PRIVATE JOHN BEDE CARROLL
AUSTRALIAN ARMY MEDICAL CORPS
22ND NOVEMBER 1916 AGE 18
BURIED: ST SEVER CEMETERY EXTENSION, ROUEN, SEINE-MARITIME, FRANCE
John Bede Carroll was indeed his parents' first born child but the inscription they chose for him is chilling - their God is a savage God. The text comes from Numbers 3:13
"Because all the first born are mine; for on the day that I smote all the firstborn in the land of Egypt I hallowed unto me all the firstborn in Israel, both man and beast: mine shall they be: I am the Lord."
John Carroll was 16 when he enlisted on 23 May 1915, giving his age as 18. He served in Gallipoli from September 1915 until the evacuation in December. In March 1916 he transferred to the Western Front with the rest of the Australian contingent. According to his father, writing on the form for the Roll of Honour of Australia, John Carroll served as a stretcher bearer throughout the Battle of Pozieres, July-August 1916, and was fatally wounded at Factory Corner, Flers. He does not give a date for this but in November 1916 Australian medical units were posted to caves in this area. Conditions in the region were by now truly appalling, the rain having reduced the terrain to thick, deep, viscous mud, making fighting or the carrying of either casualties or supplies virtually impossible.