John Terrence O'Neil

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John Terrence O'Neil
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Personal Information
Date of Birth not known 1897
Place of Birth Jarrahdale, Western Australia
Death 10 Jul 1917
Place of Death Messines, Belgium
Age at Enlistment 18 years, 6 months
Description 5'7" (1.70m) tall ; 141 lbs
63.956 kg
; fresh complexion ; grey eyes ; dark brown hair
Occupation Mill hand
Religion Roman Catholic
Address Jarrahdale, Western Australia
Next of Kin Father , Mr Joseph O'Neill
Military Information
Reg Number 256
Date of Enlistment 18 Jan 1916
Rank Private
Unit/Formation 44th Battalion, B Company / 11th brigade, 3rd Division
Date of Embarkation 6 Jun 1916 ‒ 21 Jul 1916
Ship Embarked On HMAT A29 Suevic
Fate Killed in Action 10 Jul 1917 Messines, Belgium
Monument Jarrahdale War Memorial
Jarrahdale Honour Roll
Menin Gate Memorial
ANZAC Memorial Park (Byford)
Australian War Memorial
Medals British War Medal
Victory Medal



War Service

An inaugural member of B Company of the 44th Battalion, he travelled with them to England where they carried out further preparatory training at Lark Hill before entering France. From 19 - 29 Aug 1916 John was hospitalised with tonsillitis in the Fargo Hospital. Before going overseas, he was AWOL from midnight 30 Oct 1916 until 6:00am 1 Nov 1916, and was awarded 2 days Field Punishment No 2., and forfeiture of 4 days pay.

On 25 Nov 1916 he travelled overseas to France with the 44th Battalion and they moved into the reserve area at Steenwerck. From 22 Apr until 4 May 1917 he attended a 3rd Division School (subject not include in records).

Killed in Action on 10 Jul 1917. The Battalion War Diary reports no action as such for that day as they were in support trenches near Messines. However, it mentions that the enemy shelled Steignast Farm and the support line trenches, and the supports again that night so it is fair to assume that John's death was caused by the enemy artillery.

While records include an entry "Buried 200 yards north of the cross roads, 2,500 ENE of Messines and 2,000 NW of Warneton" his body was unable to be found later, and thus he is listed on the Menin Gate Memorial in Ypres.

  • Menin Gate Memorial - photo 2015 Linton Reynolds
  • Section of 44th Battalion panels


Notes

Mother awarded pension of 40/- per fortnight from 21 Sep 1917.


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