The AIF Project


Regimental number361
Place of birthMilford near Boonah, Queensland
SchoolBoonah State School, Queensland
Addressc/o Mrs Jensen, Hilma, Inkerman Street, Woolloongabba, Brisbane, Queensland
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation25
Next of kinMother, Mrs W Mahaffey, Down Street, Boonah, Queensland
Enlistment date3 September 1914
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name9th Battalion, C Company
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/26/1
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Brisbane, Queensland, on board Transport A5 S.S. Omrah on 24 September 1914
Rank from Nominal RollLance Corporal
Unit from Nominal Roll49th Battalion
FateKilled in Action 20 November 1916
Place of death or woundingFrance
Age at death28
Age at death from cemetery records28
Commemoration detailsAustralian National Memorial, Villers-Bretonneux, France

Villers-Bretonneux is a village about 15 km east of Amiens. The Memorial stands on the high ground ('Hill 104') behind the Villers-Bretonneux Military Cemetery, Fouilloy, which is about 2 km north of Villers-Bretonneux on the east side of the road to Fouilloy.

The Australian National Memorial, Villers-Bretonneux is approached through the Military Cemetery, at the end of which is an open grass lawn which leads into a three-sided court. The two pavilions on the left and right are linked by the north and south walls to the back (east) wall, from which rises the focal point of the Memorial, a 105 foot tall tower, of fine ashlar. A staircase leads to an observation platform, 64 feet above the ground, from which further staircases lead to an observation room. This room contains a circular stone tablet with bronze pointers indicating the Somme villages whose names have become synonymous with battles of the Great War; other battle fields in France and Belgium in which Australians fought; and far beyond, Gallipoli and Canberra.

On the three walls, which are faced with Portland stone, are the names of 10,885 Australians who were killed in France and who have no known grave. The 'blocking course' above them bears the names of the Australian Battle Honours.

After the war an appeal in Australia raised £22,700, of which £12,500 came from Victorian school children, with the request that the majority of the funds be used to build a new school in Villers-Bretonneux. The boys' school opened in May 1927, and contains an inscription stating that the school was the gift of Victorian schoolchildren, twelve hundred of whose fathers are buried in the Villers-Bretonneux cemetery, with the names of many more recorded on the Memorial. Villers-Bretonneux is now twinned with Robinvale, Victoria, which has in its main square a memorial to the links between the two towns.

Panel number, Roll of Honour,
  Australian War Memorial
Miscellaneous information from
  cemetery records
Parents: William and Eliza MAHAFFEY

Military Medal

'At POZIERES, FRANCE, 18/22nd. August 1916, L/Cpl MAHAFFEY was in charge of a squad of stretcher bearers, he was repeatedly conspicuous for his bravery and devotion to duty. In spite of the fact that early in the operations he lost two of his squad he carried on his work with little assistance and in a most capable manner. Men were repeatedly buried in the front line trenches when L/Cpl MAHAFFEY dug them out and rendered most timely and valuable first aid in their resuscitation. He repeatedly carried wounded men to the aid post over open country and under close enemy observation during which time the enemy kept up a persistent barrage of heavy artillery fire. On the last day L/Cpl MAHAFFEY was badly wounded in the eye but would not leave his duty until the other wounded had been cleared. Lance Corporal MAHAFFEY was also conspicuous during the attack on POZIERES on July 23rd. He has been with the Battalion since its initiation except for six weeks absence when he was wounded at GALLIPOLI. His work has always been most praiseworthy.'
Source: 'Commonwealth Gazette' No. 103
Date: 29 June 1917

Family/military connectionsBrother who served.
Other details

War service: Egypt, Gallipoli (wounded), Western Front

Medals: Military Medal, 1914-15 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal

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