The AIF Project

Andrew Edmund CAHALAN

Regimental number1679
Place of birthCampbelltown, New South Wales
ReligionChurch of England
Address56 Crown Street, Surry Hills, New South Wales
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation41
Height5' 4"
Weight136 lbs
Next of kinFriend, W. Johnson c/o Sargeants Ltd, Barton Street, Surry Hills, New South Wales
Previous military serviceNil
Enlistment date26 May 1915
Date of enlistment from Nominal Roll6 May 1915
Place of enlistmentLiverpool, New South Wales
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name17th Battalion, 2nd Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/34/2
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Sydney, New South Wales, on board HMAT A23 Suffolk on 28 July 1915
Rank from Nominal RollPrivate
Unit from Nominal Roll17th Battalion
FateKilled in Action 26 August 1916
Miscellaneous details (Nominal Roll)*Stated to be Edmund Andrew Cahalan on NR
Place of death or woundingPozieres, Somme Sector, France
Age at death42
Age at death from cemetery records42
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
Cemetery records state place of birth to be Campbelltown, Victoria. Parents: Michael and Mary CAHALAN; Wife: Florence Gertrude CAHALAN.
Other details

War service: Egypt, Gallipoli, Western Front

Embarked Alexandria to join the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force (Gallipoli Expeditionary), 11 September 1915; taken on strength of 17th Bn, Gallipoli, 17 September 1915.

Evacuated to hospital, 26 November 1915; admitted to Greek Hospital, Alexandria, 5 December 1915 (rheumatism); transferred to No 2 Australian General Hospital, Ghezireh, 13 December 1915 (frostbite); to unnamed hospital, Helouan, 29 December 1915; discharged, 8 January 1916, and marched into Overseas Base, Ghezireh, the same day.

Proceeded to Zeitoun, 31 January 1916.

Rejoined 17th Bn, 16 March 1916.

Taken on strength of 5th Bde Details, Tel el Kebir, 28 April 1916.

Embarked Alexandria to join the British Expeditionary Force, 20 May 1916; disembarked Marseilles, France, 26 May 1916.

Rejoined 17th Bn, 22 June 1916.

Admitted to No 6 Field Ambulance, 27 June 1916 (gonorrhoea); transferred to No 8 Casualty Clearing Station, 28 June 1916; to No 18 General Hospital, Camiers, 29 June 1916; discharged to Base Details, 5 August 1916.

Rejoined 17th Bn, 16 August 1916.

Killed in action, 25 August 1916.

Medals: 1914-15 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal
SourcesNAA: B2455, CAHALAN Andrew Edmund

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