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Joseph Henry Meyts #3221

By Marg Powell, Specialist Library Technician, Metadata Services | 13 November 2017

Private Joseph (Joe) Henry Meyts was the only child of Henry Joseph and Julia Ann Meyts (nee Graham) of Mitchell, Queensland. He enlisted to serve in the First World War in January 1916. His parents were by then deceased so he named his uncle, Edward Patrick Graham as his next of kin. Joe left Australia in May 1916 assigned to the 31st Infantry Battalion and arrived in Egypt four weeks later. 

His battalion was selected to proceed to England in August 1916 training at Larkhill Camp on the Salisbury Plain. Joe was admitted to hospital 9 days later with a gunshot wound to his arm, received during this time.  Recovered, he proceeded overseas to France in January 1917 where he joined his Unit in the field at Trones Wood, west of Dernancourton the Western Front.

Joe sent this postcard booklet to his young cousin Doris, in September 1917, the only daughter of his surviving uncle John (Jack) Joseph Graham. It contains 24 cards with views of Lille, Roubaix, and Tourcoing, Northern France. Joe wrote across three of them relating the story of a shell landing in their billet.

Rear of postcard no. 1

Rear of postcard, one of 3 he wrote across relating the story of a shell landing in their billet. 31133 Joseph Henry Meyts Collection, State Library of Queensland.

In September 1918 the 31st Battalion was involved in operations at Vermand near Mont Saint Quentin. It was here that Joseph Meyts was killed in action.

Joe was engaged on a patrol with 10 others of ‘B’ Company to locate the German front line. When they were discovered, the Germans opened fire with machine guns, killing Joe and Charles O’Rourke #3862. Joe Meyts is buried at Roisel Communal Cemetery Extension, France.

This delightful keepsake has now been digitised and is available to view via the State Library of Queensland's website.

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Marg Powell, Specialist Library Technician, State Library of Queensland


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