The AIF Project


Regimental number4396
Place of birthBray, Ireland
ReligionRoman Catholic
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation24
Height5' 7"
Weight158 lbs
Next of kinMother, Mrs Kate Donegan, 54 Main Street, Bray, Ireland
Previous military serviceNil
Enlistment date18 April 1916
Place of enlistmentCootamundra, New South Wales
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name29th Battalion, 11th Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/46/3
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Sydney, New South Wales, on board HMAT A19 Afric on 3 November 1916
Rank from Nominal RollPrivate
Unit from Nominal Roll29th Battalion
FateKilled in Action 29 July 1918
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.

Miscellaneous information from
  cemetery records
Town: Temora, New South Wales
Other details

War service: Western Front

Embarked Sydney, 3 November 1916; disembarked Plymouth, England, 9 January 1917.

Found guilty, 8th Training Bn, Hurdcott, 1 February 1917, of being absent without leave from midnight, 28 January to 5:00 pm, 30 January 1917: awarded 14 days' Field Punishment No 2 and forfeited 17 days' pay.

Proceeded overseas to France, 15 March 1917; marched in to 5th Australian Division Base Depot, Etaples, France, 16 March 1917; marched out to unit, 19 March 1917; taken on strength of 29th Bn, 22 March 1917.

Wounded in action, admitted to 6th Australian Field Ambulance and transferred to 3rd Casualty Clearing Station, 26 September 1917; to 14th Stationary Hospital, Boulogne, 27 September 1917 (shrapnel wound to right arm); to England, 29 September 1917.

Marched in, from hospital, to No 2 Command Depot, Weymouth, England, 31 October 1917; marched in to No 1 Command Depot, Sutton Veny, 6 November 1917; marched in from leave, 23 November 1917; marched in to Overseas Training Brigade, Longbridge Deverill, 15 January 1918; proceeded overseas to France, 1 February 1918; marched in to Australian Infantry Base Depot, Havre, 2 February 1918; marched out to unit, 4 February 1918; rejoined unit in the field, 7 February 1918.

Found guilty, 16 March 1918, of conduct to the prejudice of good order and Military discipline, in that he left the Ration Field carrying a party without permission: awarded 2 days' Field Punishment No 2.

Killed in action, France, 29 July 1918.

Medals: British War Medal, Victory Medal
SourcesNAA: B2455, DONEGAN Harry

Print format    

© The AIF Project 2024, UNSW Canberra. Not to be reproduced without permission.