Patrick Joseph O'Brien

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Patrick Joseph O'Brien
Personal Information
Date of Birth c1873
Place of Birth Melbourne, Victoria
Death 30 Oct 1919
Place of Death Perth, Western Australia
Age at Enlistment 43 years old
Description 5'9" (1.75m) tall ; 150 lbs
68.039 kg
; ruddy complexion ; blue eyes ; red hair
Occupation Sawyer
Religion Roman Catholic
Address Jarrahdale, Western Australia
Next of Kin Brother , Mr William O'Brien
Military Information
Reg Number 6806
Date of Enlistment 1 Apr 1916
Rank Private
Unit/Formation 16th Battalion, 22nd reinforcement / 4th Brigade, 4th Division
Date of Embarkation 9 Nov 1916 ‒ 10 Jan 1917
Ship Embarked On HMAT A8 Argyllshire
Date of Return 23 Sep 1918 ‒ 17 Nov 1918
Ship Returned On HMAT A54 Runic
Fate Returned to Australia
Monument Jarrahdale War Memorial
Jarrahdale Honour Roll
ANZAC Memorial Park (Byford)
Medals British War Medal
Victory Medal

Pre War

A wood machinist as well as a sawyer, he worked for Millars Timber and Trading Co. Had previously been rejected for military service due to defective vision.

War Service

Entered Blackboy Hill camp on 1 Apr 1916, and on 17 Apr 1916 he was allocated to the 18th reinforcement draft for the 11th Battalion. On 14 Aug 1917 this changed to the 23rd draft for the 16th Battalion, and on 4 Sep 1916 to the 22nd draft for the 16th Battalion.

On arrival in England he was sent to the 4th Training Battalion at Codford, and here in February 1917 he was charged with Overstaying his leave from midnight 2 Feb until 7:00pm on 5 Feb 1917. Placed in detention for 72 hours and forfeited 7 days pay. On 4 Mar 1917 he was admitted to Codford hospital with influenza, and was released back to training on 12 Mar 1917. On the 20th, just 8 days later he was off to Fargo Hospital with eye problems, but not before on 16 Mar 1917 being charged with Neglecting to obey an order for which he received 2 days Field Punishment No 2. On 7 May 1917 he was charged with (1) being AWOL from 8:00am on 6 May 1917 until 9:00am on 7 May 1917; (2)Malingering. For these errors he was awarded 7 days Field Punishment No 2, forfeiture of 9 days pay, and fine of £2/5/-.

So illness and a series of brushes with Military law had significantly delayed his joining his intended unit, the 16th Battalion.

Patrick proceeded overseas to France via Southampton on 9 Jul 1917, and he joined the 16th Battalion on 27 Jul 1917. Within 4 days Patrick was in hospital and on 10 Aug 1917 he was transferred from the 5th General Hospital to the Southern General Hospital in Portsmouth where he was admitted on 14 Aug 1917 with DDH (slight). On 1 Oct 1917 he was admitted to the 1st Australian Dermatological Hospital at Codford Hospital with VD, and was not discharged until 26 Mar 1918 a total ineffective period of 177 days. Barely had he been released than he was AWOL, being charged with being absent from the 1:45 pm parade, and then absent from the Doctor's ward rounds the same day. Awarded 3 days Field Punishment No 2, and forfeited 4 days pay.

At Heytesbury on 1 Jun 1918, Patrick was in town after 9:30pm without a pass contrary to AIF HQ Order 719. For this he forfeited 3 days pay. On 31 Aug 1918 he managed one more appearance before his commanding Officer when he was charged with being AWOL form midnight 27 Aug 1918 until apprehended by Military Police at midnight 29 Aug 1918. This time he forfeited 6 days pay.

It is difficult to see that he was effective for any great amount of time. During the short time that he was with the Battalion he worked as an assistant cook, due to limited physical capacity due to illnesses which included influenza and VD. Any exercise caused dizziness, and this was diagnosed as heart related.

Eventually returned to Australia on medical grounds, and was discharged on medical grounds by the 5th Military District on 9 Dec 1918.

Post War

Died within a year of being discharged.


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