The AIF Project

Lawrence McCARTHY

Regimental number422
Place of birthYork, Western Australia
ReligionRoman Catholic
Addressc/o Mrs Vaun, 128 J McCarthy, Harold Street,
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation22
Height5' 7"
Weight182 lbs
Next of kinBrother, J McCarthy, Lion Mills, Western Australia
Previous military serviceServed for 2.5 years in the 18th Australian Light Horse.
Enlistment date23 September 1914
Place of enlistmentHelena Vale, Western Australia
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name16th Battalion, C Company
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/33/1
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Melbourne, Victoria, on board HMAT A40 Ceramic on 22 December 1914
Regimental number from Nominal RollCommissioned
Rank from Nominal RollLieutenant
Unit from Nominal Roll16th Battalion
Recommendations (Medals and Awards)

Croix de Guerre

Recommendation date: 18 January 1917

FateEffective abroad (still overseas)

Victoria Cross

For most conspicuous bravery, initiative, and leadership on the morning of the 23 August 1918, in attack near Madame Wood, east of Vermandovillers (north of Chaulnes). Although the objectives of his battalion were attained without serious opposition, the battalion on the left flank was heavily opposed by well posted machine guns. Lieutenant McCarthy, realizing the situation, at once engaged the nearest machine gun post, but still the attacking troops failed to get forward. This officer then determined to attack the nearest post. Leaving his men to continue the fire fight, he, with two others, dashed across the open and succeeded in reaching the block. Although single handed, as he had out distanced his comrades, and despite serious opposition and obstacles, he captured the gun and continued to fight his way down the trench, inflicting heavy casualties, and capturing three more machine guns. At this stage, being some 700 yards from his starting point, he was joined by one of his men, and together they continued to bomb up the trench until touch was establishing with an adjoining unit. Lieutenant McCarthy, during this most daring advance, single handed killed twenty of the enemy and captured in addition five machine guns and fifty prisoners. By his gallant and determined action he saved a critical situation, prevented many casualties, and was mainly, if not entirely, responsible for the final objective being taken
Source: 'Commonwealth Gazette' No. 61
Date: 23 May 1919

Croix de Guerre (France)

Source: 'Commonwealth Gazette' No. 169
Date: 4 October 1917

Other details

War service: Egypt, Gallipoli, Western Front

Proceeded to join the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force, Gallipoli, 12 April 1915.

Commenced return to Australia on board HT 'Runic', 20 December 1918; discharged 6 August 1920.

Medals: Victoria Cross, Croix de Guerre, 1914-15 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal
Date of death25 May 1975
Place of burialSpringvale Cemetery

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