Cornelius Michael (Neil) O'LOUGHLIN

Badge Number: S4521, Sub Branch: Pinnaroo

O'LOUGHLIN, Cornelius Michael

Service Number: 6806
Enlisted: 4 August 1916, Adelaide, South Australia
Last Rank: Private
Last Unit: 10th Infantry Battalion
Born: Booleroo, South Australia, 21 July 1894
Home Town: Pinnaroo, South Australia
Schooling: Not yet discovered
Occupation: Farmer
Died: Natural causes (coronary artery disease), Pinnaroo, South Australia, 16 September 1951, aged 57 years
Cemetery: Pinnaroo Cemetery, S.A.
Catholic Section - Row A, No. 1335 (near the NW corner)
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World War 1 Service

4 Aug 1916: Enlisted AIF WW1, Private, SN 6806, Adelaide, South Australia
7 Nov 1916: Embarked AIF WW1, Private, SN 6806, 10th Infantry Battalion, HMAT Afric, Adelaide
7 Nov 1916: Involvement AIF WW1, Private, SN 6806, 10th Infantry Battalion, Enlistment/Embarkation WW1
6 Sep 1919: Discharged AIF WW1, Private, SN 6806, 10th Infantry Battalion

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Biography contributed by Saint Ignatius' College

Michael Cornelius O’Loughlin was born on the 21st of July 1894 in Boolaroo, South Australia. His father was John O’Loughlin and his mother, Ellen O’Loughlin. He was a blonde haired, blue-eyed 5’6" and a half male Roman Catholic farmer who lived in Pinnaroo, South Australia. He enlisted on August 4th, 1916 at the age of 21.


He embarked at the age of 22 on the 7th of November 1916 where his unit, the 10th Battalion, 22nd Reinforcement, departed from Adelaide on board HMAT A19 Afric for further training in England.


O’Loughlin was mainly involved in the Western Front but other battles he may have been involved with are unknown. Evidence suggetss he served with the Regimental Police. After roll call, 30 yards from Coy’s Billet he was injured in the head and later was subject of a court of enquiry at Bleu- Vieux Berquin on the 8th of September 1917 because of injuries sustained from 7th of September 1917 on the Western Front. Many witnesses say that he heard O’Loughlin and another man argue and heard him say “take that, you police bastard” then a bottle or a blunt object smashed which resulted in him being found unconscious on the road. His head was bleeding and was not able to give any information about the argument. He was taken to the aid post and on his way, he vomited but he did not contain any alcohol. Later he was then taken to an unknown hospital for further treatment. The judge announced that O’Loughlin was not guilty and will return to his duty in the war.


The critical conditions of constant bombing and gunfire surrounding Michael must have been very frightening. Michael must have been very persistent and cautious from the white noise interfering with his senses. He would not easily know if grenades were thrown into the trench or a sneak attack was directed.


Fortunately, O’Loughlin survived the Great War and returned back to Australia on the 16th of June 1919 and was discharged on September 6th. He received 2 medals: The British War memorial medal and the Victory medal. He lived the rest of his life supposedly continuing as a farmer and did not marry. On the 16 of September 1951, he died from coronary artery disease at the age of 57 and was buried at the Pinnaroo Cemetery. His burial order number was 396 and grave was in section A, row 1, number 1335.

 ANZAC Spirit

O’Loughlin presented courage by enlisting for unknown circumstances, patriotism by fighting for the AIF and determination by surviving throughout the war. His bravery is influential and a great example of the ANZAC Spirit. O’Loughlin was not aware of the brutal conditions during the Great War, but he managed to battle through the trauma, fighting for his country, resulting in him surviving and returning back home to Pinnaroo to continue his farming career.