Richard Victor Patrick (Vic) FEEHAN

FEEHAN, Richard Victor Patrick

Service Number: 2366
Enlisted: 6 April 1915, Keswick, South Australia
Last Rank: Private
Last Unit: 10th Infantry Battalion
Born: Port Victoria, South Australia, 12 June 1891
Home Town: Watchem, Buloke, Victoria
Schooling: Port Victoria Public School
Occupation: Labourer
Died: Died of Wounds, Edmonton Military Hospital, London, England, United Kingdom, 22 September 1916, aged 25 years
Cemetery: Tottenham Cemetery
Unmarked Grave No 7319, Tottenham Cemetery, Tottenham, England, United Kingdom
Memorials: Adelaide National War Memorial, Adelaide St Patrick's Parish Honor Board, Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour, Watchem War Memorial
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World War 1 Service

6 Apr 1915: Enlisted AIF WW1, Private, 2366, Keswick, South Australia
23 Jun 1915: Involvement AIF WW1, Private, 2366, 10th Infantry Battalion, Enlistment/Embarkation WW1
23 Jun 1915: Embarked AIF WW1, Private, 2366, 10th Infantry Battalion, HMAT Kanowna, Adelaide
17 Sep 1915: Involvement AIF WW1, Private, 2366, 10th Infantry Battalion, ANZAC / Gallipoli
23 Sep 1915: Wounded Private, 2366, 10th Infantry Battalion, ANZAC / Gallipoli, GSW (right wrist)
23 Jul 1916: Involvement AIF WW1, Private, 2366, 10th Infantry Battalion, Battle for Pozières
19 Aug 1916: Wounded Private, 2366, 10th Infantry Battalion, Battle for Pozières , 2nd occasion - GSW (buttocks)

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Biography

Richard Victor Patrick Feehan was born 12 June 1891 in Port Victoria, Yorke Peninsula, South Australia to parents Patrick John Feehan and Annie Feehan nee Walsh. Called Vic by his family he was one of 9 children, his three brothers, Joseph, John and William also served in the AIF. Vic spent several years working as a labourer in the Nhill and Watchem districts in Victoria before returning to Adelaide where he enlisted on 6 April 1915 at Keswick, Service No 2366. He joined the 10th Battalion, 7th Reinforcements, rank of Private. At the time of enlistment he was aged 23years 10months and described as 5' 11 1/2" in height, fair complexion, grey eyes and brown hair.

The unit departed from Adelaide on 23 June 1915 on board HMAT A61 Kanowna bound for Egypt. On 11 September Vic and his unit departed Alexandria, Egypt and arrived in Gallipoli on 17 September.

Vic was wounded on 23 September while fighting on the Gallipoli Peninsula and was evacuated to Mudros with a bullet wound to his right wrist. On 28 September he embarked for England via Malta on HS Grampion arriving in England on 11 October and was admitted to the 2nd Southern G H Bristol where he remained recovering from his injury.

On 14 January 1916 he was taken on strength at Abby Wood, England rejoining his unit on 4 June 1916 and embarked from Weymouth, England arriving in France on 7 June.

The 10th Battalion was involved in the Battle of Pozieres at Mouquet Farm, Sausage Valley and sustained heavy casualties during the period of 19-23 August 1916. On the night of 19-20 August Vic sustained a gun shot wound to his right buttock. He was evacuated to Etaples, France and on 29 August he departed from Calais, France on board HS Brighton for England. He was admitted to Edmonton Military Hospital, London. 

The gun shot wound involved structures around his hip joint as well as his buttock. It was reported that he was fairly comfortable for a time but later became very ill, during the later part of his illness he was not conscious of his suffering. He developed septic pneumonia and died on 22 September 1916 aged 25.

Private Vic Feehan was initially buried at Heroes Corner, Grave No 7338 at Tottenham Cemetery, London but on 29 April 1920 his mother was informed the body has been exhumed from that grave and reinterred into Grave No 7319.

Grave No 7319 is a public (or common) grave which due to the existence of other bodies buried in the grave the cemetery does not allow headstones to be errected.

Private Feehan has his name on the sereen wall at Tottenham Cemetry but has not been allowed the honour of commemorating his sacrifice and existence with a headstone.

He was awarded the 1914-15 Star, British War Medal and Victory Medal.

 

"THE LATE PRIVATE R. V. P. FEEHAN.

Private R. V. P. Feehan died of wounds in Edmonton Military Hospital on September 22. He was born at Port Victoria 24 years ago, and was highly respected by all who knew him. He was well known in the Nhill and Watchem districts (Victoria), where he resided for about eight years. He was a member of the Watchem Football Club, in which he won a medal. He was also a keen rifleman. He enlisted from Adelaide early in 1915, was at Gallipoli, where he was wounded, and after some months rejoined his regiment in France. Mrs. Feehan has three other sons at the front, two serving in Egypt and one in France." - from the Adelaide Chronicle 14 Oct 1916 (nla.gov.au)

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