The AIF Project

William Petrel DONOHUE

Regimental number3290
Place of birthAbbotsford, Victoria
SchoolCambridge Street State School, Melbourne, Victoria
ReligionChurch of England
OccupationConcrete hand
Address39 Chapel Street, Fitzroy, Victoria
Marital statusMarried
Age at embarkation32
Height5' 7.5"
Weight154 lbs
Next of kinWife, Mrs R M Donohue, 39 Chapel Street, Fitzroy, Victoria
Previous military serviceNil
Enlistment date7 July 1915
Date of enlistment from Nominal Roll17 July 1915
Place of enlistmentMelbourne, Victoria
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name8th Battalion, 11th Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/25/4
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Adelaide, South Australia, on board HMAT A71 Nestor on 11 October 1915
Rank from Nominal RollPrivate
Unit from Nominal Roll60th Battalion
FateKilled in Action 19 July 1916
Age at death from cemetery records33
Place of burialNo known grave
Commemoration detailsV.C. Corner (Panel No 20), Australian Cemetery Memorial, Fromelles, France
Panel number, Roll of Honour,
  Australian War Memorial
Miscellaneous information from
  cemetery records
Parents: William and Harriet DONOHUE, husband of R.M. DONOHUE. Native of Abbotsford, Victoria
Family/military connectionsCousins: 58 Pte Albert Harold ANSELL, 6th Bn, killed in action, 8 May 1915; 59 Pte Allan ANSELL, 6th Bn, killed in action, 25 April 1915;
Other details

War service: Egypt, Western Front

Admitted to 1st Auxiliary Hospital, Heliopolis, 21 November 1915 (corns on feet); discharged to Base Details, 3 December 1915.

Transferred to and taken on strength of, 59th Bn, Tel el Kebir, 26 February 1916.

Transferred to, and taken on strength of, 60th Bn, Tel el Kebir, 15 March 1916.

Embarked Alexandria to join the British Expeditionary Force, 18 June 1916; disembarked Marseilles, France, 29 June 1916.

Reported Missing, 19 July 1916.

Court of Enquiry, held in the field, 4 August 1917, pronounced fate as 'Killed in Action, 19 July 1916'.

Statement, Red Cross File No 940211, 3382 Pte A.J. LAURIE, 60th Bn, 12 June 1917: 'Casualty was a friend of mine. He was beside me at Fleurbaix as we went over the parapet together in the first wave on the 19th July. Casualty was a stretcher bearer. I saw him killed by a machine gun bullet. He was hit in the head. As I lay wounded not far from him he said to me - "If you get back tell them you saw me knocked." He knew he was done. I heard him calling out for water about two hours afterwards.'

Second statement by LAURIE, 20 (?) June 1917: 'I saw Casualty hit on the 19th July at Fleurbaix at 6.45 a.m. He called out and fell near our trench. He was just in the act of getting through our own barbed wire. His body probably fell into the creek where numbers of our boys fell.'

Note on file: 'No trace Germany. Cert. by Capt. Mills. 10.10.19.'

Medals: 1914-15 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal
SourcesNAA: B2455, DONOHUE William Petrel
Red Cross File No 940211

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