The AIF Project

Hector Gordon McCOULLOUGH

Regimental number1595
Place of birthSunny Bank, Cootamundra, New South Wales
SchoolDistrict School, Cootamundra, New South Wales
ReligionPresbyterian
OccupationWheelwright and body maker
AddressGlencoe, Cootamundra, New South Wales
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation29
Height5' 10.75"
Weight160 lbs
Next of kinFather, Daniel McCoullough, Glencoe, Cootamundra, New South Wales
Previous military serviceServed in the Cadets and 44th Infantry, Citizen Military Forces; still serving at time of AIF enlistment.
Enlistment date15 July 1915
Place of enlistmentLiverpool, New South Wales
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name30th Battalion, 1st Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/47/2
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Sydney, New South Wales, on board HMAT A72 Beltana on 9 November 1915
Rank from Nominal RollPrivate
Unit from Nominal Roll30th Battalion
Other details from Roll of Honour CircularKilled instantly - Just crossed parapet when short. His brother Norman was in the same battalion having joined later but did not see Hector after they went to duty. His mates wrote to me as Norman was severely wounded. (details from M.J. McCoullough Mother)
FateKilled in Action 20 July 1916
Place of death or woundingFleurbaix, France (Battle of Fromelles)
Age at death21.3
Age at death from cemetery records21
Place of burialNo known grave
Commemoration detailsV.C. Corner (Panel No 2), Australian Cemetery Memorial, Fromelles, France
Panel number, Roll of Honour,
  Australian War Memorial
117
Miscellaneous information from
  cemetery records
Parents: Daniel and Mary MCCOULLOUGH, 'Glencoe', Cootamundra, New South Wales
Family/military connectionsBrother: 4662 Pte Norman Edgar McCOULLOUGH, 30th Bn, returned to Australia, 2 January 1919.
Other details

War service: Egypt, Western Front

Embarked Sydney, 9 November 1915; disembarked Suez, 11 December 1915.

Taken on strength of 30th Bn, Tel el Kebir, 15 February 1916.

Found guilty, 17 April 1916, of disobedience of orders, 15 April 1916: awarded 4 days' Field Punishment No 2.

Found guilty, 15 May 1916, of being absent without leave from 0630 hours until 0645 hours, 15 May 1916: awarded 3 days' Field Punishment No 2.

Embarked Alexandria to join the British Expeditionary Force, 16 June 1916; disembarked Marseilles, France, 23 June 1916.

Reported missing, 20 July 1916.

Now, 28 July 1916, reported killed in action, 20 July 1916.

Statement, Red Cross File No 1900303, Captain J.A. CHAPMAN, 30th Bn, 30 December 1916: 'A patrol of 29th. Battn. found his body in No Man's Land. The following memo was received by us. "Here find Identification disc off body lying in No Man's Land. Body too heavy for our party to bring in."'

Second statement, 1281 Pte H. DOUST, 30th Bn, 25 August 1916: 'Sergt. Ellis, C. Company, 30th Battalion, 8th Infantry Brigade told him - Doust - that he saw McCoullough shot during advance across "No Man's Land" at Fleurbaix, he was killed instantly, apparently shot through the head, as he simply sank down in sitting position and then laid quite still.'

Third statement, 1317 Pte E.J. SAVELL, 30th Bn, 26 August 1916: '... I saw him killed very early after the attack on 19.7.16 at Fleurbaix. I was within several feet of his body and I am quite sure that it was he and that he was dead ... '

Fourth statement, 741 Pte F.W. RAYSMITH, 30th Bn, 28 August 1916: 'I knew this man. He was in C.X. No. 8 Section and he was always called Fatty. I saw him soon after we started the attack on the 19th. July at Fleurbaix. He was sitting on our parapet, propped up against a case of bombs and appeared quite dead although there was no mark on him. Only the whites of his eyes were showing and his mouth was open.' Note on file: 'One of the most intelligent and careful witnesses I have met.' Second note, 764 Pte J. STRONG, 30th Bn, 28 August 1916: 'I confirm the above except that I saw McCoullough about 60 yds. away in No Man's Land. I passed within 3 yds. of him and he was sitting up though quite dead, as I could tell from the stare of his eyes.'

Fifth statement, 1215 Pte F. ERICKSON, 30th Bn (patient, No 12 General Hospital, Rouen), 6 November 1916: 'McCoullough was killed by M.G. Fire at Fromelles just before the parapet. It was in the evening about 6 o'clock and I witnessed the casualty.'

Sixth statement, 617 Lance Corporal J.R. BISHOP, 30th Bn (patient, 1st London General Hospital, Camberwell, England), 24 November 1916: 'Informant states that on 19th July at Fleurbaix, he saw H.G. McCoullough lying face upward on the parapet, and remarked to his chum "There lies poor long Mack"[.] The man was dead then, but as Informant was wounded himself , he could not tell whether he as buried by English or Germans.'

Statement, Red Cross File No 1900706, 705 Pte I. LASSERRE, 30th Bn (patient, 1st Australian Auxiliary Hospital, Harefield, England), 27 October 1916: I saw him hit by a shell beyond the parapet in No Man's Land at Fleurbaix on 19th. July. He was badly wounded and unconscious, he didn't answer when I spoke to him but his eyes were rolling. I didn't see his wound but I thought he was dying, and don't think he had any chance of recovering.'

Medals: 1914-15 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal
SourcesNAA: B2455, McCOULLOUGH Hector Gordon
Red Cross Files Nos 1900303 & 1900706

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