John, the son of John and Isabella Cross, was born in the Warialda district in 1898. At the age of eighteen he enlisted at Warialda in January 1916, agreeing to serve from 1 March.  His enlistment papers record he was a six foot tall, blue eyed Labourer who signed his papers as Claude Cross.  He joined the men of the Second Contingent of the Kurrajongs who went together to the Narrabri Camp before moving on to Armidale.

John became a member of the 33rd Battalion, 1st Reinforcement which trained at Armidale and Rutherford prior to departing Australia on HMAT A74 Marathon in May 1916.  Upon arrival in England further training was undertaken at Salisbury Plain. John was transferred to the 9th Training Battalion until sent to France in September 1917.  His time at the front was short as he was wounded in action on 18 October, invalided back to England and admitted to Keighley War Hospital with a gunshot wound to his back.  John then spent time in 3rd Auxiliary Hospital at Dartford before being granted 6 weeks leave.  He attended Signals School at Forvant in early 1918 and returned to France in mid March.

Private John Cross returned to Australia on the ship Borda in 1919 and was discharged in August. After the War he lived in Warialda with his wife Olga whom he married in 1921.  John died at Coffs Harbour in 1972 and was buried at Bingara NSW.