Michael John DALEY

DALEY, Michael John

Service Number: 2020
Enlisted: Not yet discovered
Last Rank: Lance Corporal
Last Unit: 42nd Infantry Battalion
Born: Not yet discovered
Home Town: Rockhampton, Rockhampton, Queensland
Schooling: Not yet discovered
Occupation: Not yet discovered
Died: Killed in Action, France, 12 August 1918, age not yet discovered
Cemetery: No known grave - "Known Unto God"
Villers-Bretonneux Memorial, Villers-Bretonneux, Picardie, France
Memorials: Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour, Brisbane 42nd Infantry Battalion AIF Roll of Honour, Gracemere Roll of Honour, Villers-Bretonneux Memorial (Australian National Memorial - France)
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World War 1 Service

1 May 1916: Involvement Private, 2020, 47th Infantry Battalion, --- :embarkation_roll: roll_number: '19' embarkation_place: Brisbane embarkation_ship: HMAT Clan McGillivray embarkation_ship_number: A46 public_note: ''
1 May 1916: Embarked Private, 2020, 47th Infantry Battalion, HMAT Clan McGillivray, Brisbane
12 Aug 1918: Involvement Lance Corporal, 2020, 42nd Infantry Battalion, --- :awm_ww1_roll_of_honour_import: awm_service_number: 2020 awm_unit: 42nd Australian Infantry Battalion awm_rank: Lance Corporal awm_died_date: 1918-08-12

Lance Corporal Michael Daley

Lance Corporal Michael John Daley, MM, was killed in action near Proyart France on 12 August 1918. We don’t know a lot about Michael Daley but his service record is available in paper format at the National Archives of Australia.
At the time of his death it appears that Daley was the runner for the Company Commander, Captain Thomas Jack. Under orders, Jack had pushed his company forward to occupy positions as part of a line north from Proyart north to the Somme. The action was carried out in daylight and without artillery support, thereby increasing the difficulty for the assaulting troops. C Company 42nd Battalion reached their objectives but at the objective came under heavy enemy fire. LCPL Daley was seeking cover in a shell hole with the company commander, Thomas Jack. Whilst they were seeking cover, the enemy could fire into their position and a burst of machine gun fire struck them. Although wounded, Daley called for a stretcher bearer for Capt Jack, but the stretcher bearers were unable to reach their position due to the heavy fire from the German defenders. During this time, Daley sustained further fire and died. Capt Jack apparently died some time later from his wounds. Michael Daley has no known grave and is remembered at the Australian National Memorial at Villers Bretonneux. At the time of his death, Daley was 40 years old. He listed his next of kin as his sister, so it appears that he had no family of his own. Prior to enlisting Daley was a draper in Rockhampton and had attended the Christian Brothers College in Rockhampton.

Michael Daley won the Military Medal for bravery with the 42nd Battalion at the Battle of Hamel on 4 July 1918. Hi citation reads,
“On the 4th of July 1918, during the attack on Hamel, L/Cpl Daley showed exceptional skill and bravery in leading his section to the attack. During the final assault, an enemy machine gun temporarily held up his section. Daley promptly rushed forward under cover of Lewis gun fire, bombed the gun and killed its crew, thus enabling the final position to be carried. Throughout the whole operation L/Cpl Daley showed untiring devotion to duty and set a splendid example to the men of his section.

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