The AIF Project

Vincent Patrick COUGHLIN

Regimental number4802
Place of birthSwinford College, Ireland
Place of birthRathmullen, Co. Donegal, Ireland
SchoolNational School, Swinford College, Ireland
Age on arrival in Australia36
ReligionRoman Catholic
OccupationShip carpenter
AddressToowoomba, Queensland
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation24
Height5' 10"
Weight156 lbs
Next of kinSister, Mrs Agatha Knox, Londonderry, Ireland
Previous military service3 years, Naval service; Nil
Enlistment date22 September 1915
Place of enlistmentToowoomba, Queensland
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name26th Battalion, 12th Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/43/3
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Sydney, New South Wales, on board RMS Mooltan on 12 April 1916
Rank from Nominal RollPrivate
Unit from Nominal Roll26th Battalion
FateKilled in Action 3 May 1917
Place of death or woundingBullecourt, France
Age at death38
Age at death from cemetery records38
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
Parents: Thomas and Mary COUGHLIN
Family/military connectionsNil
Other details

War service: Western Front

Embarked Sydney, 12 April 1916.

Found guilty, at sea, 17 April 1916, of (1) being absent without leave from 7:00 am to 1:00 pm, 15 April 1916, (2) drunkenness, (3) creating a disturbance and (4) leaving the boat in an illegal way without permission: awarded 72 hours' detention and forfeited 4 days' pay.

Found guilty, Rollestone, England, 24 July 1916, of overstaying leave from midnight, 24 July to 6:00 am, 30 July 1916: awarded 3 days' detention.

Admitted to Military Hospital, Bulford, 8 August 1916 (sick); transferred to Fovant Military Hospital, 18 August 1916 (venereal disease: total period of treatment, 28 days).

Proceeded overseas to France, 22 September 1916; marched in to 2nd Australian Division Base Depot, Etaples, France, 24 September 1916; proceeded to join unit, 2 October 1916; taken on strength of 26th Bn, 3 October 1916.

Admitted to 12th Field Ambulance and transferred to 12th Casualty Clearing Station, 6 October 1916 (sick); discharged to unit, 10 October 1916; rejoined 26th Bn, 12 October 1916.

Admitted to 3rd Australian Field Ambulance, 27 November 1916; discharged to duty, 29 November 1916; rejoined 26th Bn, 3 December 1916.

Found guilty, 4 December 1916, of using insubordinate language to a Commanding Officer: awarded 168 hours' Field Punishment No 2.

Killed in action, France, 3 May 1917.

Medals: British War Medal, Victory Medal
SourcesNAA: B2455, COUGHLIN Vincent Patrick

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