Daniel Bartholomew CREEDON

CREEDON, Daniel Bartholomew

Service Number: 589
Enlisted: 19 August 1914
Last Rank: Private
Last Unit: 9th Infantry Battalion
Born: Maryborough, Queensland, Australia, 11 March 1893
Home Town: Maryborough, Fraser Coast, Queensland
Schooling: Christian Brothers High School, Marlborough, Queensland, Australia
Occupation: Clerk
Died: Died of illness whilst a prisoner of war, Angora, Turkey, 27 February 1917, aged 23 years
Cemetery: Baghdad (North Gate) War Cemetery
Memorials: Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour, Ballarat Australian Ex-Prisoners of War Memorial, Maryborough City Hall Honour Roll, Maryborough Railway Honour Board, Maryborough St Mary's College War Memorial
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World War 1 Service

19 Aug 1914: Enlisted AIF WW1, Private, 589, 9th Infantry Battalion
24 Sep 1914: Involvement Private, 589, 9th Infantry Battalion, --- :embarkation_roll: roll_number: '9' embarkation_place: Brisbane embarkation_ship: HMAT Omrah embarkation_ship_number: A5 public_note: ''
24 Sep 1914: Embarked Private, 589, 9th Infantry Battalion, HMAT Omrah, Brisbane
25 Apr 1915: Involvement AIF WW1, Private, 589, 9th Infantry Battalion, ANZAC / Gallipoli
28 Jun 1915: Wounded AIF WW1, Private, 589, 9th Infantry Battalion, ANZAC / Gallipoli, GSW to both hands and was captured by Turks in same action (attack on Knife Edge Ridge).
28 Jun 1915: Imprisoned Captured 28 June 1915. Died of typhus and enteritis on 27 February 1917 at Angora, Turkey. Originally buried at Armenian cemetery Angora.

Help us honour Daniel Bartholomew Creedon's service by contributing information, stories, and images so that they can be preserved for future generations.

Biography contributed by Robert Wight

Pte Creedon maintained a detailed diary of his time in Turkish captivity and this is publicly available via the AWM website.

Biography contributed by NIgel Bellette

Daniel Creedon was born in March 1893 in Maryborough, Queensland. His parents were Terence (who died in 1899) and Kate Creedon. He had three siblings; A sister Francis who had died in 1914, a brother Valentine, and a sister Mary. He also had a half –brother, James. Daniel was known to his family as Bart. He was educated at the Christian Brothers High School in Maryborough, Queensland.

Bart was working as a clerk at the outbreak of the Great War and decided to enlist into the 1st Australian Imperial Force on 19th of August 1914. He was allocated to E Company of the 9th Australian Infantry Battalion. Bart’s attestation papers describe him as five feet eight inches tall with a dark complexion, grey eyes, and black hair.

 Bart embarked from Brisbane on the 24th of September 1914 aboard HMAT A5 OMRAH. The Battalion disembarked in Melbourne on the 30th of September and conducted ship to shore landing training before departing Melbourne on the 20th of October 1914. They arrived in Egypt and disembarked at Alexandria on the 6th of December 1914. A well-documented period of training occurred in Egypt before the men embarked again for the April landings at Gallipoli.

Bart was hospitalised on the 17th of April 1915 for an abscessed ear. He did not participate in the first lodgement on the 25th of April 1915, rather re-joining the battalion on the 6th of May 1915 and was allocated to C Company.

 According to the Brigade ‘Operational Order Number 6’ of the 28th of June 1915, the 9th Battalion was ordered to provide two companies to attack ‘Sniper’s Ridge South’ and ‘Razorback Ridge’. B and C companies were selected and as mentioned Bart was with C Company. During the attack, C Company was under heavy shrapnel and machine gun fire from both flanks and were forced to retire without orders from the Company Commander. In the confusion the party under command of LT Jordan was separated and Bart was wounded. In Bart’s diary he states;

“Lieut J who was there gave us the order to dash over the ridge and work to the left – luckily there were very few who were near him at the time for all those who followed these orders are either dead or captured. I was hit when I was about three quarter (sic) way down the hill. I felt a blow on the side of the head and thought it was the end. I was dazed for some time and when I fully recovered and senses both my hands felt numb especially the left. I had a look at them and discovered that I had two wounds on the little finger and several scars on the next two fingers of the left hand but there was only a slight wound on the middle finger of the right hand”.

Bart became separated from this group and was forced to take shelter in a dugout as there was increasingly accurate shell and machine gun fire all around him. He decided he would wait until dusk and make his way back to the Australian trenches. Bart must have fallen asleep as he woke up staring down the barrel of three Turkish rifles. He was stripped of his belongings and marched to the Turkish lines and into captivity. The Turks were reasonably civil and furnished him with cigarettes and dressed his wounds. He was placed with other members of his battalion who had been captured including 552 Private William Allen who had been knocked out and wounded by a shell before capture, 1600 Private John O’Callaghan who had been wounded in the legs, and 1379 Private George Burdett King also with wounds to his legs all of whom were to die in captivity.  

Bart was taken to the rear of the Turkish lines and spent an uncomfortable night guarded in a dugout before being taken to hospital in a cart for treatment of his wounds. Bart reports that he was treated well and competently and they had sufficient to eat whilst in this ‘Field’ Hospital.

He remained there for 10 days before being transferred to Constantinople to another hospital. Whilst in hospital Bart stated that the bed bugs were so thick that the blankets looked black and he could not sleep for the crawling bugs. He, and the other prisoners, were visited by an American diplomat form the American Embassy in Constantinople, Mr Phillips. He took their names and addresses and said he would inform their relatives and Battalion of their whereabouts.  The American embassy also provided comfort items such as toothbrushes, notebooks, handkerchiefs, and small amounts of money. They were also visited by the Red Cross.

Bart was still in hospital on the 18th of August 1915 as his wounds were not getting better and the doctor had discovered that his fingers were actually broken. He later was told he had to have these amputated but ended up with further surgery instead.

He was moved from Constantinople by train over a couple of days to an unknown place where they stayed for about a fortnight, with groups of men appearing every couple of days. In October 1915 they were told they would march to their next destination and by now their party had increased to two hundred. Bart states that all he had to wear was a short pair of pants, a tunic shirt and underpants. They marched for four days through bitter cold, some without boots. Bart was fortunate to have a good set of boots. Food was regular but not sufficient and the guards were brutal to anyone who fell out of the column, kicking and striking them with the butts of their rifles.

Bart and his group arrived at a camp called Khangeri. On the 9th of November they received a delivery of clothes and Bart received a pair of long pants which was much appreciated leading up to winter in the mountains. The men spent the rest of the year here with irregular deliveries of clothing and food before being told they were moving on to another camp around the 17th of January 1916.

They marched through snow and swamps to arrive in Angora two days later. Prisoners in Angora (now known as Ankara) were more likely to die here than any other POW camp in Turkey. This was due to the prevalence of diseases such as dysentery, malaria, and cholera. Angora is about 450 km South East of Constantinople. The labour here was predominantly used to build a single, narrow gauge railway between Angora and Erzerum.

Bart was not finished travelling. Some of the group were then moved to Belemedik, this was around the 10th of May 1916. After eight months in Belemedik he was moved back to Angora.

Bart was reported to have died on 27th of February 1917 of Typhus. Although other witnesses say Enteritis. He was buried in the Armenian (Christian) cemetery at Angora in an unmarked grave. This method of burial made it impossible to find the bodies of the men in 1927 when the various smaller war cemeteries were consolidated and as such Bart still lies in Angora somewhere. A letter from PTE J.P. Havard of the New Zealand Army in June 1919 stated:

 “At Angora the Turks buried all prisoners, so it is impossible to locate the position of any Britisher’s grave. Creedon was a quiet, fine fellow and seemed liked and respected by all his fellow prisoners. He was ever hopeful and bravely bore his trials and hardships even to the last. I hope this information will give some satisfaction to his relatives though I fear there is little comfort in it”

Post war, when the cemeteries were being consolidated, Bart’s mother Kate requested the following inscription be placed on his headstone in North Gate Cemetery:


Of course due to the restrictions on size of inscriptions and cost per letter this was shortened to read: