James William Surman was born in Cardigan, Victoria, was married to Mrs Alice M G Surman, 706 Mair Street, Ballarat, Victoria and was a School Teacher when he enlisted with the 39th Battalion, 7th Reinforcement on 18 March 1916 at the age of 43. His unit embarked from Melbourne, Victoria, on board HMAT A70 Ballarat on 19 February 1917. According to a Medical History Sheet dated 20 April 1918, he had suffered Rheumatic Fever in his early twenties and was at the time of enlistment feeling aches and pains in his back and hips. He was deemed unfit for active service and returned to Australia 1 February 1918 for special duty.
Tree No. 2250