John enlisted at Bingara NSW in January 1916. He may have been among the seventy two volunteers who left Bingara together and who were probably influenced by the ‘snowball’ recruiting drives taking place in NSW.
John’s enlistment form records he was a forty four year old Drover at Myall Creek, Bingara and that he was born at Brighton, Sussex, England. The names of his parents are not recorded. He stated that he had spent 2 years as a member of the Sussex Volunteers.
John joined the 33rd Battalion, B Company and left Australia on HMAT A74 Marathon in May 1916. After further training in England his Battalion was sent to France in November. Twelve months later he was ill and invalided back to England where the decision was made to return him to Australia for discharge. His name is recorded on the Delungra Honor Roll and the new Anzac memorial gate at Delungra.