Hallidon (Ernest) McAliece

From Our Contribution

Hallidon (Ernest) McAliece
McAliece Ernest 1.jpg
Sunday Times 26 Sep 1915 page 1 S
Personal Information
Date of Birth not known 1900
Place of Birth Wangaratta, Victoria
Death 7 Aug 1915, aged 22
Place of Death Walker's Ridge (The Nek), Gallipoli Peninsula, Turkey
Age at Enlistment 22 years, 1 month
Description 5'10" (1.78m) tall ; 147 lbs
66.678 kg
; ruddy complexion ; hazel eyes ; red hair
Occupation Grocer
Religion Presbyterian
Address Serpentine School, Western Australia
Next of Kin Mother , Mrs Isabella McAliece
Military Information
Reg Number 170
Date of Enlistment 5 Oct 1914
Rank Sergeant
Unit/Formation 10th Light Horse Regiment, A Squadron / ANZAC Mounted Division
Date of Embarkation 8 Feb 1915 ‒ 9 Mar 1915
Ship Embarked On HMAT A47 Mashobra
Fate Killed in Action 7 Aug 1915 (The Nek)
Monument Serpentine Roll of Honour
Lone Pine Memorial
ANZAC Memorial Park (Byford)
Australian War Memorial
Medals 1914-15 Star
British War Medal
Victory Medal

Pre War

A pupil at Serpentine School from 19 Jan 1904 - 23 Apr 1906, and 1 May 1907 - 1 Jan 1908

War Service

Enlisted as a Sergeant as he had prior experience with the 25th Light Horse Regiment totalling 2 years, 3 months. A Sergeant, he was paid 8/6d ($0.85) per day. As an original member of the 10th Light Horse Regiment he travelled with it to Egypt.

On 15 May 1915 they moved from Heliopolis near Cairo to Alexandria where they embarked the following day for Gallipoli aboard ship A24 SS Lutzow. On the 19th they were anchored off shore from Cape Helles, before sailing on to Anzac Cove and again anchoring off shore. They remained on board during daylight hours on 20 May 1915 as the enemy had been shelling the beach and boats in the Cove all day. Around 5:00pm they transferred to two destroyers that conveyed them to shore through Turkish shrapnel shells, and then dug in for the night near the beach.

In August, the Light Horse were manning the trenches at Russell's Top, and were described in the unit's war diary on 2 Aug 1915 to be badly in want of a rest and change as well as a change of diet. Sickness was very prevalent. On the morning of 7 Aug 1915 a bombardment of enemy positions that "produced little effective results" preceded an attack by them on Turkish trenches. Although the first two attacking waves were mown down by enemy fire, and despite an appeal to higher authorities to call of the rest of the attack, the third and fourth waves, made up of members of the 10th Light Horse were ordered to continue the attack.

Ernest was declared to have been Killed in Action by a Board of Enquiry held the next day, 8 Aug 1915 at Russell's Top, Gallipoli. Along with 36 others from his unit, his body was not recovered from the assault on the Turkish trenches at the Nek, Anzac in the early morning of 7 Aug 1915. The report of the Board of Enquiry contained a statement by the unit's Commanding Officer Lt Col N.M. Brazier.

After referring the matter to the 3rd Light Horse Brigade Headquarters, he ordered the 10th Regiment which he commands, to assault in 2 lines the Turkish trenches on the NEK, in am easterly direction from our trenches on Russell's Top, although at this time, there was a murderous hail of shrapnel, machine gun and rifle fire from the enemy, and felt quite convinced few if any would return. He has personally seen with a periscope, a great number of dead outside our trenches, and has caused the recovery of all those bodies, which up to the present he considers wise to risk further loss of life. He is of the opinion that all the missing are dead, and further from the reports of the wounded who returned to the lines, and from personal observation with the periscope immediately after the assault that no single individual of the 10th Regiment reached the Turks trenches. Subsequent to the assault the enemy were seen deliberately firing on the wounded.
  • Lone Pine Memorial
  • Section of Lone Pine Memorial

Memorialised on the Lone Pine Memorial - Panel 9


Letter from Mother on file discrediting his father, who later writes pleading poverty and asking for financial recompense for the loss of his son - denied. Ernest's mother had moved from Victoria to WA when he was a baby to escape the father, described as a dangerous drunk. She taught in WA schools for 16 years, including at Serpentine.

It might be that Ernest has chosen to use his mothers maiden name of McAliece ( an Isabella McAliece was born in Victoria in 1875, and would have been 24-25 years old when he was born).

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