The AIF Project


Regimental number2842
Date of birth17 December 1880
Place of birthNewtown Crommelin, County Antrim, Ireland
SchoolTullybane, Cloughmills, County Antrim, Ireland
Age on arrival in Australia26
ReligionChurch of England
OccupationShop assistant
AddressMungindi, New South Wales
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation30
Next of kinMother, Mrs A Shannon, Clough Mills, Belfast, Ireland
Previous military serviceNil
Enlistment date4 August 1915
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name19th Battalion, 6th Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/36/2
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Sydney, New South Wales, on board HMAT A14 Euripides on 2 November 1915
Rank from Nominal RollPrivate
Unit from Nominal Roll4th Battalion
FateKilled in Action 6 May 1917
Place of death or woundingFrance
Age at death36
Age at death from cemetery records35
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
Commemorated in Killagan Parish Church, Cloughmills, Co. Antrim, Ireland. Parents: Samuel and Agnes SHANNON, Montalto, Newtown, Crommelin, Ireland
Other details

War service: Egypt, Western Front

Disembarked Egypt, admitted to hospital (mumps).

Proceeded from Alexandria to join the British Expeditionary Force, 23 March 1916; disembarked Marseilles, 30 March 1916.

Wounded in action, 24 July 1916 (gun shot wound, head and left foot); admitted to 1st Australian Field Ambulance; transferred to 44th Casualty Clearing Station; to hospital, Rouen, 26 July 1916. Transferred to England, 29 July 1916; admitted to hospital, Newport, Monmouthshire, 30 July 1916; transferred to 3rd London General Hospital, Wandsworth, 17 October 1916; discharged on leave, 24 October 1916. Proceeded overseas to France, 13 December 1916; rejoined 4th Bn, 20 December 1916.

Killed in action, 6 May 1917; buried in the vicinty of Bullecourt.

Medals: 1914-15 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal
SourcesRobert Thompson, 'Ballymoney Heroes 1914-1918' (self published, 1999), p. 190

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