Patrick Joseph O'Brien
From Our Contribution
|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|
5'9" (1.75m) tall ; 150 lbs|
68.039 kg; ruddy complexion ; blue eyes ; red hair
|Address||Jarrahdale, Western Australia|
|Next of Kin||Brother , Mr William O'Brien|
|Date of Enlistment||1 Apr 1916|
|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|
Jarrahdale War Memorial |
Jarrahdale Honour Roll
ANZAC Memorial Park (Byford)
British War Medal |
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.
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.
Died within a year of being discharged.