The AIF Project


Regimental number3998
Place of birthBallarat, Victoria
Address411 Pleasant Street, Ballarat, Victoria
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation21
Height5' 3.75"
Weight140 lbs
Next of kinFather, R McGeachin, 411 Pleasant Street, Ballarat, Victoria
Previous military serviceServed in 71st (City of Ballarat) Regiment, Citizen Military Forces; still serving at time of AIF enlistment.
Enlistment date14 July 1915
Date of enlistment from Nominal Roll"nonr"
Place of enlistmentBallarat, Victoria
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name8th Battalion, 12th Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/25/4
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Adelaide, South Australia, on board HMAT A40 Ceramic on 23 November 1915
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
Other details

War service: Egypt, Western Front

Taken on strength, 46th Bn, Serapeum, 2 April 1916.

Admitted to 12th Australian Field Ambulsance, 20 April 1916 (lumbar pains); transferred to 13th Australian Field Ambulance, 23 April 1916.

Admitted to 54th Casualty Clearing Station, 23 April 1916, and transferred to No 1 Australian Stationary Hospital, Ismailia (pyrexia, influenza); discharged to duty, 4 May 1916.

Admitted to 12th Australian Field Ambulance, 8 May 1916 (exhaustion); discharged to duty, 12 May 1916; rejoined Bn, 13 May 1916.

Admitted to 12th Australian Field Ambulance, 26 May 1916 (muscle strain, back); transferred to 54th Casualty Clearing Station, 26 May 1916 (rheumatism).

Embarked Alexandria to join the British Expeditionary Force, 7 June 1916; disembarked Marseilles, France, 14 June 1916.

Admitted to 26th General Hospital, Etaples, 27 June 1916 (influenza); marched in to 4th Australian Divisional Base, Etaples, from hospital, 8 July 1916; rejoined Bn, in the field, 16 August 1916.

Admitted to Casualty Clearinmg Station, 31 August 1916 (exhaustion), and transferred to Casualty Rest Station, and thence to 3rd Canadian Field Ambulance; discharged to duty, 1 September 1916.

Admitted to 12th Australian Field Ambulance, 23 October 1916 (septic left heel), and transferred to 4th Divisional Rest Station; to 17th Casualty Clearing Station, 28 October 1916 (septic heel and boils on back); discharged to duty, 6 November 1916.

Admitted to 4th Australian Field Ambulance, 8 December 1916 (influenza), and transferred to transferred to Anzac Rest Station; discharged to duty, 15 December 1916.

Wounded in action, 19 January 1917 (gun shot wound, right shoulder), and admitted to 36th Casualty Clearing Station (wound now listed as left shoulder); transferred to 1st Australian General Hospital, Rouen, 24 January 1917; to No 2 Convalescent Depot, 28 January 1917; discharged to Base Depot, 12 February 1917; marched in to 4th Australian Divisional Base Depot, Etaples, from hospital, 18 February 1917; rejoined Bn, in the field, 6 March 1917.

Killed in action, 11 April 1917.

Medals: 1914-15 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal
Miscellaneous detailsSurname incorrectly recorded on Embarkation Roll as McGLEACHIN .
SourcesNAA: B2455, McGEACHIN Hugh

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