Private Joseph 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.
Joseph Meyts 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.
Private Meyts 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 Dernancourt on the Western Front.
Joe Meyts 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 shelling landing in their billet.
In September 1918 the 31st Battalion was involved in operations at Vermand near Mont Saint Quentin. It was here that Private 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 Joseph Meyts and Charles O’Rourke #3862.
Private 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.
Read more …
- 31133 Joseph Henry Meyts Collection, SLQ
- Service record: MEYTS, Joseph Henry
- Service record: O’ROURKE, Charles
- Embarkation roll: 31st Infantry Battalion
- Roll of honour
- Red Cross Wounded and Missing files [pdf]
- ‘The Call. Downs Response.’ Darling Downs Gazette 19 January 1916 p5
Marg Powell | QANZAC100 Content Technician State Library of Queensland