Unfortunately James O’Donnell is the only person named in this image. The identity of the three ladies and two other soldiers is unknown. James’ mother was living in New Zealand. Was she here for a visit? Or are they simply friends?
James O’Donnell volunteered at Ross at a time when the Claremont Army Camp was in quarantine. In January 1916 he was a 21 year old single man working as a butcher at East Devonport. James had had 4 years military experience prior to en-listing.
Originally allotted to the Field Artillery as a gunner, in England he was later mus-tered as a driver with the 4th Division Ammunition Column. He had several admis-sions to hospital. During 1918 he suffered from recurrent bronchitis but managed to return to the Front after each discharge. On 1 April 1919 he returned to England to embark for Australia in May 1919.
No further information about James O’Donnell could be sourced from the public records.