O'CONNOR, Patrick

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Enlistment Address

Collie NSW

Service Number

1663

Unit

45th Battalion,

Comment

Tooraweenah Kookaburra

Fate

RTA 24.8.1918

Information

Private Patrick O’Connor was 31 year old farmer when he and his brother, Michael enlisted with the Tooraweenah Recruitment March. The medical examination described him as 5’9”; 173 lbs (78kgs), chest expansion 36”-39”, dark complexion, brown eyes, dark brown hair, a scar on the right side of his back and a Roman Catholic. As his father William had died in 1913, his mother Carolyn was his next of kin.

They trained at Bathurst until March 29 and then embarked for Egypt on the ‘Ceramic’ on April 14, 1916. After training in Egypt they embarked at Alexandria on the ‘Francona’ and arrived at Plymouth on June 16, 1916. They left for France on September 9, 1916 and joined their unit, the 45th Battalion, on September 20, 1916 in Belgium. Patrick experienced the cold wet winter and in December 1916, he was sick and admitted to hospital until June 22, 1917. He was sent to England for treatment for Nephritis, an inflammation of the kidneys. While in hospital, his brother George was killed in action on June 7, 1917, the first day of the Battle of Messines. Patrick rejoined the unit when it was in Ottersteen, France but a month later he was in hospital for two weeks suffering from Trench Fever, a disease caused by body lice, a common disease in trench warfare.

In January 1918 Patrick enjoyed leave in London and on March 30, 1918 he was hospital with Pleurisy with Effusion, a lung disease. He was sent to England and was admitted to Manor Court Hospital at Folkstone, the 3rd Auxilliary Hospital at Dartford, the Military Hospital at Shorncliffe and then the No2 Command Depot at Weymouth. Patrick did not return to France again. He commenced his return to Australia on the Hospital Ship ‘Medic’ on August 20, 1918 and disembarked in Australia on October 9, 1918. He was discharged on February 8, 1920.

Private Patrick O’Connor was issued the British War Medal and the Victory Medal. He is commemorated on the Collie War Memorial.