Serial No. 2282
James Bee - Information
James enlisted in the AIF in Goulburn on the 1st of May 1916, aged 28. Born in Picton, he grew up on the family estate of Cloverdale in Taralga. He did quite well for himself working as a farmer, acquiring 727 acres of the Stratham Estate. After joining up, James was made a Private with the 55th, then the 4th Reinforcements, 35th Battalion at Rutherford. He was shipped out from Sydney on the 17th of October 1916 onboard the HMAT Borda.
James disembarked in Plymouth, England on the 9th of January 1917. The following month, he was marched into the 9th Training Battalion. In March, he was transported to the Western Front in France, joining the 35th Battalion in the field in early April. After surviving the carnage at Messines in June, James was then wounded on the 16th of July, receiving a gun shot wound to his arm. He was rushed by the 11th Field Ambulance to the 3rd Canadian General Hospital in Boulogne. On the 21st, he was evacuated to England for treatment as the bullet had fractured the bone. He was transferred to the 3rd Auxiliary Hospital in Dartford by late August and returned to duty in mid November. The following month, he was once again transported to the Western Front, rejoining his unit in the freezing trenches. In March 1918, the Germans launched their Spring Offensive, breaking through the Allied lines. Intense fighting erupted, as the Australian Corps attempted to halt the German advance. The 35th Battalion stood their ground at Hangard Wood and then at Villers-Bretonneux in April. James was then killed in action on the 4th of May near Morlancourt. He was buried at Mericourt-L’Abbe Communal Cemetery, Mericourt in France.