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John Mead Kernick was born in Ballarat and Farrier by trade when he enlisted in the 8th Infantry Battalion on 24 August 1914 at the age of 20. His unit embarked from Melbourne, Victoria, on board Transport A24 Benalla on 19 October 1914. He transferred to the 1st Pioneers Battalion on 13 March 1916 where he was later wounded in action in France and admitted to Hospital with shell shock. He was released to duty a day later. Scabies was a persistent problem in the dank trenches, infecting several soldiers including Kernick, who was admitted to Hospital on 3 March 1917 for the condition.
On 9 February 1918 Kernick was awarded a promotion to Corporal before being detaches for duty with the 184th Tunnelling Convoy until 23 Mach 1918, when he rejoined the 1st Pioneers. On 21 September 1918, he received another promotion to Lance Sergeant before returning to Australia.
Tree No. 200
Scabies, also known colloquially as the seven-year itch, is a contagious skin infection caused by the mite Sarcoptes scabiei. The mite is a tiny, and usually not directly visible, parasite which burrows under the host's skin, which in most people causes an intense itching sensation caused by an allergic response.