The AIF Project

John Maher LYONS

Regimental number605
Place of birthEmmaville, New South Wales
SchoolSt Carthage's School, Lismore, New South Wales
ReligionRoman Catholic
OccupationTram conductor
AddressEllerslie, Strachan Street, South Kensington, New South Wales
Marital statusMarried
Age at embarkation27
Next of kinWife, Mrs Evelin Lyons, Ellerslie, Strachan Street, South Kensington, New South Wales
Previous military serviceServed in New Guinea Expeditional Force.
Enlistment date1 February 1915
Rank on enlistmentCorporal
Unit name17th Battalion, B Company
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/34/1
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Sydney, New South Wales, on board HMAT A32 Themistocles on 12 May 1915
Regimental number from Nominal RollCommissioned
Rank from Nominal RollLieutenant
Unit from Nominal Roll17th Battalion
Recommendations (Medals and Awards)

Medaille Militaire


Recommendation date: "17 November 1915

Military Medal


Recommendation date: 18 June 1916

Meritorious Service Medal


Recommendation date: 13 September 1916

Military Cross


Recommendation date: 14 October 1917"

Other details from Roll of Honour CircularHe left Australia 12th May 1915 with 17th Batt with which Batt he was connected till his death. He was twice wounded.
FateKilled in Action 9 October 1917
Place of death or woundingPasschendaele, Ypres, Belgium
Age at death30
Place of burialNo known grave
Commemoration detailsThe Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial (Panel 17), 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
83
Miscellaneous information from
  cemetery records
Parents: Patrick LYONS and Cecilia CONNOLLY (his wife); husband of Evelyn LYONS, 'Bromley', Arthur Street, Randwick, New South Wales. Native of Emmaville, New South Wales~
Medals

Military Medal

'During the attack on Hill 60, Gallipoli, he showed great coolness and presence of mind when under fire, attention being drawn to this fact by officers outside the Battalion. At Quinn's Post as Sergeant in charge of bombers, he proved very efficient and intrepid. His work in France has also been excellent.'
Source: 'Commonwealth Gazette' No. 62
Date: 19 April 1917

Meritorious Service Medal


Source: 'Commonwealth Gazette' No. 103
Date: 29 June 1917

Military Cross

'For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty in an attack. Despite a heavy barrage, darkness, and mud, he got his men to their allotted positions on the jumping off tape with very few casualties. He led forward the first wave, and when all his platoon had become casualties collected spare men and consolidated a gap in the line. He captured fourteen prisoners and three machine guns.'
Source: 'Commonwealth Gazette' No. 137
Date: 30 August 1918

Other detailsMedals: Military Medal, Military Cross, 1914-15 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal

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