Maurice Vincent BUCKLEY VC, DCM

BUCKLEY, Maurice Vincent

Service Numbers: 633, 6594
Enlisted: 18 December 1914, Melbourne, Victoria
Last Rank: Sergeant
Last Unit: 13th Infantry Battalion
Born: Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, 13 April 1891
Home Town: Malvern, Stonnington, Victoria
Schooling: Christian Brothers School, Abbotsford, Victoria, Australia
Occupation: Coach Trimmer
Died: Thrown from Horse (22 Jan 1921), Mt. St. Evins Private Hospital, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, 27 January 1921, aged 29 years
Cemetery: Brighton General Cemetery, Victoria
Memorials: John Hamilton VC Pictorial Honour Roll, Keith Payne VC Memorial Park, North Bondi War Memorial, Winchelsea WWI Memorial
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World War 1 Service

18 Dec 1914: Enlisted AIF WW1, Melbourne, Victoria
25 Jun 1915: Involvement AIF WW1, Private, SN 633, 13th Light Horse Regiment
25 Jun 1915: Embarked AIF WW1, Private, SN 633, 13th Light Horse Regiment, HMAT Ceramic, Sydney
28 Aug 1918: Involvement AIF WW1, Sergeant, SN 6594, 13th Infantry Battalion
11 Dec 1919: Discharged AIF WW1

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Biography contributed by Robert Kearney

Re-enlisted under the name Getald Sexton 

"Maurice Buckley (1891-1921), born in Hawthorn, Melbourne, was a coach trimmer before enlisting in late 1914. His early service was inglorious: while in Egypt with the 13th Light Horse Regiment, he contracted venereal disease and was sent back to Australia, where he deserted. Two months later, in May 1916, Buckley re-enlisted under the alias Gerald Sexton, and joined the 13th Battalion in France in January 1917. He fought at Bullecourt and through the third battle of Ypres; the next year, as a sergeant, he was wounded at Le Hamel. He was awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal (DCM) for his bravery near Morcourt in August. 

On 18 September, with his Lewis gun and "displaying boldness which inspired all", Buckley rushed enemy machine-gun positions, captured a field gun, and took numerous prisoners. He received the Victoria Cross. With the focus of attention now on him, he had to disclose his true name. Buckley was fatally injured in 1921 after being thrown from a horse; ten Victoria Cross-holders were pallbearers at his funeral." SOURCE (



MELBOURNE, Thursday. Maurice Buckley, V.C., formerly sergeant in the A.I.F., died in a private hospital at Melbourne this morning. Buckley had recently been engaged superintending a road contract near Boolarra, and was thrown from a horse, receiving injuries from which he succumbed."from the Perth Daily News 27 Jan 1921 ( 

"VICTORIA. MELBOURNE, Thursday. Sergeant Maurice Vincent Buckley, V.C., D.C.M., who was badly injured through being thrown from his horse near Morwell last week, died in hospital to-day. He will be accorded a military funeral. The pall-bearers are to be V.C. winners." - from the Newcastle Morning Herald 28 Jan 1921 (

"BUCKLEY.- On the 27th January, at Mount St Evins (result of accident at Boolarra), Maurice Vincent, dearly beloved second son of T. and A. Buckley, 35 Mcarthur street, Malvern, loving brother of Dan, Madge, Eileen, Agnes, Will, Edmund and the late Gunner Gerald, aged 29 years. R.I.P.

BUCKLEY.- On the 27th January, at Mount St Evins private hospital, Maurice, V.C, DCM, much esteemed member of the Christian Brothers Old Boys Association, Abbotsford. (inserted by his fellow-committemen and past pupils of the Christian Brothers' School, Abbotsford.)" - from the Melbourne Argus 28 Jan 1921 (

"SERGEANT BUCKLEY, V.C. Military Funeral.

Sergeant Maurice Buckley, V.C., D.C.M., who died in Mount St. Evin's Hospital on Thursday morning from injuries sustained in a riding accident at Boolarra was buried yesterday afternoon in the Brighton Cemetery, with military honours. In the morning a requiem mass was celebrated in St. Patrick's Cathedral by the very Rev. J. Barry, acting Roman Catholic chaplain-general. The Rev. Peter O'Brien and the Rev. M. I. O'Brien (a former chaplin with the A.I.F.) were in the sanctuary. The large congregation included the Rev. Brother O'Driscoll (representing the Christian Brothers) a number of returned soldiers and past and present pupils of the Christian Brothers' School, Abbotsford. The Rev. M. I. O'Brien, who knew Sergeant Buckley in France, paid a tribute to his memory. He stated that Sergeant Buckley enlisted with the A.I.F., and fought with conspicuous bravery for freedom and liberty. By his splendid valour, he won the coveted distinction of the Victoria Cross. Repeated acts of gallantry marked his war career, and he was one of a distinguished number who made Australia's name in the great war. They deeply regretted his death and offered their heart-felt sympathy to his parents and friends.

Before the funeral left the cathedral in the afternoon a burial service was conducted. The cathedral was crowded, and a large number of people assembled outside. The State Commandant (Brigadier-General Brand), under whom the late Sergeant Buckley served abroad, and many members of the 4th Brigade were present. The remains reposed on a catafalque fronting the high alter. It was covered with wreaths. The Revs. P. O'Brien, T. W. Gallagher, M. I. O'Brien, and John Egan, S. J., were the chanters, and the Very Rev. J. Barry, who was assisted by the Rev. J. Lonergan, pronounced the final absolution at the catafalque.

The coffin was placed on a gun carriage provided by the Defence department, and was covered with the Union Jack. Past pupils of the Christian Brothers' School, Abbotsford, formed a guard of honour. To the tolling of the Cathedral bells the cortege moved off. V.C. winners and members of the 4th Brigade followed the gun carriage. The funeral procession was half a mile long, and included about 500 returned men. Carriages and motor-cars followed the soldiers. The pall-bearers were:- Captain A. Jacka, V.C., M.C. and Bar; Captain F. H. McNamara, V.C.; Captain R. Grieve, V.C.; Captain W. J. Symons, V.C.; Lieutenant R. V. Moon, V.C.; Lieutenant J. Rogers, V.C.; Lieutenant W. Ruthven, V.C.; Lieutenant G. M. Ingram, V.C.; Lieutenant W. Dunstan, V.C.; Sergeant W. Peeler, V.C." - from the Melbourne Argus 29 Jan 1921 (