Joseph Edward Tonkin was born in Ballarat and was a Miner by trade when he enlisted in the 5th Battalion, 23rd Reinforcement on 28 September 1916. He gave his age of 45. His unit embarked from Melbourne, Victoria, on board HMAT A20 Hororata on 23 November 1916.
Shortly after arrival he was admitted to the Fargo Military Hospital suffering from bronchitis. He rejoined the 5th Battalion but his ill heath continued and a Medical Board, after receiving the report of a medical officer – æHe is not strong enough to do his work. He is very frail. Age 50 years.' - determined he should return to Australia for discharge. He left England in July and was discharged on November 22nd 1917 as æmedically unfit - senility and chronic bronchitis'. He died a few weeks later on January 8th 1918. His wife, Helen, received his Memorial Scroll but was denied his Victory Medal on the grounds that he had not reached a theatre of war.
Tree No 2540