The AIF Project

Hugh Joseph Bentley CALLIGAN

Regimental number674
Place of birthSydney, New South Wales
Other NamesCALLAGHAN, Hugh Joseph
ReligionRoman Catholic
Address54 Alice Street, Auburn, Sydney, New South Wales
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation23
Height5' 10.75"
Weight160 lbs
Next of kinFather, Hugh Joseph Calligan, 54 Alice Street, Auburn, Sydney, New South Wales
Previous military serviceNil
Enlistment date1 December 1916
Place of enlistmentSydney, New South Wales
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit nameMachine Gun Company 5, Reinforcement 12
AWM Embarkation Roll number24/10/4
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Melbourne, Victoria, on board HMAT A29 Suevic on 21 June 1917
Rank from Nominal RollPrivate
Unit from Nominal Roll2nd Machine Gun Battalion
FateKilled in Action 9 April 1918
Age at death from cemetery records24
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: Hugh and Annie CALLAGHAN, 54 Alice Street, Auburn, New South Wales
Other details

War service: Western Front

Embarked Melbourne, 21 June 1917; promoted V.O. Sergeant, at sea, 21 June 1917; disembarked Liverpool, 26 August 1917; marched into 5th Training Bn, Rollestone, 26 August 1917, and reverts to the rank of Private the same day.

Promoted Acting Sergeant, 26 August 1917.

Transferred to 20th Bn Details, 1 September 1917.

Proceeded overseas to France, 23 January 1918; marched into Australian Intermediate Base Depot, Le Havre, 24 January 1918.

Proceeded to unit, 26 January 1918; taken on strength of 20th Bn, Belgium, 27 January 1918, and allotted Regimental Number 674A.

Attached to 5th Australian Machine Gun Corps, 18 March 1918.

Transferred to, and taken on strength of 2nd Australian Machine Gun Bn, 20 March 1918.

Killed in action, 9 April 1918.

Medals: British War Medal, Victory Medal
SourcesNAA: B2455, CALLIGAN Hugh Joseph Bentley

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