The Australian Boer War Memorial
Anzac Parade Canberra

Trooper John Conrad Korff

Ancestor Details

Name of Ancestor: John (Jack) Conrad Korff

Ancestor's date of birth: 30/03/1881

Ancestor's date of death: 07/08/1923

Cause of Death: Acute nephritis

Service and Life Before the Boer War: Previous military service unlikely. Worked with his father as an estate agent, and also assisted his father in training and racing trotting horses.

Service Number: 2037

Colony or State of enlistment: Not Australia, Place of Enlistment: South Africa

Unit: Doyle's Australian Scouts; also stated to have been in the South African Natal 'Guards' (a record cannot be found for a unit of that name)

Rank attained in Boer War: TPR, Date Effective: 1900?

Highest Rank attained (if served after war): SPR, Date Effective: 27/01/1917

Murray Page: Not listed

Contingent: Not applicable

Ship: Would have needed to travel privately to South Africa

Memorial details: A soldier's grave in the vicinity of Sydney.

Awards/Decorations/Commendations: Queen's South Africa Medal with four clasps (South Africa 1902, Transvaal, Free State and Cape Colony) Ref: NSW Police Gazette 30 Dec 1914 when stated to have been stolen. British War Medal and Victory Medal.

Personal Characteristics: 165 cm tall, weighing 59 kg in 1917.

Reasons to go and fight: Not known

Details of service in war: It his Ww1 dossier it states he served with a Natal based irregular South African unit for 13 months prior to 1902, presumably including service in the Free State and Cape Colony. With Doyle's Australian Scouts in 1902 he served in east and west Transvaal. (It should be noted that his Boer War service cannot be validated.)

Service and life after the Boer War: John Conrad Korff was a 37 years old married estate agent. He lived at 16 Renwick Street Drummoyne with his wife Mrs Nellie Estelle Catherine Korff and four surviving children. John signed up to join the AIF on 27 January 1917, and his daily pay rate before and immediately after embarkation was 6s. He served with the Engimeers (10 Field Company) as a Sapper (Driver) No 18689 in France. He received a head injury in the field on 25 October 1918, thereafter he spent most of his time in hospital Ref: NAA WW1 service records. While recuperating in England he was determined to learn what happened to his young brother Earlston Warwick Korff, who was finally determined to have died at Pozieres, and this had a profound effect on him Ref: Red Cross records. He returned to Australia and was discharged on 19 January 1920. He drank too much, and was said to have not been the same man that left in 1917. His marriage collapsed, and he died in 1923.

Descendant Details

Name of Descendant: Denise Joy Thompson, Cherrybrook NSW
Relationship to Ancestor: Granddaughter


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RUSI of NSW Boer War Battlefields