The AIF Project


Regimental number6071
Place of birthJones Creek, Victoria
AddressView Point Street, Ararat, Victoria
Marital statusMarried
Age at embarkation23
Height5' 6"
Weight132 lbs
Next of kinWife, Mrs F McAvoy, View Point Street, Ararat, Victoria
Previous military serviceNil
Enlistment date25 April 1916
Place of enlistmentArarat, Victoria
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name8th Battalion, 19th Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/25/5
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Melbourne, Victoria, on board HMAT A32 Themistocles on 28 July 1916
Rank from Nominal RollLance Corporal
Unit from Nominal Roll8th Battalion
Recommendations (Medals and Awards)

Victoria Cross

'For conspicuous gallantry, skilful leadership, and fearless devotion to duty, on the attack on HERLEVILLE WOOD on 23rd Augusat, 1918. This N.C.O. was in charge of a L.G. Team and when the leading battalion suffered heavy casualties, and the Coys. diverged leaving a dangerous gap, L/Cpl McAVOY on his own initiative rushed his gun and team forward and saved a critical situation. His little party was subjected to an intense fire from M.Gs, Trench Mortars and direct artillery fire. He engaged the M.G. and by accurate shooting, exposing himself fearlessly to do so, put three enemy machine guns out of action, stopping the enemy enfilade fire on our line and allowing the advance to continue. Later he worked forward with his gun, breaking down defensive machine gun posts and rushed a battalion headquarters, taking a large number of prisoners, including the battalion Commander. He formed the prisoners up and marched them to the rear under their battalion Commander to our own line. Returning again he went forward, engaging all enemy machine guns that fired on his front, keeping down their fire and allowing our troops to push forward. In PLATEAU WOOD, when a nest of machine guns fought with stiff resistance, he outflanked the party and brought accurate fire to bear with his Lewis Gun, killing and wounding a great many and causing the remainder of the garrison of about 40 to surrender. He set a magnificent example of courage, initiative and dash, and inspired al around him. He continued his superhuman work until seriously wounded by shell-fire in the head and arms.'
Awarded Bar to Military Medal.
Recommendation date: 30 August 1918

FateReturned to Australia 24 December 1919

Military Medal

'During the attack North of ROSIERES on the 9th August 1918 Lance Corporal McAVOY distinguished himself by brilliant and courageous work. When a hostile machine gun that had been inflicting casualties on his portion of the line, held his platoon up, he crept forward and rushed the gun single handed killing two of the crew and capturing the remainder. After our objective had been reached, the enemy made an attempt to remove some field guns from in front of our lines. Lance Corporal McAVOY with a few volunteers and a Lewis Gun worked round on the flanks of the enemy and rushed them with the bayonet killing a number of them and putting the rest to flight while the Lewis Gun inflicted heavy casualties on them during their retirement. He did invaluable work throughout the whole operation and set a splendid example of initiative and courage.'
Source: 'Commonwealth Gazette' No. 115
Date: 10 October 1919

Bar to Military Medal

Source: 'Commonwealth Gazette' No. 115
Date: 10 October 1919

Discharge date21 March 1919
Other details

War service: Western Front

Embarked Melbourne, 28 July 1916; disembarked Plymouth, England, 11 September 1916.

Found guilty, Perham Downs, 14 October 1916, of overstaying leave from midnight, 12 October, to 3.35 pm, 13 October 1916: awarded 72 hours' detention; total forfeiture of pay: 5 days.

Proceeded overseas to France, 12 November 1916.

Joined 8th Bn, in the field, 26 November 1916.

Admitted to 3rd Australian Field Ambulance, 15 October 1917 (debility); discharged to duty, 30 October 1917; rejoined Bn, in the field, 1 November 1917.

Admitted to 2nd Australian Field Ambulance, 8 December 1917 (pyrexia, unknown origin), and transferred to 5th Divisional Rest Station; discharged to unit, 18 December 1917.

On leave, 1 January 1918; rejoined Bn, 19 January 1918.

Admitted to 1st Australian Divisional Rest Station, 7 February 1918 (scabies); discharged to duty, 15 February 1918.

Appointed Lance Corporal, 20 April 1918.

Detached to Lewis Gun Course, XV Corps, 27 May-10 June 1918.

Admitted to 3rd Australian Field Ambulance, 27 June 1918; transferred to 58th Casualty Clearing Station; to 4th Stationary Hospital, 30 June 1918; rejoined Bn, 7 July 1918.

Wounded in action, 23 August 1918 (shrapnel wound, right arm and shoulder, head); admitted to 1st Australian Field Ambulance, 24 August 1918, and transferred to 53rd Casualty Clearing Station; to Ambulance Train, 25 August 1918, and admitted to 11th Stationary Hospital; transferred to England, 7 September 1918, and admitted to 1st Southern General Hospital, Birmingham, 8 September 1918; transferred to 1st Australian Auxiliary Hospital, Harefield, 9 October 1918.

Discharged on furlough, 17 October 1918, to report to No 4 Command Depot, 31 October 1918.

Marched out to No 2 Command Depot, Weymouth, 14 November 1918.

Commenced return to Australia on board HT 'Takada', 24 December 1918; disembarked Melbourne, 11 February 1919; discharged, Melbourne, 21 March 1919.

Medals: Military Medal & Bar, British War Medal, Victory Medal
Miscellaneous detailsSurname incorrectly recorded on Embarkation Roll as McAVORY.
SourcesNAA: B2455, McAVOY Jack

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