James Lawrence BRODIE

Year of Birth: 1893

Place of Birth:  Irvinebank, Queensland

Date of Enlistment:  28 June 1915

Date and Place of Embarkation:  5 October 1915, Brisbane, Queensland

Ship:  HMAT Warilda A69

Rank:  Company Sergeant Major

Unit(s):  9th Australian Infantry Battalion – 10 to 12 Reinforcements - 13th Australian Machine Gun Company

Regimental Number:  3011

Died:  31 January 1917


C S M James Brodie - Northern Herald (Cairns) 13 April 1917


James Lawrence Brodie was born 8 August 1893.  His parent James Brodie and Emily Elizabeth Sugden were married in 1892.  James was the eldest of 4 children – Emily Mary (1895), Marjory Hellen Ashton (1897) and Albert Isaac (1900).

His family lived in Irvinebank in the western foothills of the Atherton Tableland, Far North Queensland where his father was a miner. First known as Gibbs Camp, the town was founded in 1884. It became a thriving town with an economy based on mining, milling and smelting.

Prior to his service in the 9th Battalion, James served in the Far North Queensland Kennedy Regiment, known as the Dirty 500.  Members of the Dirty 500, including James, landed on Thursday Island on 16 August 1914 from the troopship “Kanowna”, to take part in the capture of German New Guinea. An incident on board the “Kanowna” involving the firemen forced the immediate return of the troops to Townsville on 18 August 1914; he was discharged the same day.

On his enlistment James was 21 years 10 months, student of School of Mines, next of kin his father Mr J Brodie, Irvinebank, Queensland.  His height was 5 feet 7 ½ inches, weighed 146 pounds with fair complexion, blue eyes and brown hair.  His religion was Methodist.

James embarked from Brisbane on 5 October 1915 on HMAT Warilda. He went first to Tel el Kebir in Egypt where he transferred to 13th Machine Gun Company.  He was promoted to Corporal on 4 April 1916 then to Sergeant on 1 June 1916.  He proceeded to Marseilles, France on 12 June 1916.  He was wounded and admitted to hospital in Etaples France on 28 August 1916, rejoining his unit on 12 September that year.  He was promoted to Company Sergeant Major on 3 October 1916.

James Lawrence Brodie was killed in action on 31 January 1917 and buried at Bulls Road Cemetery, Flers, Picardie, France.


HMAT Warilda A63 - photo courtesy Australian War Memorial


Evening Telegraph (Charters Towers) 6 January 1914 p3


NAA B2455 - letter from James to parents


Red Cross Wounded & Missing


Northern Herald (Cairns) 6 February 1917 p3


Online Resources

Queensland Birth Death & Marriage Index

NAA:  B2455 Brodie James Lawrence, National Archives Australia

Australian War Memorial

Photograph of the HMAT Warilda A63, Australian War Memorial

Irvinebank History

Northern Herald (Cairns) 6 Feb 1919 p3

Photograph of James Brodie, Northern Herald 13 April 1917 p26

Evening Telegraph (Charters Towers) Tues 6 Jan 1914 p3

Other Resources

The First Expeditionary Force: the Thursday Island Expedition: a collection of reference documents. Denis Bird, 2015 [CDFHS Library]

If you have a photograph or further information about this soldier you would like to share and add to his biography, please add a comment or contact the Society projects@cdfhs.org

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