James Ernest Newland was an Australian soldier, policeman and a recipient of the Victoria Cross. He was among the first wave of men to land at Gallipoli during the First World War. He continued to serve in the Australian Army’s permanent forces on his return to Australia, and completed several years’ service in the artillery. Newland died of heart failure in 1949 and was buried in Geelong, Victoria.
About James Newland in brief
James Ernest Newland was an Australian soldier, policeman and a recipient of the Victoria Cross. He was among the first wave of men to land at Gallipoli during the First World War. In 1917, Newland led his men in several assaults on German positions and repulsed subsequent counter-attacks. He continued to serve in the Australian Army’s permanent forces on his return to Australia, and completed several years’ service in the artillery. Newland held various appointments between the two world wars, and retired a lieutenant colonel in 1941. He died of heart failure in 1949 and was buried in Geelong, Victoria. He is buried with his wife, Louisa Jane Newland, in Highton, Victoria, where he was born on 22 August 1881, and his parents, William Newland and Louisa J. Jane, in the Geelong suburb of Highton. He enlisted in the Commonwealth Military Forces in 1899 and was assigned to the 4th Battalion, Australian Commonwealth Horse, as a private. In 1907, he became a police officer in Tasmania before re-joining the permanent forces in 1910. In 1914, he transferred to the newly raised Australian Imperial Force following the British Empire’s declaration of war on Germany and her allies. In 1916, he was mentioned in despatches for his leadership while commanding a company during an attack at Mouquet Farm. The 12th Battalion was initially posted to the Fleix sector of France, where it participated in the Battle of Pozières, its first major action.
It was subsequently moved to the Somme Valley along with the rest of the 12th Battalion and formed part of the Thiepval Valley defences. On 21 July 1916, it was posted to command A Company, which was later moved to Svalieres. On 1 March 1917, it embarked on HMAT Geelong for the Western Front, and later that month it was sent to Marseilles. In March 1918, it arrived at Marseilles, and 15 days later it was placed in command of A Company. On 20 October, the battalion was deployed to the Svelte sector of the Loir-et-Cher region of France. In April 1917, the 12st Battalion was sent back to Egypt to train in the Egyptian desert. On 22 May, it returned to France and was posted as part of an ANZAC landing force. On 25 April 1915, the 3rd Australian Brigade was designated as the covering force for the ANZac landing, and as such was the first unit ashore on 25 April 15, at approximately 04: 30. In the days following the landing, he suffered a gunshot wound to his arm, and was evacuated to the 1st General Hospital. While at the hospital he was commissioned as a second lieutenant. He served with this unit until 9 June, when he was withdrawn from the area and placed in charge of the12th Battalion’s transport elements stationed in Egypt.