Jeremiah James Hayden

June 24, 2015

HAYDEN, Jeremiah James- – – – SPC 1893-1895

DoB:- – 1877, Ballarat East, VIC

Father:– – William Hayden

Mother:– – Honora, nee Ryan

Known as James while at St Patrick’s, this boy was one of the College -‘Foundation’ students. He passed his Matriculation in 1895 in the following subjects: History, Arithmetic, Euclid (a branch of Geometry), Algebra, Physics and Chemistry.

Service No:- 1846

Rank:– – Private

Unit:– – 39th Battalion

James Hayden enlisted on 14 April 1916. He was a single man, aged 38 years, who worked as an insurance inspector. He was five feet, eight and a half inches tall, with a fair complexion, grey eyes, and thin hair which was -‘going grey’.

Private Hayden embarked from Australia aboard the Orontes on 16 August 1916. Even while on his way to overseas service, and throughout his time in the AIF, he was constantly being charged with offences.

9 September 1916 -“ Crime at Sea: Failing to report for duty after being warned.- – Award: Forfeit one days’ pay and three days’ guard duty imposed.

8 October 1916 -“ Offence: at Codford AWL from 12.30pm, 4 Oct 1916 to 8pm, 5 Oct- 1916. Award: Total forfeiture nine days’ pay.

24 October 1916 -“ Offence: at Codford AWL from 23.00pm, 18 Oct 1916 to 01.30am

20 Oct 1916. Award: Total forfeiture eight days’ pay.

13 December 1916 -“ Offence: at Larkhill. 1. Neglecting to carry out instructions of CSM (commanding officer). 2. AWL from 8.30am to 5pm on 12 Dec 1916. Award: 168 hours detention with labour, plus total forfeiture of eight days’ pay.

15 January 1917 -“ Crime: Durrington Camp, Breaking out of camp. Award: 28 days’- – detention.

7 January 1918 -“ Crime: Whilst on active service in France. Drunkenness in that he- at De Seule Camp on 29.12.17 was drunk. Award: 28 days’ pay.

13 March 1918 -“ Suspended from service.

24 July 1918 -“ Offence: Weymouth 22.7.18. Neglect to obey AIF Depot Order of 16.10.17 in that he was found in Weymouth at 10.15pm without a pass from his CO. Award: Forfeit seven days’ pay.

Despite these frequent offences, Private Hayden was still part of the unit that proceeded from England to France on 3 May 1917. On 10 April 1918 he was wounded in action , and was invalided back to the UK suffering from being gassed. In August 1918, he was returned to Australia as medically unfit, having been diagnosed with arteriosclerosis (a thickening in the walls of the arteries).

The medical opinion on Private Hayden’s AIF discharge papers reveal that when he enlisted, he put his age at 38 years, but he was really 44 years old. The doctor noted that he was a -‘gray headed man [who] looks more than his age. Arteries markedly thickened. Not likely to stand active service again. Arteriosclerosis either due to alcohol or syphilis’.

Jeremiah James Hayden returned to 255 Victoria Street, East Ballarat, where he lived with his parents and brother, Denis. Electoral roll records show that he remained in Ballarat until at least 1924, but at some point he moved to South Australia.

Jeremiah died at the age of 49, on 13 June 1927 in Adelaide. His death certificate states that he succumbed to pulmonary tuberculosis, from which he had suffered for six months. He was buried at the AIF Cemetery, West Terrace, Adelaide. He had never married.