John Jarrett was born in Adelaide in October 1933 and was a merchant seaman for five years before enlisting in the Australian Army shortly before his 19th birthday in July 1952. In September 1952 he was posted to the Army’s Ordnance Corps, where he served as a storeman technician.
In April 1953 John departed Sydney for Japan and in May was posted to Korea, where he served with the Australian Ancillary Unit. John served in Korea between May and August 1953 and during his time there served with the British Commonwealth Base Laundry. He returned to Japan and was promoted to Corporal. In November 1953 he redeployed to Korea, where he again served the Australian Ancillary Unit and with the British Commonwealth Base Laundry.
For more than twelve months John rotated between Korea and Japan until he returned to Australia in April 1955. After returning from north Asia, John served mainly as a storeman, was posted to the Ordnance Depot at Bandiana and from there to the 20th National Service Training Battalion as an instructor. It happened to be the same unit in which he had begun his service in 1952. Back in Australia, John was struck by the public’s indifference to the experiences of soldiers who had served in Korea. He was discharged from the army in July 1958 after completing the six years service for which he enlisted.
For a long time John did not join the RSL, but in the past several decades has been heavily involved with the South Australian Korea Forces Branch and served as their treasurer and president at various time. He was a delegate for the International Federation of Korean Veterans Association between 2008 and 2011.