Private John Simpson
19th Battalion, AIF
Service Number: 6139
Born: 1877, London. England
Died: 9 October 1917, Broodsiende Ridge, Belgium
John George Simpson was born in London in 1877, the son of John and Caroline Simpson. He married Isabella Jane around 1900 and by the time of their migration to Australia in 1912, they had three children, Frederick, Alexander and Stanley. Simpson and his family arrived in Australia in September 1912 aboard the Ballarat. They first settled at Darling Harbour where Simpson worked as a tram conductor. Later they moved to Rozelle where Simpson worked as a ship’s painter and docker at the dockyards on Cockatoo Island. On his enlistment papers, Simpson stated he had served 4 years with the 1st Volunteer Battalion Royal West Surrey (Queens) Regiment which had seen service during the Boer War in South Africa.
On 22 June 1916, Simpson enlisted at the age of 39. At the time, the family were living at Rozelle. He embarked at Sydney on the HMAT Ascanius on 25 October. This ship was in first convoy of ships to leave Australia carrying troops for overseas service in November 1914. Simpson disembarked at Devonport on 28 December.
By February 1917 Simpson was in Etaples in France and was in action a month later. On 9 October, while on sentry duty, Simpson was killed by shell fire in his trench at Daisy Woods on Broodseinde Ridge.
By the early 1920s, Isabella had moved to Penrith, living in a home named Ypres Cottage on Mulgoa Road at Jamisontown. By the later 1920s she was living in a home called Sydenham in Riley Street Penrith. She left Penrith for about fourteen years and returned in later life to live with her youngest son and his family at Lemongrove. She died there in 1948. John and Isabella were survived by their three sons and ten grandchildren.
- New British Cemetery, Passchendaele, Belgium
- Honor Roll, Memory Park, Penrith