Richard Dillon MAUNSELL

MAUNSELL, Richard Dillon

Service Number: 126
Enlisted: 12 October 1915
Last Rank: Company Quartermaster Sergeant
Last Unit: 33rd Infantry Battalion
Born: Parkhurst England, 26 September 1866
Home Town: Armidale, Armidale Dumaresq, New South Wales
Schooling: Not yet discovered
Occupation: Draughtsman
Died: Maroubra, New South Wales, Australia, 13 May 1949, aged 82 years, cause of death not yet discovered
Cemetery: Not yet discovered
Memorials: Armidale Memorial Fountain
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World War 1 Service

12 Oct 1915: Enlisted AIF WW1, Sergeant, SN 126, 33rd Infantry Battalion
4 May 1916: Involvement Sergeant, SN 126, 33rd Infantry Battalion
4 May 1916: Embarked Sergeant, SN 126, 33rd Infantry Battalion, HMAT Marathon, Sydney
21 Feb 1918: Involvement AIF WW1, Company Quartermaster Sergeant, 33rd Infantry Battalion

I feel I know him

My great-grandfather Richard Dillon Maunsell, died in 1949, many years before I was born. But, two photos that were in my mother’s possession of Richard and his wife, Annie, with their daughter-in-law, Nina Maunsell, in the garden of their Sydney home, makes me feel I do know him. Perhaps it’s the presence of my grandmother, Nina, that makes the image so familiar. Or, perhaps it’s the way the three of them are looking at the camera that is reminiscent of a scene that would be so familiar to many. Or, perhaps it’s the way Richard is kneeling down and holding his dog. He could be anyone’s great-grandfather. I don’t really know him, but I feel like I do.
(Photos included in the photo section.)

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Biography contributed by Carolyn Kidd

Richard Dillon Maunsell was my great grandfather. He came from a long line of Maunsells with a military background, and that tradition continued on for his two sons, Allan & Lewis, with the three enlisting for WWI within 12 months of each other. Richard was 49 years old when he signed up in October 1915 (he gave his age as 44), his eldest son, Allan, was 19, and the youngest, Lewis, was 16. (Lewis used an alias, Maxwell Lewis Martin, when enlisting because he was under the legal age of 18.) Richard served in the 33 Battalion and saw service on the battlefields of France with Allan and Lewis.

Individual photos of Richard, Allan & Lewis in their military uniforms appear (alongside photographs of other servicemen from the same families) on a page titled, 'Relative Heroes of the Great War, 1914-1919'. It isn't clear from the rather grainy A4 sized photocopy (which was in my mother's possession), if it's a cover page from a book or magazine or perhaps it was a poster, but Richard, Allan and Lewis have ensured the Maunsell name will continue to be remembered alongside their forebears as having served their country with distinction and honour.