The AIF Project

Patrick MEALEY

Regimental number4266
Place of birthBlack Springs, New South Wales
ReligionRoman Catholic
OccupationCold storage employee
AddressHouston Road, Kensington, New South Wales
Marital statusMarried
Age at embarkation30
Next of kinWife, Mrs C.L. Mealey, Houston Road, Kensington, New South Wales
Enlistment date13 August 1915
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name1st Battalion, 13th Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/18/4
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Sydney, New South Wales, on board HMAT A60 Aeneas on 20 December 1915
Rank from Nominal RollCompany Sergeant Major
Unit from Nominal Roll54th Battalion
FateKilled in Action 15 May 1917
Age at death from cemetery records31
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
159
Miscellaneous information from
  cemetery records
Parents: Michael MEALEY and his wife Johanna COYLE; husband of Clara Laura MEALEY, Anzac Parade, South Kensington, New South Wales
Medals

Military Medal

'At PETILLON on 19th/20th July, 1916, Corporal Patrick MEALEY of the Grenade Platoon did excellent work in repelling German attacks by his fine work and example with grenades. He set the lead to the men about him and while grenades lasted he exposed himself bravely in keeping the Germans at bay. He was particularly fearless and did excellent work, and finally by his example the Germans were beaten off. He is mentioned elsewhere with Sergeant BATES for other fine work.'

Other details

War service: Western Front

Medals: British War Medal, Victory Medal

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