Private John Syme
4th Battalion, AIF
Service Number: 279
Born: 27 December 1891, Waregah Island, North Arm, Clarence River, NSW
Died: 5 May 1915, Gallipoli, Turkey
John William Syme was born at Waregah Island, North Arm, Clarence River on 27 December 1891, the son of Duncan McInnes and Margaret Syme (nee Postlethwaite). Syme completed his education at the Holdsworthy Public School near Liverpool NSW. On 25 April 1912, Syme was employed by the NSW Railways as a cleaner and later a fireman at the Penrith Depot. Before enlisting in the AIF in August 1914, Syme had been a member of the Lithgow District Volunteers and the Penrith Rifle Club.
Syme enlisted on 18 August 1914 and was allocated to A Company, 4th Battalion AIF. He left Sydney on 20 October 1914 aboard A14 HMAT Euripides bound for the Middle East. Syme underwent training in Egypt before embarking as part of the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force on the Lake Michigan on 5 April 1915. The 4th Battalion, a reserve battalion, did not land at the northern end of Bolton’s Ridge on the Gallipoli peninsula until almost dusk on 25 April 1915. They quickly entrenched along the summit a
little south of the 400 Plateau and the following day briefly held the Lone Pine position before being forced to retreat and dig in to defend the beachhead. Syme was killed in action on 5 May 1915 and was buried in Shrapnel Gully, the deep valley between Anzac Cove and Monash Valley which served as the main artery for all traffic to the frontline. Two brothers, Duncan Leslie Syme and Peter McInnes Syme were also killed during the war.
- Lone Pine Memorial Cemetery, Gallipoli Turkey
- Honor Roll, Memory Park, Penrith.
- National Archives of Australia: B2455, SYME J W
- Australian War Memorial First World War Nominal Roll
- Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour
- Penrith City Library Biography files