John Patrick O'BRYAN


O'BRYAN, John Patrick

Service Number: 4786
Enlisted: 27 March 1916
Last Rank: Private
Last Unit: 28th Infantry Battalion
Born: Menindie, N.S.W., 19 March 1897
Home Town: Leonora, Leonora, Western Australia
Schooling: Not yet discovered
Occupation: Carpenter
Died: Killed in Service, The Somme, France, 3 November 1916, aged 19 years
Cemetery: No known grave - "Known Unto God"
Body never located. Honoured on the Honour Wall at Villers-Brettoneux.
Memorials: Australian War Memorial, Roll of Honour, Gwalia Honour Board, Leonora Road Board District Roll of Honor, Villers-Bretonneux Memorial (Australian National Memorial - France)
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World War 1 Service

27 Mar 1916: Enlisted AIF WW1, Private, SN 4786, 28th Infantry Battalion
17 Apr 1916: Involvement Private, SN 4786, 28th Infantry Battalion
17 Apr 1916: Embarked Private, SN 4786, 28th Infantry Battalion, HMAT Aeneas, Fremantle

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John Patrick did his training as a carpenter when his mother Sarah had a stroke and was not able to look after three of her children, and they were placed in an orphanage in Subiaco near Perth, West Australia.  A family employed him as an apprentice carpenter.

When he was 18 years of age, he tried to enrol in the Army to go to WW1. The authorities realised that he was not of age, and Sarah his mother would not sign the papers. Sarah said that she would sign the papers in a further 12 months time, thinking that the war would be over.   12 months later the War wasn't over, but Sarah kept her promise and signed John Patrick's papers so he could enlist. He was worried that that he would receive a "White Feather" for cowardice. So John Patrick enlisted, and unfortunately was killed in action after only 6 weeks in France. He was only 20 years of age.

Although his Attestation papers show he was 20 years and 3/12 old, he had actually only just turned 19 years of age.