Gerald James DARCY

Regimental number4306
Place of birthSouth Yarra, Victoria
ReligionRoman Catholic
Address2 White Street, Windsor, Melbourne, Victoria
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation26
Weight128.5 lbs
Next of kinMother, Mrs Margaret James, 2 White Street, Windsor, Melbourne, Victoria
Previous military serviceNil (previously reject for service due to teeth)
Enlistment date2 December 1915
Place of enlistmentMelbourne, Victoria
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name24th Battalion, 10th Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/41/3
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Melbourne, Victoria, on board HMAT A18 Wiltshire on 7 March 1916
Rank from Nominal RollPrivate
Unit from Nominal Roll24th Battalion
FateKilled in Action 31 March 1917
Age at death from cemetery records27
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: Gerald DARCY and Margaret JAMES (Formerely DARCY). Born at South Yarra, Victoria
Other details

War service: Egypt, Western Front

Found guilty, Canal Zone, 6 May 1916, of being absent without leave from 2300 hours, 6 May 1916, until 0630 hours, 8 May 1916: award, forfeits 2 days' pay, and forfeits 2 days' pay by Royal Warrant.

Proceeded overseas to France from 6th Training Bn, Rollestone, England, 9 August 1916; marched into Base Depot, Etaples, 9 August 1916.

Found guilty, 6 September 1916, of disobeying an order of a superior officer in that he did fail to report to Australian Medical Corps when ordered to do so by Medical Officer: awarded 28 days' Field Punishment No 2.

Admitted to No 88 Field Ambulance, 6 September 1916 (venereal disease, chancre); transferred to No 3 Canadian Casualty Clearing, 7 September 1916; to No 31 Ambulance Train, 8 September 1916; to No 18 General Hospital, Camiers, 9 September 1916; discharged, 15 October 1916, and marched into 2nd Australian Divisional Base Depot, Etaples, the same day.

Rejoined 20th Bn, 12 November 1916.

Evacuated to hospital, 5 December 1916; rejoined unit, 10 December 1916.

Killed in action, 13 March 1917.

Medals: British War Medal, Victory Medal
SourcesNAA: B2455, DARCY Gerald James