John enlisted at Warwick, Queensland on 17 January 1916, stating he was a twenty-six-year-old shearer at Coolatai NSW. He did not name any next of kin. John joined the 3rd Divisional Cyclist Company and left Australia for England on the ship HMAT A64 Demosthenes in May 1916. He trained at Perham Downs where he was transferred to the 2nd Battalion in September. The following month he was sent to France and joined the 30th Battalion. Six weeks later he was admitted to hospital with mumps. Upon recovery he re-joined his unit. In September 1917 he was gassed and almost a year later, wounded in action when shot in the chest. He was invalided back to England and admitted to 3rd General Hospital at Wandsworth for treatment.
After his return to Australia John was medically discharged in March 1919. He served again during WWII. John died in 1953 and was buried at Narrabri.
John’s name is inscribed on the Ashford Honor Roll.