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SHARLAND, James Leonard Woodroffe (1898-1964)

SHARLAND, Dr James Leonard Woodroffe (1898-1964)

James Leonard Woodroffe Sharland was born in the Yea District on 8 October 1898, the eldest son of parents James Sutherland Sharland and Jane nee Little. At the time of his enrolment in Form Middle IV at Geelong College in February 1910 he was living in Skene St Newtown and had previously attended Flinders School. He attended as a day student until August 1915 completing Form VI.

At the College Sports in 1911 he competed in several novelty events coming second in the Sack Race and second in the Junior Manx Race of 50 yards. The next year he again came second in the Junior Manx Race over 100 yards, also running second in the Under 15 100 yards in a time of 11 4/5 seconds. In 1913 he ran second in th Under 16 880 yards. Persistence in novelty events was finally rewarded when he and A C Aikman won the Senior Manx Race over 100 yards in 1914. He was noted as a corporal in the College Cadets in 1915. Rowing as No 2 in the Middle fours over three furlongs, his crew were narrowly beaten by a length in their first heat at the College Regatta on 30 April 1915.

Academically he was a high performer in his early years at College. In 1911 he was awarded the Dux Prixe of Form Middle IV, presented by Mrs T S Hawkes. The following year, 1912, he was awarded the Dux Prize Form Upper IV, presented by Mrs Andrew Scott. In 1913 he was dux of Form VB with a prize presented by Lt Col G M Strong, Mayor of Chilwell and Newtown. In 1914 he was recorded seventh in Form VA, the Form dux that year being F M Burnet, winner of the Nobel Prize many years later.

He commenced studying Medicine at Melbourne University and Ormond College and joined the Melbourne University Rifles. He had completed 2nd year medicine when he enlisted in the AIF.

During World War I, he enlisted (No 18455) with the Artillery Reinforcements as a Gunner on 2 February 1917 and embarked on HMAT A71 Nestor on 21 October 1917. He transferred to 2nd Division Australian Army Medical Corp (AAMC) in April 1917 in Egypt where he remained until the end of the year. In August 1918 he was then posted to 2 AGH in France where he served from February until October. During that time he suffered two bouts of fever in April and again in October He embarked for Australia on 10 October 1918, and was demobilised in March 1919.

Pegasus in May 1918 reported that private J W Sharland, while on a week's leave in London, had met up with three Old Collegian chums, Roy Pillow (1894-1918), Clem Aikman (1898-1964) and 'Streak' Paine (1895-1978).

In 1925 he married Olive Emily Kelly. Although they had four children, all died relatively young.

He returned to service during World War II (No V147181) enlisting on 25 February 1942 as a Captain, Southern Command (3rd Military District) Camp Hospital. He was discharged on 9 July 1942.

Pegasus of 1964 recorded the obituary of Dr Sharland as follows: ‘Dr James L W Sharland died on September 19. He attended the College from 1910 to 1915 and went almost directly into the AIF. Completing medicine at Ormond after the war, he practised for about 40 years in Bendigo.’

His brother Wallace Sutherland Sharland (1902-1967) known as 'Jumbo', also attended Geelong College. One of his sisters, Dorothy Sharland, married Old Geelong Collegian, William Lane Ingpen (1908-1966)

Sources: Based on an edited extract from Geelong Collegians at the Great War compiled by James Affleck. p308 (citing Pegasus; National Archives) and an edited extract from Geelong Collegians at the Second World War compiled by James Affleck. pp 472-473 (citing Pegasus; National Archives); Pegasus April 1910 p13; Pegasus December 1911 p57, p64; Pegasus December 1912 p5, p44; Pegasus December 1913 p48, p57; Pegasus December 1914 p57; Pegasus May 1915 p2, p24; Pegasus Decemeber 1915 p9; Pegasus May 1918; Pegasus December 1964 p67.
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