The AIF Project

John William O'HALLORAN

Regimental number4930
Place of birthGeeveston, Tasmania
SchoolState School, Geeveston; Commercial College, Hobart Tasmania
ReligionRoman Catholic
Address78 Lansdowne Street, West Hobart, Tasmania
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation21.6
Height5' 9"
Weight154 lbs
Next of kinFather, Mr J J O'Halloran, Geeveston, Huon, Tasmania
Previous military serviceServed in the 93rd Infantry, Citizen Military Forces; previously rejected for enlistment on account of varcocele.
Enlistment date29 September 1915
Place of enlistmentClaremont, Tasmania
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name12th Battalion, 15th Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/29/4
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Melbourne, Victoria, on board HMAT A70 Ballarat on 18 February 1916
Rank from Nominal RollPrivate
Unit from Nominal Roll12th Battalion
Other details from Roll of Honour Circular'Good athlete, and smart active young man.' (details from father)
FateKilled in Action 25 February 1917
Age at death from cemetery records22
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: Joseph and Annie O'HALLORAN
Other details

War service: Egypt, Western Front

Admitted to No 3 Auxiliary Hospital, Heliopolis, 29 March 1916; discharged to duty, 3 May 1916.

Admitted to No 2 Stationary Hospital, Tel el Kebir, 5 May 1916 (musculo spinal paralysis: sleeping in an improper position); transferred to No 3 Australian General Hospital, Abbassia, 8 May 1916; to No 1 Auxiliary Hospital, Heliopolis, 15 May 1916.

Commenced return to Australia from Suez on board HT 'Port Sydney', 24 June 1916 (change 6 months.

Re-embarked Melbourne, 30 September 1916, on board HT A56 'Palermo'.

Proceeded overseas to France, 21 December 1916; taken on strength, 12th Bn, in the field, 2 January 1917.

Killed in action, 25 February 1917.

Medals: British War Medal, Victory Medal
SourcesNAA: B2455, O'HALLORAN John William

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