Their bodies are buried in peace; but their names liveth for evermore.
Their Duty Done
A tribute to the men and women of the East Gippsland Region who Died as a result of their participation in World War One : 1914 -1919
125 Lance Corporal James Robert Twomey - Paynesville Killed in Action 13 October 1917
James Twomey was born in Portland in 1895 the third child to Thomas and Bridget Twomey who moved their young family to Paynesville in the early 1900s. After finishing his education at Christian Brothers College in North Melbourne, James trained as an Iron Moulder and spent two years as a senior cadet at Williamstown and two years in the Citizen Military Forces at Castlemaine. He then enlisted with the machine gun section of the 38 th  Battalion on 31 January 1916 when he was 21 years old. Five months later he was on the Runic and sailing to Plymouth. While at sea, James spent July in the sick bay with influenza and pleurisy before they landed on 10 August. Once back on dry land he attended a Machine Gun Artificers School at Tidworth in September and became skilled in the operation of the Lewis machine gun.  He transferred back to Larkhill in November and at one stage was charged 10d. for shortage of clothing and four days later promoted to Lance Corporal and then proceeded overseas to France. James’ war experience was one of hospitalisation. On 25 November 1916 he was again admitted to hospital sick and re-joined his unit on 26 January 1917 only to be admitted into hospital again a week later with laryngitis. A week later he was back with his unit again but this time two days later he was back in hospital with pyrexia and was finally invalided to England at the end of March with bronchitis. James was released from hospital on a two-week furlough with orders to report for further training at Wareham before being transferred to the 65 th  Battalion on 20 May 1917. On 25 August he was shipped back to France and re-joined the 38 th  Battalion on 2 September. James was reported missing at Passchendaele on 13 October but it wasn’t until a court of enquiry was held in April the following year that he was declared killed in action. In 1918 the Department advised the family there were no personal effects as he had been reported missing for about six months it is probable that his body was never recovered and anything he had with him at the time of his death would have disappeared. Later that year a parcel containing two razors was received by the family. James’ brother, Francis served with the 14 th  Battalion and returned wounded to Australia in June 1916. James is remembered on the St Mary’s Church Honour roll, the Paynesville honour roll and at Menin Gate with thousands of other young Australians. He was 23 years old.
….. reported missing for about six months