John Robert Krauklys

AWM memorial panel 128

Born 1893

Place Riga, Latvia

Ethnic origin Latvian

Religion Church of England

Father Kurst Peter Krauklys


Cousin Ian Rosing. Friends in Australia: lived together with Carl August Prinz and Wilhelm Lundfend before enlistment and joined together with them

Residence before arrival at Australia Studied at public school in St Petersburg

Arrived at Australia
on 6.01.1917

Residence before enlistment Sydney

Occupation Labourer, seaman

service number 6572
enlisted 9.01.1917
POE Sydney
unit 18th Battalion, 37th Battalion
rank Private
place Western Front, 1917-1918
awards Mentioned in dispatches (LG 31.12.1918)
final fate KIA 30.08.1918
memorial 26 Villers-Bretonneux, France

Naturalisation Served as naturalised British subject (but did not naturalise in Australia)


Digitised service records (NAA)

Digitised Embarkation roll entry (AWM)

Digitised recommendations for award (AWM)

Biographical file (AWM)

Digitised Roll of Honour circular (AWM)

Blog article



From Russian Anzacs in Australian History:

The 37th Battalion (3rd Division) played a significant role in the [assault on Mont St Quentin] of 29-30 August: Captain Towl's company encountered fierce resistance during their night advance on the German positions and John Robert Krauklys, a Latvian from Riga (Bean mistakenly calls him a Finn), was one of their number who made his supreme sacrifice on this high bank of the Somme. Bean describes what happened: 'Private Krauklys, a Finn, was sent with a Lewis gun and two riflemen to keep them off. Germans were now firing from front and both flanks. Krauklys' gun jammed, but he ran out and secured a German machine-gun with ammunition. Lieut. Ashmead on the left had another, the Lewis gun was got going, and a German counter-attack from the front was beaten off.' It wasn't long before Ashmead was mortally wounded and by morning their exposed situation had deteriorated. They were cut off from the rest of the battalion by intense enemy fire and 'Towl could not get a runner through -- all were shot including the Finn, Krauklys, who offered to make the run'. Towl's men only managed to get back through the German lines with their captured prisoners at dusk, half of their company having been hit. Krauklys was a seaman and enlisted three days after landing in Sydney in January 1917. He joined up with two of his Latvian friends, Lundfend and Prinz, but on arrival in France applied to be transferred to the 37th Battalion, in which his cousin Ian Rosing served. Krauklys was mentioned in dispatches for his bravery here.