John Peter Orvad
Serial No. 3008
31st Battalion & 1st Division Pioneer
John Peter Orvad - Information
John Peter Orvad was born in Appin c1897. He was an only child, and sadly soon lost both his parents. He then went to live with his uncle, William Orvad, in Woonona. John was working as a labourer, when he decided to enlist in the AIF. He joined up at Casula on the 15th of January 1915, aged 18 years. During training, John was made a Private with the 5th Reinforcements, 31st Battalion. He was then transferred to the 1st Division Pioneer Battalion in May, and was sent overseas for war service on the 16th of June 1916.
John arrived in Egypt and was marched out to the 8th Training Battalion. By May, he was stationed to the 1st Division Pioneers at Tel-el-Kebir, and was then shipped from Alexandria to France. In July, John was taken on strength to the Pioneers whom worked in the frontlines, on trenches, dugouts, roads and various other works. He suffered through the extremely cold winter, and in January 1917, was admitted to hospital with influenza. The infection soon resulted in pneumonia, and he was subsequently evacuated to England to Edmonton Military Hospital. After enjoying some convalescence and follow-up training, John proceeded back to France via Southampton on the 18th of October. Upon arrival, he was detached for duty with the 1st ANZAC Workshops, before rejoining his unit in November. Heavy fighting broke out following the German Spring Offensive in March 1918. The Allies were struggling with the onslaught and many AIF Battalions were under strength. As a result, many Pioneers helped out carrying wounded and ammunition and even picked up a rifle. John was then killed in action on the 26th of May 1918.
In Campbelltown, news that John was killed in action was recorded in The Campbelltown Herald on the 15th of June 1918. His name was later recorded on a plaque at the Soldier's Memorial on Queen St.