The AIF Project


Regimental number1753
Place of birthCallan, Kilkenny, Ireland
SchoolChristian Brothers (Catholic) School, Callan, Ireland
Age on arrival in Australia24
ReligionRoman Catholic
Addressc/o Mrs Mackay, Federal Hotel, Rockhampton, Queensland
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation29
Height5' 6.5"
Weight154 lbs
Next of kinPhillip Donovan, Castle Callan, Kilkenny, Ireland
Previous military serviceNil
Enlistment date12 January 1915
Place of enlistmentRockhampton, Queensland
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name9th Battalion, 4th Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/26/2
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Brisbane, Queensland, on board HMAT A15 Star Of England on 8 April 1915
Rank from Nominal RollPrivate
Unit from Nominal Roll9th Battalion
FateKilled in Action 25 February 1917
Place of death or woundingFrance
Age at death31
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
Town. Rockhampton, Queensland
Other details

War service: Egypt, Gallipoli, Western Front

Embarked Brisbane, 8 April 1915; taken on strength of 9th Bn, Anzac Cove, Gallipoli, 26 May 1915.

Admitted to 2nd Field Ambulance and transferred to 25th Casualty Clearing Station, 15 August 1915 (diarrhoea); discharged to duty and rejoined unit in the field, 21 August 1915.

Admitted to 1st Australian Casualty Clearing Station, 29 August 1915 (diarrhoea); transferred to St John's Hospital, Malta, 4 September 1915; to England, 9 September 1915; admitted to King George's Hospital, London, England, 16 September 1915.

Marched in, from hospital, to Overseas Base, Cairo, Egypt, 4 February 1916; rejoined Bn, Serapeum, 6 March 1916.

Proceeded from Alexandria to join the British Expeditionary Force, 27 March 1916; disembarked Marseilles, France, 3 April 1916; mustered as Driver, 5 August 1916.

Found guilty, 15 October 1916, of (1) being absent from Parade and (2) drunkenness whilst on duty: awarded 168 hours' Field Punishment No 2.

Remustered as Private, 1 January 1917; appointed Lance Corporal, 4 February 1917; reverted to Private at his own request, 10 February 1917.

Killed in action, France, 25 February 1917.

Medals: 1914-15 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal
SourcesNAA: B2455, DONOVAN Patrick

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