The AIF Project


Regimental number249
Place of birthFitzroy, Victoria
SchoolSt Peters Public School, Sydney, New South Wales
ReligionRoman Catholic
OccupationStation hand
AddressBellwood, Abbott Street, Sandringham, Victoria
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation30
Height5' 8.25"
Weight135 lbs
Next of kinSister, Frances Kavanagh, Abbott Street, Sandringham, Victoria
Previous military serviceNil
Enlistment date13 February 1915
Place of enlistmentLiverpool, New South Wales
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name17th Battalion, A Company
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/34/1
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Sydney, New South Wales, on board Transport A32 Themistocles on 12 May 1915
Rank from Nominal RollPrivate
Unit from Nominal Roll17th Battalion
FateKilled in Action 27 August 1915
Place of death or woundingHill 60
Age at death46
Age at death from cemetery records39
Place of burialNo known grave
Commemoration detailsThe Lone Pine Memorial (Panel 58), Gallipoli, Turkey

The Lone Pine Memorial, situated in the Lone Pine Cemetery at Anzac, is the main Australian Memorial on Gallipoli, and one of four memorials to men of the New Zealand Expeditionary Force. Designed by Sir John Burnet, the principal architect of the Gallipoli cemeteries, it is a thick tapering pylon 14.3 metres high on a square base 12.98 metres wide. It is constructed from limestone mined at Ilgardere in Turkey.

The Memorial commemorates the 3268 Australians and 456 New Zealanders who have no known grave and the 960 Australians and 252 New Zealanders who were buried at sea after evacuation through wounds or disease. The names of New Zealanders commemorated are inscribed on stone panels mounted on the south and north sides of the pylon, while those of the Australians are listed on a long wall of panels in front of the pylon and to either side. Names are arranged by unit and rank.

The Memorial stands over the centre of the Turkish trenches and tunnels which were the scene of heavy fighting during the August offensive. Most cemeteries on Gallipoli contain relatively few marked graves, and the majority of Australians killed on Gallipoli are commemorated here.

Panel number, Roll of Honour,
  Australian War Memorial
Miscellaneous information from
  cemetery records
Parents: William and Margaret KAVANAGH. Native of Melbourne
Family/military connectionsCousins: 1751 Sergeant Ernest Charles WOOD, 22nd Bn, killed in action, 27 July 1916; 4137 Lance Corporal Percival Cyril BONNER, 7th Bn, killed in action, 4 October 1917.
Other details

War service: Egypt, Gallipoli

Embarked Alexandria to join the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force, Gallipoli, 16 August 1915.

Reported missing, 27 August 1915.

Court of Enquiry, held at Rouen, France, 3-5 September 1917, declared fate to be 'Killed in Action, on or about 27 August 1915'.

Statement, Red Cross File No 1471007K, 325 Pte E.F. SPINDLEY, A Company, 17th Bn (patient, Sporting Club Hospital, Heliopolis, Egypt), 25 November 1915: 'Informant thinks he is fairly certain to have been killed in the charge of Aug. 27 as after same nothing could be heard of him after that date. He personally made many enquiries as he was his tent mate.'

Second statement, 164 Sergeant J.E. BENNETT, A Company, 17th Bn, 13 March 1916: 'Witness saw that the above was in his Company and went out in the charge at Hill 60 about 5 p.m. on 27 August 1915. The charge was for trenches held at the time by 16th Battalion and was over open ground and Kavanagh did not reach the Turks' trenches nor did he return. The ground in between was covered with low scrub about a foot or eighteen inches high and some of it was set alight by bursting Turkish shells and no discs or bodies were recovered.'

Third statement, 374 Lance Corporal McGINTY, A Company, 17th Bn, 14 March 1916: 'The above was in a charge on Friday afternoon, Aug 27, on the extreme left toward Suvla Bay, between N.Z. H.Qtrs and the 16th Btn. They charged across from their lines, took the Turkish trenches and held them. Many men fell during the charge. A number of these had bombs in their pockets. The brushwood was fired by shells during the night and masses of charred bodies could be seen, through periscopes, lying out the next morning. These bodies lay behind the Turkish trenches which the Btn held right through. The above must be dead. He fell in the charge as dewscribed and was never heard of again.'

Fourth statement, 930 Pte G. JENNINGS, C Company, 17th Bn (patient, No 4 Australian General Hospital, Randwick), 23 August 1916: 'Informant states that on the 29th or 30th August, 1915, Kavanagh was shot in the stomach at Chocolate Hill, and was taken down to the beach at Mule Gully, and lived only a few hours. Informant spoke to an A.M.C. man a few days afterwards, and he told me that Kavanagh was dead. Kavanagh was shot by a sniper while boiling a dixie of tea. Informant was about 10 yards from Kavanagh when he was shot - stretcher-bearers took him down to the beach.'

Fifth statement, 323 Pte W. STRACHAN, 17th Bn, 27 September 1916: 'Casualty went out to the attack on the 27th August, 1916, at Hill 60 near Chocolate Hills about 5 p.m. Informant goes on to state: "We charged, and I noticed casualty fall, he was killed instantaneously, but we had no time to bury him. Before going into action casualty turned to me and said 'If anything happens to me old man will you write and tell my sister, and give her the numerals on my uniform and the housewife which she gave me.'" Informant further states that he was taken off the Peninsula with enteric fever and he thought these things were in his kit bag, but when the bag was returned to him he noticed they had disappeared.'

Medals: 1914-15 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal
SourcesNAA: B2455, KAVANAGH Joseph
Red Cross File No 1471007K

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