James Patrick Fleming

June 23, 2015

FLEMING, James Patrick- – – – SPC 1898-1899

DoB:– – c1882, Echuca, VIC

Father:- – Thomas Fleming


James Fleming attended SPC as a boarder from Echuca. He was a talented football player, playing in the 1st XVIII team, and was mentioned several times in the College Annual of 1898.

-‘-¦Though all our team played well, J Fleming stood out head and shoulders over every other player on the field. His fine running, marking and kicking being much admired’. He was named -‘Best all round player in the team’.

Service No:– 897, later 159

Rank:- – Private, later Corporal, later Sergeant, later Private

Unit:– – 11th Infantry Battalion

James Fleming joined up on 18 August 1914 at Bunbury, WA when he was almost 32 years old. He was a Timber Mill Timekeeper at Millar’s Timber & Trading Co, Perth WA. This company operated 26 sawmills, 350 miles of railway, 3 shipping ports, over 1,000 horses and 40 locomotives. 1,500,000 acres of forest country was under its control at the time.

James had a fair complexion, grey eyes and red hair. He was five feet, seven and three quarter inches tall.

He embarked on 2 November 1914 from Fremantle, WA on the Ascanius. He landed on the Gallipoli Peninsula on 25 April 1915 where he was wounded in action. He was taken by hospital ship Clan McGillivray to Malta for treatment, and later was transferred to Alexandria for further recuperation. By 25 May 1915, he was considered fit for duty and returned to Gallipoli. However, over the next few months he deteriorated to the point that he was transferred to the hospital ship once again with infected sores, and was shipped to the military hospital on the Greek island of Mudros.

He was transferred again to Alexandria in early January 1916 when he was promoted to Corporal, and was further promoted to the rank of Sergeant in March. Sergeant Fleming was assigned to the Ordnance Corp in France, near Ypres.

He was Court Martialled in October 1916, -‘in the field’ at Poperinghe, a few kilometres from Ypres. The charge was that of drunkenness when on active duty on 22 September 1916. Despite Fleming pleading -‘not guilty’, the finding of -‘guilty’ was confirmed by Brigadier General J M Antill. Fleming’s sentence was that he be reduced in rank to that of Corporal, dating from 5 October 1916.

After further service in the field in France, he was admitted to hospital in mid-April 1917 with gastritis. By the end of April, he was reduced in rank once again to that of Private, by authority from Headquarters. There was no annotation on his service record as to why this occurred.

In October 1918, Private Fleming embarked on the Port Sydney at Taranto, Italy to return to Australia. He was discharged on 23 January 1919, but the College has been unable to trace his movements after this time.