisted at Armidale in January 1916.
He became a member of the 33rd Battalion, Machine Gun Section and sailed from Australia for England on HMAT A74 Marathon in May 1916. After several months training in England, he was sent to France in November 1916. Two months later he was wounded in action and invalided to England where he was admitted to Bath War Memorial Hospital for treatment for gunshot wounds to his leg and arm. John returned to Australia in September 1917 for ‘home service’. He was medically discharged in October 1917 and granted a pension. He married and for several years lived at Lithgow NSW. He died at Parramatta in 1957.
John’s name is recorded on the Copeton Roll of Honor.