The AIF Project

John Franklin LARAGHY

Regimental number4507
Place of birthSackville, Hawkesbury River, New South Wales
SchoolWhittingham Public School, New South Wales
Other trainingServed in the Cadets.
ReligionChurch of England
OccupationCellarman
AddressTizzana, Windsor, New South Wales
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation18
Height5' 9"
Weight144 lbs
Next of kinFather, A.J. Laraghy, Tizzana, Windsor, New South Wales
Previous military serviceServed for 2 years in the 14th Infantry, Singleton; still serving at time of AIF enlistment.
Enlistment date12 July 1915
Date of enlistment from Nominal Roll17 July 1915
Place of enlistmentLiverpool, New South Wales
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name3rd Battalion, 14th Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/20/3
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Sydney, New South Wales, on board RMS Osterley on 15 January 1916
Rank from Nominal RollPrivate
Unit from Nominal Roll3rd Battalion
FateKilled in Action 8 November 1917
Place of death or woundingPasschendaele, Ypres, Belgium
Age at death20.8
Age at death from cemetery records20
Place of burialNo known grave
Commemoration detailsThe Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial (Panel 7), Belgium

The Menin Gate Memorial (so named because the road led to the town of Menin) was constructed on the site of a gateway in the eastern walls of the old Flemish town of Ypres, Belgium, where hundreds of thousands of allied troops passed on their way to the front, the Ypres salient, the site from April 1915 to the end of the war of some of the fiercest fighting of the war.

The Memorial was conceived as a monument to the 350,000 men of the British Empire who fought in the campaign. Inside the arch, on tablets of Portland stone, are inscribed the names of 56,000 men, including 6,178 Australians, who served in the Ypres campaign and who have no known grave.

The opening of the Menin Gate Memorial on 24 July 1927 so moved the Australian artist Will Longstaff that he painted 'The Menin Gate at Midnight', which portrays a ghostly army of the dead marching past the Menin Gate. The painting now hangs in the Australian War Memorial, Canberra, at the entrance of which are two medieval stone lions presented to the Memorial by the City of Ypres in 1936.

Since the 1930s, with the brief interval of the German occupation in the Second World War, the City of Ypres has conducted a ceremony at the Memorial at dusk each evening to commemorate those who died in the Ypres campaign.

Panel number, Roll of Honour,
  Australian War Memorial
37
Miscellaneous information from
  cemetery records
Parents: James and Amy LARAGHY, 'Kaluna', Smithfield, New South Wales. Native of Windsor, New South Wales
Family/military connectionsTwo brothers one of which seriously wounded. Two cousins killed in action.
Other details

War service: Egypt, Western Front

Admitted to Ras el Tin Convalescent Camp, Alexandria, 12 March 1916; discharged to Australian Base, Mustapha, 8 April 1916 (eczema).

Admitted to 2nd Australian Stationary Hospital, Tel el Kebir, 29 April 1916 (ulcer of leg); transferred to 3rd Australian Hospital, Cairo, 8 May 1916; to Ras el Tin Convalescent Camp, 23 June 1916; to 3rd Australian General Hospital, Abbassia, 26 July 1916; to Montazah Convalescent Hospital, 3 August 1916; discharged, 18 August 1916.

Embarked Alexandria for England, 27 August 1916.

Proceeded overseas to France, 30 September 1916.

Admitted to 26th General Hospital, Etaples, 6 October 1916 (eczema); transferred to England, 19 October 1916, and admitted to 1st Southern General Hospital, Birmingham; discharged to No 1 Command Depot, Perham Downs, 3 November 1916.

Found guilty, 20 November 1916, of being absent without leave from 3.30 pm, 18 November, till 9.30 pm. 19 November 1916: awarded 7 days confined to camp, and forfeited 2 days' pay under Royal Warrant.

Proceeded overseas to France, 4 August 1917; taken on strength, 3rd Bn, in the field, 4 October 1917.

Killed in action, Belgium, 8 November 1917.

Statement, Red Cross File No 1550806P, 5134 Pte W.D. MATHESON, 3rd Bn, 7 January 1918: 'This happened up near Zonnebeke. The whole company were carrying up rations early in the morning. I can't say the exact time but it was just daylight. The Germans had a rather heavy barrage on. Laraghy as killed and a man named Murphy was wounded by a whizz bang. I saw it. Later on in the morning S/Bs etched Laraghy back and buried him with a number of Canadians in front of a D/S [Dressing Station] near a big pill-box. The place can be found easily for the Canadians always used to bring their wounded from Passchendaele to this D/S.'

Second statement, 1840 Pte T.B. HENNINGS, 3rd Bn, 15 January 1918: 'He was in C. Coy (I think III pltn) and we were on a ration fatigue from support to the front line at about 6.30 in the morning in the Passchendaele sector and when near the Canadian D/S on the top of a ridge the Germans opened up a barrage and he was killed instantly by a shell. We carried on and delivered the rations and on the way back we took his identification disc, paybook, wallet etc and handed them in and the S/Bs went up and recovered the body and buried him near the D/S. I saw the wooden cross which was to mark the grave.'

Third statement, 6841 Pte A.D. FRASER, 3rd Bn (patient, 13th General Hospital, Boulogne), 22 January 1918: 'Dark, slim, about 5ft 10, clean shaven and rather reserved. At Passchendaele we were ration carrying and a shell burst close to us killing him instantly. After we returned about two hours later I saw our S/Bs burying the body on the ridge about 60 yards away from where the Canadian D/S then was. A Cross was erected the same day which I saw fixed and out Serg Major Ravelle could give more details, the grave being exactly at the back of HQ only separated by a road.'

Medals: British War Medal, Victory Medal
SourcesNAA: B2455, LARAGHY John Franklin
Red Cross File No 1550806P

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