WW1 Corporal James Alexander Ross (13/194)

James Alexander Ross (Auckland Libraries Heritage Collections AWNS-19150826-39-43)

James Alexander Ross (13/194) was born on 31 May 1892 in the Waikato farming town of Waerenga. He was the second son of James and Mary Ross (nee Smith) of Omahu Road, Remuera.

James had an elder brother and a sister. The family later moved to a farm called ‘Streamlands’, North Auckland. [1, 2]

James was interested in military matters and when he was 18, he joined the Rodney Mounted Rifles. He was amongst the first to volunteer for active service from Warkworth when he enlisted on 8 September 1914 and according to his sister:

“Father allowed James to go to war but not his horse. The horse was needed on the farm”. [3]

He was a Corporal with the Main Body of the Auckland Mounted Rifles and was described as 5ft 11 inches (180 cm) tall, with light brown hair and blue eyes. He caught measles on the voyage sailing from New Zealand to Suez, Egypt, but had recovered by the time it was to disembark on 3rd December 1914.

He was transferred to Turkey where he took part in the Gallipoli Campaign. This campaign is also known as Dardanelles campaign, the Battle of Gallipoli or the Battle of Çanakkale. James was wounded on 7 August 1915 and was transferred via hospital ships to the hospital based at Alexandria in Egypt. When he had recovered three months later, he returned to his unit in Gallipoli on 21 November 1915.

He was killed in action there a week later 28th November 1915. John Alexander Ross (12/194) is buried in the 7th Field Ambulance Cemetery, Gallipoli, Turkey, II A. 7. His name is commemorated on the following memorials:
• St Luke’s Church Honours Board, Remuera, Auckland
• Auckland War Memorial Museum, World War 1 Hall of Memories

G Ralph
April 2020