The AIF Project

William Michael QUIRKE

Regimental number1997
Place of birthCoburg, Victoria
ReligionRoman Catholic
OccupationPostal employee
AddressCoburg, Victoria
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation20
Height5' 9.5"
Weight160 lbs
Next of kinFather, John Quirke, 252 Sydney Road, Coburg, Melbourne, Victoria
Previous military serviceServed in Senior Cadets and Citizen Military Forces, Corporal, 60th Infantry.
Enlistment date18 January 1915
Place of enlistmentMelbourne, Victoria
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name14th Battalion, 5th Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/31/3
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Melbourne, Victoria, on board HMAT A20 Hororata on 17 April 1915
Rank from Nominal RollSergeant
Unit from Nominal Roll14th Battalion
FateKilled in Action 8 August 1915
Place of death or woundingGallipoli, Turkey
Age at death20.5
Place of burialNo known grave
Commemoration detailsThe Lone Pine Memorial (Panel 40), Gallipoli, Turkey

The Lone Pine Memorial, situated in the Lone Pine Cemetery at Anzac, is the main Australian Memorial on Gallipoli, and one of four memorials to men of the New Zealand Expeditionary Force. Designed by Sir John Burnet, the principal architect of the Gallipoli cemeteries, it is a thick tapering pylon 14.3 metres high on a square base 12.98 metres wide. It is constructed from limestone mined at Ilgardere in Turkey.

The Memorial commemorates the 3268 Australians and 456 New Zealanders who have no known grave and the 960 Australians and 252 New Zealanders who were buried at sea after evacuation through wounds or disease. The names of New Zealanders commemorated are inscribed on stone panels mounted on the south and north sides of the pylon, while those of the Australians are listed on a long wall of panels in front of the pylon and to either side. Names are arranged by unit and rank.

The Memorial stands over the centre of the Turkish trenches and tunnels which were the scene of heavy fighting during the August offensive. Most cemeteries on Gallipoli contain relatively few marked graves, and the majority of Australians killed on Gallipoli are commemorated here.

Panel number, Roll of Honour,
  Australian War Memorial
Other details

War service: Egypt, Gallipoli

Proceeded to join Mediterranean Expeditionary Force, Gallipoli, 9 July 1915.

Appointment as Sergeant confirmed.

Reported missing, 8 August 1915.

Statement, Red Cross File No 2230111A, 424 Pte H.H. BIGGINS, D Company, 14th Bn, 7 April 1916: 'Informant states that casualty left with the coy. on the 6th August, and went to Suvla Bay. On arrival, Sgt Quirke went out in charge of some men from our platoon, to attack a small hill on the same day. He never returned. Informant is strongly of opinion that he was killed.'

Second statement, 2001 Pte E. RIPPER, 14th Bn, 3 June 1916: 'Informant confidently states that casualty is a prisoner of war, and was taken on the 7th August at Suvla Bay in the morning. Informant states that he actually saw him taken prisoner. Informant does not know whether casualty was wounded at the time.'

Third statement, 2204 Pte W.W. ROSS, B Company, 14th Bn, 16 May 1916: 'Witness states that he saw Quirke get hit on the 6th Aug. at Hill 971. This occurred as the company was going round the top of the hill (round the Wheat Crop). He saw Quirke drop and fall over down the other side of the Hill. As the ground was not recovered again, nothing was ever seen of Quirke. Witness knew him well.'

Court of Enquiry, held at Serapeum, Egypt, 6-8-28 April 1916, declared fate to be 'killed in action, 8 August 1915'.

Medals: 1914-15 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal
SourcesNAA: B2455, QUIRKE William Michael
Red Cross File No 2230111A

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