The AIF Project

Leo Aloysius McCARTIN

Regimental number517
Place of birthGeelong, Victoria
SchoolSt Marys Private School, Geelong, Victoria
ReligionRoman Catholic
AddressGlendevon, Colac Road, Belmont, Geelong, Victoria
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation20
Next of kinFather, Michael McCartin, Gendevon, Colac Road, Belmont, Geelong, Victoria
Previous military serviceWas a Colour Sergeant in local cadets and .....
Enlistment date15 March 1915
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name22nd Battalion, B Company
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/39/1
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Melbourne, Victoria, on board HMAT A38 Ulysses on 10 May 1915
Regimental number from Nominal RollCommissioned
Rank from Nominal RollLieutenant
Unit from Nominal Roll22nd Battalion
Recommendations (Medals and Awards)

Military Medal

'For most valuable work as messenger during the two actions at Pozieres, showing consistent devotion to duty and gallantry under fire.'
Recommendation date: 9 August 1916

Other details from Roll of Honour CircularEducated at St Marys Boys School was a first class athelet and champion swimmer
FateKilled in Action 18 August 1918
Place of death or woundingFrance
Age at death24
Age at death from cemetery records24
Place of burialNo known grave
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: Michael and Mary MCCARTIN, 'Herleville', 77 McKillop Street, Geelong, Victoria

Military Cross

'For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty when in charge of the battalion signals. Owing to an intense hostile bombardment all telephone wires to the firing line were cut. Without hesitation he collected a party of runners, and led them over the open to a point where he endeavoured to establish a lamp station. Failing in this owing to fog, he pushed on across the shell swept zone, and remained there repairing wire, regardless of personal danger, thereby enabling his commanding officer to keep in touch with the most advanced outposts.'
Source: 'Commonwealth Gazette' No. 185
Date: 27 November 1918

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

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