Lawrence QUINN

Poppy

QUINN, Lawrence

Service Number: 292
Enlisted: 1 February 1916
Last Rank: Private
Last Unit: 12th Machine Gun Company
Born: Bundaberg, Queensland, Austrlaia, January 1886
Home Town: Bundaberg, Bundaberg, Queensland
Schooling: Not yet discovered
Occupation: Draper
Died: Died of wounds, France, 8 January 1917
Cemetery: Dartmoor Cemetery
Dartmoor Cemetery (Plot I, Row F, Grave No. 7), Becordel-Becourt, France
Memorials: Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour
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World War 1 Service

1 Feb 1916: Enlisted AIF WW1, Private, SN 292, 12th Machine Gun Company
1 May 1916: Involvement Private, SN 292, 12th Machine Gun Company
1 May 1916: Embarked Private, SN 292, 12th Machine Gun Company, HMAT Clan McGillivray, Brisbane
7 Jan 1917: Wounded AIF WW1, Private, SN 292, 12th Machine Gun Company, Flers/Gueudecourt, SW from HE shell burst, fractured right tibia DoW

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Biography contributed by Evan Evans

From François Berthout

Pte Lawrence Quinn

Today, under a winter sky, among poppies and roses, rest in peace young men who fought and gave their today, their lives on the fields of the Somme on which were spilled the blood of a whole generation of heroes who, listening only to their heart and their courage, gave everything they had on these soils of France which carry for eternity the traces of their bravery and their history, of their memories, who, more than ever , live through each of us and that I wish to pass on to the next generations so that they will remember all that so many men did for us.Today, it is one of these young men, one of these heroes that I would like to honor with deep gratitude, I would like to pay a very respectful tribute to Private number 292 Lawrence Quinn who fought in the 12th Company of the Australian Machine Gun Corps and who died of his wounds 104 years ago, on January 8, 1917 at the age of 30 on the Somme front.

Lawrence Quinn was born in 1887 in Bundaberg, Queensland, Australia, and was the son of Henry and Margaret Quinn, he had a brother, Harry Quinn and a sister, Rose Florence Quinn and all lived in Barolin Street, Bundaberg.Lawrence was educated at Bundaberg Catholic School and before the outbreak of the war he worked in Bundaberg as a draper assistant.

Enlisted on February 1, 1916 in Brisbane, Queensland, in the 12th Machine Gun Company of the Australian Machine Gun Corps, Reinforcement 3, he embarked with his unit from Brisbane, on board HMAT A46 Clan Mcgillivray on May 1, 1916 and sailed for Egypt where he served for three months before being sent to England to receive intensive training at the Belton Park Military Camp in Grantham,Lincolnshire,England.On October 3,1916, Lawrence left Grantham and embarked with his unit from Folkestone, on board SS Princess Henrietta for France where he was disembarked the same day in Boulogne and was sent a month later, on November 2, 1916 on the Somme front and fought with great courage at Flers and Gueudecourt.

Unfortunately, two months later, it was in Gueudecourt, in the Somme, that Lawrence met his fate.On January 7, 1917, while he was in the front line at Gueudecourt alongside Second Lieutenant John William Murray Hartley under whom he was under command, a highly explosive German shell fell on their position which seriously injured Lawrence, John and three other men.in the battalion's war diary, will be written that day "Awful weather, trenches full of mud and water, heavy casualties".

Lawrence was evacuated with his legs broken at the 1st Anzac Main Dressing Station in Bécordel-Bécourt, Somme, but despite the greatest care, he died the next day, on January 8, 1917, he was 30 years old.
Today Lawrence Quinn rests in peace with his friends, comrades and brothers in arms at Dartmoor Cemetery, Becordel-Becourt, Somme, and his grave bears the following inscription "In loving remembrance of our dear brother".

Second Lieutenant John William Murray Hartley who was wounded alongside Lawrence Quinn also died of his wounds on January 9, 1917, he was 25 years old and rests in peace with his comrades at Heilly Station Cemetery, Mericourt-l'Abbé, Somme,and his grave bears the following inscription "dearly loved son and brother of Mrs.S. Hartley and family, Rockhampton".
Lawrence, it is with my most respectful thoughts and with all my heart that I would like to say to you, with gratitude, thank you, for all that you have done on these lands of France for which you have, without hesitation, answered the call of duty and that you have helped and protected with strength and energy alongside all your Australian friends and comrades, alongside all your brothers in arms who gave their courage in the water and in the mud of the trenches.Like you, they were young and brave and gave their youth under the dark clouds of a world at war which mowed down, under bullets and shells, a whole generation of men who shed their blood on the poppy fields.They stood with distinction and courage while they were in the prime of their lives and gave their youth on the fields of the Somme, they gave their today under the roar of the cannons which tirelessly pounded the ground in gigantic explosions that made the hearts of so many young men waver for whom it was the baptism of fire, the first visions of a war that shattered millions of lives under the enraged crackle of machine guns which decimated waves of men who crossed the no man's land without any protection.Brave among the bravest, the Australian soldiers fought in the Somme with admirable determination, always on the front line, they were respected and admired for their qualities and for their valor under enemy fire and were also deeply loved by the French people who saw in them angels of liberty walking through the ruins of villages destroyed by the fury of the fighting, Australians and French fought and fell side by side and in the hell of the trenches, in the villages they crossed, a very strong and sincere friendship, a deep and mutual respect was born.Never retreating, they fought at the cost of terrible losses at Pozieres where 23,000 Australian soldiers fell, killed or wounded and continued to move forward, they crossed the hell of the fighting of Mouquet Farm which they nicknamed "Moo Cow Farm" and which shattered the lives of 11,000 young Australians, they suffered terribly then came the battle of Amiens, the battle of Hamel and stopped the German army at Villers Bretonneux.On July 7, 1918, the French Prime Minister Georges Clemenceau declared to the Australian soldiers "When the Australians came to France,the french people expected a great deal of you.We knew that you would fight a real fight,but we did not know that from the very beginning you would astonish the whole continent.I shall go back tomorrow and say to my countrymen"I have seen the australians,I have looked in their faces,I know that these men will fight alongside us again until the cause for which we are all fighting is safe for us and for our children".Today, over a hundred years after the end of the war, our admiration, respect and love for Australia, for the Australian people and for the Australian soldiers whom we respectfully and lovingly call "the diggers" is still as strong as it was between the Australian and French soldiers in the trenches in which they fought together, I am only a young French man among millions but I am proud of the bonds which unite our two countries, I am proud and honored to watch over all these young men who gave their lives for us who have and who will always have, like Australia, a very big place in my heart and for them, for their families today, I would always give all my heart , my love, my devotion,my energy and my greatest respect.They are and always will be for me, in my heart, my heroes, my boys of the Somme whose names and stories will never be forgotten, they will never cease to live and shine in our hearts, cherished in our thoughts, alive and eternal in the flame of remembrance, we will never forget them.At the going down of the sun and in the morning,we will remember him,we will remember them. 

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