The AIF Project

John James O'GORMAN

Regimental number345
Place of birthTaradale, Victoria
ReligionRoman Catholic
OccupationLabourer
AddressCorner of Baker and Ford Streets, Wangaratta, Victoria
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation24
Height5' 3.5"
Weight130 lbs
Next of kinMrs Hanah O'Gorman, corner of Baker and Ford Streets, Wangaratta, Victoria
Previous military serviceNil
Enlistment date24 December 1914
Date of enlistment from Nominal Roll21 December 1914
Place of enlistmentWangaratta, Victoria
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name21st Battalion, B Company
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/38/1
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Melbourne, Victoria, on board HMAT A38 Ulysses on 10 May 1915
Rank from Nominal RollCorporal
Unit from Nominal Roll6th Machine Gun Company
FateKilled in Action 3 May 1917
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
179
Family/military connectionsBrothers: 467 Pte Francis William O'GORMAN, 21st Bn, killed in action, 26 August 1916; 468 Pte George O'GORMAN MSM, 2nd Machine Gun Bn, returned to Australia, 5 April 1919.
Other details

War service: Egypt, Gallipoli, Western Front

Embarked Alexandria to join the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force, Gallipoli, 29 August 1915.

Admitted to 6th Field Ambulance, 6 November 1915 (jaundice), and transferred to 1st Australian Casualty Clearing Station, and then to Hospital Ship, Anzac; to Malta, and admitted to Riscasoli, 12 November 1915 (jaundice, slight); transferred to Ghain Tuffieha, 4 December 1915 (dysentery); discharged to active service, 4 January 1916.

Embarked for Egypt, 4 January 1916; disembarked Alexandria, 14 January 1916.

Rejoined Bn, Canal Zone, 28 February 1916.

Taken on strength, 6th Machine Gun Company, Moascar, 1 March 1916.

Embarked Alexandria to join the British Expeditionary Force, 19 March 1916; disembarked Marseilles, France, 24 March 1916.

Admitted to 6th Field Ambulance, in the field, 24 September 1916 (influenza), and transferred to Divisional Rest Station; discharged to duty, 28 September 1916.

Promoted Temporary Corporal, 17 January 1917.

Admitted to 6th Field Ambulance, 18 February 1917 (scabies); transferred to 1st Australian Rest Station, Buire, 19 February 1917; discharged to duty, 8 March 1917.

Reverted to Lance Corporal, 26 February 1917.

Promoted Temporary Corporal, 30 April 1917.

Promoted Corporal, 30 April 1917.

Killed in action, 3 May 1917.

Medals: 1914-15 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal
SourcesNAA: B2455, O'GORMAN John James

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