The AIF Project

Michael Phillip CAHIR

Regimental number1634
Place of birthTungamah, Victoria
ReligionRoman Catholic
AddressElaine, Victoria
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation25
Height5' 4.25"
Weight126 lbs
Next of kinFather, Leslie Paul Cahir, Elaine, Victoria
Previous military serviceNil
Enlistment date18 January 1916
Place of enlistmentBallarat, Victoria
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name39th Battalion, 1st Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/56/2
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Melbourne, Victoria, on board HMAT A11 Ascanius on 27 May 1916
Rank from Nominal RollPrivate
Unit from Nominal Roll7th Battalion
Other details from Roll of Honour CircularEnlisted 18 January 1916, 39th Bn 1st Reinforcements; taken on strength, 7th Bn, 19 September 1916.
FateKilled in Action 16 December 1916
Place of death or woundingSomme, France
Age at death26
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
Other details

War service: Western Front

Found guilty, 2nd Training Bn, England, of being late for 0925 hours parade: award, 24 hours' defaulters.

Proceeded overseas to France, 15 September 1916; marched into 1st Australian Divisional Base Depot, Etaples, 17 September 1916.

Proceeded to unit, 28 September 1916; taken on strength of 7th Bn, 29 September 1916.

Evacuated to hospital, 10 December 1916; rejoined unit, 12 December 1916.

Killed in action, 16 December 1916.

Medals: British War Medal, Victory Medal
SourcesNAA: B2455, CAHIR Michael Phillip

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