James Joseph Beirne
3529 Pte. James Joseph Beirne was born on 12th July 1871 in Elphin, Roscommon, Ireland to James Beirne and Catherine Walsh. He was a labourer on Phillip Island probably at “Innis Howen” with the McHenrys before the war. He enlisted first at Cowes on 30th July 1915 then at Melbourne on 6th August 1915.
He embarked Australia on HMAT Nestor on 11th October 1915. He was taken on strength of the 6th Battalion at Tel el Kabir Egypt on 21st January 1916, the 58th Battalion at Serapeum on 17th February 1916, and the 59thBattalion on 15th March 1916.
He embarked Alexandria on 21st June 1916 on HT Ivernia and disembarked at Marseilles on 30th June.
He was detached for duty with 2nd Anzac Headquarters on 29th December 1916.
He marched in from detachment, to the 5th Australian Division Base Depot, Havre, on 28th October 1917 and was taken on strength of the Army Veterinary Hospital for duty at Calais on 7th November 1917.
“In April 1917 an Australian Veterinary Hospital was established near Calais. The hospital could accommodate 1,250 horses and had an establishment of seven officers and 459 men. Twenty five thousand animals were treated during the eighteen months of its existence.”
Australian Veterinary History Record.
James was admitted to the Army Veterinary Hospital on 18th March 1918 (sick). He was discharged from hospital and rejoined the unit on 29th March 1918.
He commenced the return to Australia on board HT ‘D19’ on 8th August 1918 and disembarked Melbourne on 4th October. He was discharged on 19th October 1918, medically unfit: premature senility.
James was a returned soldier at Cowes in 1919 and was living at Flagstaff Gardens in 1924 and Fitzroy South in 1931 working as a labourer.
James died in June 1932 at Prahran and was buried in The Necropolis, Springvale.