Percy (Barney) FLANIGAN



Service Number: 17184
Enlisted: 12 January 1916, Sydney, New South Wales - assigned to 6th Reinforcements
Last Rank: Private
Last Unit: 55th Infantry Battalion
Born: Ultimo, New South Wales, September 1887
Home Town: Sydney, City of Sydney, New South Wales
Schooling: Tempe Punlic School and St Peter's Public School
Occupation: Furnaceman/Printer
Died: Died of wounds - SW to thigh, Morlancourt, Somme, 20th Casualty Clearing Station in Vignacourt, Somme, France, 15 July 1918
Cemetery: Vignacourt British Cemetery
Lot IV, Row D, No.1, Vignacourt British Cemetery, Vignacourt, Picardie, France
Memorials: Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour, Glebe War Memorial
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World War 1 Service

12 Jan 1916: Enlisted AIF WW1, Private, SN 17184, 5th Field Artillery Brigade , Sydney, New South Wales - assigned to 6th Reinforcements
5 Jun 1916: Embarked AIF WW1, Gunner, SN 17184, 5th Field Artillery Brigade , --- :embarkation_roll: roll_number: '4' embarkation_place: Sydney embarkation_ship: HMAT Borda embarkation_ship_number: A30 public_note: ''
31 Oct 1917: Transferred AIF WW1, Gunner, 55th Infantry Battalion, ex 5th Field Artillery Brigade
10 Mar 1918: Wounded AIF WW1, Private, SN 17184, 55th Infantry Battalion, German Spring Offensive 1918, DIscharged to unit 30 May 1918
13 Jul 1918: Wounded AIF WW1, Private, SN 17184, 55th Infantry Battalion, "Peaceful Penetration - Low-Cost, High-Gain Tactics on the Western Front"
15 Jul 1918: Involvement AIF WW1, Private, SN 17184, 55th Infantry Battalion, "Peaceful Penetration - Low-Cost, High-Gain Tactics on the Western Front"

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Biography contributed by Evan Evans

From François Berthout

Today, it is with very deep respect that I would like to honor the memory and pay a very respectful tribute to Private number 17184 Percy Flanigan who fought in the 55th Australian Infantry Battalion and who died of his wounds 102 years ago,on July 15, 1918 at the age of 30 in the Somme.

Percy Flanigan was born in September 1887 in Ultimo, New South Wales and was the son of James and Julie Flanigan and lived in 6, Bellvue Street, Glebe, Sydney, New South Wales. He was educated at Tempe and St Peters Public School then at St Barnabas Church School, Church of England day School. Before the war Percy was single and worked as a furnaceman.

Enlisted on January 12, 1916 in Sydney, New South Wales at the age of 28 as a Gunner in the 5th Field Artillery Brigade, Reinforcement 6, he embarked with his unit from Sydney on board HMAT A30 Borda on June 5, 1916 and sailed for Egypt where he was disembarked on July 6, 1916 in Suez and received his training in Kebir before embarking in Alexandria on board the HMAT A30 Borda on July 12, 1916 for England where he was disembarked in Southampton on July 23, 1916 and completed his training at Hurdcott before being transferred to the 55th Australian Infantry Battalion and he embarked with his battalion for France on October 23, 1917 where he was disembarked the next day, October 24, 1917 in Le Havre before joining the Somme front on October 31, 1917.

Five months after joining the battlefields of the Somme, Percy was wounded for the first time in the right arm and was evacuated to Etaples then to Cayeux and Trouville to be treated for his injury before being sent back to the front on June 2, 1918.

Unfortunately, a month later, on July 15, 1918 at 5:30 am in Morlancourt, Somme, while working in a cook-house, Percy was severely wounded in the thigh by a shell and he was evacuated at the 20th Casualty Clearing Station in Vignacourt, Somme, where he died a few hours later.Percy was nicknamed "Barney" by his comrades and he was described as someone always cheerful.

Today, Percy Flanigan rests in peace alongside his comrades and brothers in arms in the Vignacourt British Cemetery and his grave bears the following inscription "Dearly beloved son of Mr.James and Julia Flanigan of Glebe, Sydney".

Percy, Sir, you who left behind the Australian sun, your family, your hopes and your dreams after having answered to the call of duty with bravery to cross the ocean and fight in the darkness of war on the battlefields of the Somme and in the muddy and wet trenches in which so many of your comrades fell.

Today, I want to tell you how much I am grateful to you and how much France and the Somme are grateful to you, I want to say thank you and say thank you to Australia, this big and beautiful country which has a very big place in my heart, Australia which lost so many of its sons and which rest in peace here, I want to express my gratitude to you , the spirit of all these young heroes, your spirit, Percy, is always with us, you who have done so much and sacrificed so much for us, your youth and the youth of a whole country, you were young and full of life, your comrades described you as someone who was always jovial and among the darkness of the war, you were the sun and the hope of the French and Australian people and today it is with a very big respect and with a very big joy that we welcome your families who will have, just like you, always a place of honor in the Somme and in my heart, we will always be honored and privileged to meet and exchange, to speak with the Australian people with whom we are proud to have a friendship as strong as ours.

Through you, Percy, I want to pay tribute to all the Australian soldiers who fought and who fell here and it will always be a great privilege for me to honor each of them, I will always visit your graves with the greatest respect for that their names live forever. At the going down of the sun and in the morning, we will remember him, we will remember them.🌺



"FLANIGAN.- Died of wounds in France, July 15, 1918, Private Percy (Barney) Flanigan, 55th Battalion, late 5th Field Artillery Brigade, dearly beloved son of Mr. and Mrs. J. Flanigan, Glebe, and brother of Ethel, Jane, Herbert, and James.

FLANIGAN.- Died of wounds in France, July 15, 1918, Pte. Percy (Barney) Flanigan. Hearts that truly love never forget. Inserted by his ever loving friend, Mary Lennon." - from the Sydney Morning Herald 03 Aug 1918 (