PRIVATE JOHN ERNEST ORR
1ST NOVEMBER 1917 AGE 35
BURIED: AEROPLANE CEMETERY, WEST-VLAANDEREN, BELGIUM
There's an Australian Red Cross Wounded and Missing Enquiry Bureau file for 'Jack' Orr, which gives us a wonderfully vivid description of him.
"Orr was a short, nuggety, red faced man, who had been a butcher before joining the army."
"Height about 5 ft 7 and a half inches, dark complexion and heavy dark moustache, sturdily built."
Reports about his death vary but these two seems to add up:
"On Nov. 1 when we were on reserves at Passchendaele, Orr was killed by a gas shell which burst right on the Bivy. I did not see him, but Pte. E. Calder B Co. was with Orr when he was killed and can give the details."
G. Taylor, 6650, D Co. 28 Bn A.I.F.
"I know that Private J.E. Orr died from the effects of gas on November 1st. 1917, and that he was buried in the field. Whether his grave was ever registered I could not say."
E. Calder, 6556, B Co. 28 Bn A.I.F.
The grave was not registered but in August 1919 Orr's body was discovered at map reference J.3.c.3.4 in an unmarked grave.
Robert Orr, Jack's elder brother, confirmed his inscription: "a praise for those who fought and fell to save the Empire's name". Included with those who 'fell' was was not only 'Jack', but another brother, George Wood Orr, who was killed on the Somme on 10 October 1916, and a brother-in-law, Albert Nordstrom, killed on 31 August 1916, also on the Somme.