Peter GARONI MM and Bar

GARONI, Peter

Service Number: 2143
Enlisted: 19 September 1914
Last Rank: Corporal
Last Unit: 6th Infantry Battalion
Born: Chiltern, Victoria, Australia, March 1893
Home Town: Wangaratta, Wangaratta, Victoria
Schooling: Not yet discovered
Occupation: Labourer
Died: Died of Wounds - GSW to abdomen 23/8/1918, France, 24 August 1918
Cemetery: Daours Communal Cemetery Extension, France
VI A 36, Daours Communal Cemetery Extension, Daours, Picardie, France
Memorials: Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour, Chiltern War Memorial Gates
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World War 1 Service

19 Sep 1914: Enlisted AIF WW1, Private, 2143, 6th Infantry Battalion
22 Dec 1914: Involvement Private, 2143, 6th Infantry Battalion
19 Jan 1917: Promoted AIF WW1, Lance Corporal, 6th Infantry Battalion
13 Oct 1917: Promoted AIF WW1, Corporal, 6th Infantry Battalion
12 Feb 1919: Honoured Military Medal, 'For conspicuous gallantry on the 8th day of July near Merris. This N.C.O was one of a small party that raided an enemy post in broard daylight. He crawled out in advance of the raiding party and gave covering fire for two of his officers who were creeping out to raid the post. To get a better fire he stood upright in the crop, totally regardless of his own personal safety, and single handedly engaged the adjacent enemy post with rifle fire. He succeeded in keeping the enemy in this post at bay until his officers had raided the other post, captured the occupants, and brought them back as prisoners to our lines. This N.C.O had then to crawl back some hundreds of yards under heavy MG fire before he reached our lines.
15 Sep 1919: Honoured Military Medal and bar, The Battle of Amiens, 'For conspicuous gallantry on the 10th day of August at LIHONS. During the attack this N.C.O. volunteered to assist in the manning of a tank which had been forced to stop owing to casualties the crew. Under very heavy shell and Machine Gun fire he made a journey of about an hour's duration in the tank, assisting a s a Machine Gunner and also guiding the tank. During the afternoon he took charge of an ammunition party ot the fron line (about 1500 yards distance) through an exceptionally heavy barrage. he displayed the greatest courage and coolness under most trying circumstances.'

WW1

The details provided are taken from the book "Stealth Raiders - a few daring men in 1918" written by Lucas Jordan, published 2017, refer to pages 147+8, and 271. Prior to the war he was a labourer of Wangaratta Vic. He enlisted 19th Sept 1914 aged 21 years. He served with the 6th Infantry Battalion and rose to the rank of Corporal. During his service he was awarded the Military Medal twice (MM & Bar). Unfortunately he Died of Wounds 24th Aug 1918. Rest In Peace Lest We Forget.

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Biography contributed by Evan Evans

From François Berthout
 
Today, under the wind of the Somme which caresses the fields of poppies on which so many men fell, in those fields on which so much blood was shed and so much bravery and courage was shown, I would like, with gratitude in my heart, to present a very respectful tribute to Corporal number 2143 Peter Garoni who served under the name of Peter Maroney and who fought bravely in the 6th Australian Infantry Battalion and who died of his wounds 102 years ago on August 24 1918 at the age of 25 on the Somme front.
Peter William Garoni was born in March 1893 in Chiltern, Victoria, Australia, and was the son of John and Annie Garoni, native of Italy.Before the outbreak of the war, Peter was living in Wangaratta, Victoria, he was single and worked as a farmer.
Enlisted on September 19, 1914 at Seymour, Victoria at the age of 21 in the 6th Australian Infantry Battalion, 1st Reinforcement, he embarked with his unit from Melbourne, Victoria, on board HMAT A32 Themistocles on December 22, 1914,and sailed for Egypt and joined the British Expeditionary Force in Alexandria and embarked on April 5, 1915 for the Gallipoli peninsula where he served with great courage for six months before being evacuated to Lemnos, Greece, then he was disembarked in Alexandria, Egypt, on January 7 1916 and once again joined the British Expeditionary Force to embark with his unit from Alexandria for France and was disembarked at Marseilles on April 2, 1916.
Eight months later, on December 9, 1916, while fighting with great courage in France, Peter was promoted to the rank of Lance Corporal and was transferred to England and attached to Permanent Cadre of 2nd Training Battalion in Durrington on September 3, 1917 then he Attended 14th Rifle Course, School of Musketry, Tidworth from September 27 to October 27, 1917 and was awarded 2nd Class pass with a fair knowledge of the Lewis Gun and was promoted to the rank of Corporal on October 4, 1917.In April 1918, the April 25, more precisely, Peter was a permanent cadre of the 1st Training Battalion in Tidworth, England and two months later, on June 1, 1918, he embarked from Folkestone for France and was disembarked in Le Havre on June 4, 1918.
on June 10, 1918, Peter joined the 6th Australian Infantry Battalion in the Somme which was in the Lihons sector. It was here in Lihons that Peter was awarded the Military Medal for bravery, here is the citation:
"For conspicuous gallantry on the 10th day of August at LIHONS. During the attack this N.C.O. volunteered to assist in the manning of a tank which had been forced to stop owing to casualties the crew. Under very heavy shell and Machine Gun fire he made a journey of about an hour's duration in the tank, assisting a s a Machine Gunner and also guiding the tank. During the afternoon he took charge of an ammunition party ot the fron line (about 1500 yards distance) through an exceptionally heavy barrage. he displayed the greatest courage and coolness under most trying circumstances."
Unfortunately, two months later, on August 23, 1918, Peter was very badly wounded by gun shot in the abdomen and was evacuated to the 61st Casualty Clearing Station in Daours, Somme, where he died the next day, he was 25 years old.
Today, Corporal Peter Garoni rests in peace with his men and comrades at Daours Communal Cemetery Extension, Somme, and his grave bears the following inscription "He died for us".
Peter Garoni changed his name to Maroney because he was afraid that with his Italian name, the Australian army would deny him the right to fight for Australia, for his country.
Peter, here, in these battlefields of the Somme, far from home, you fought with bravery, young and courageous but also patriot, you answered the call of duty to serve your country which you deeply love, endorsing uniform with pride and honor, you walked with your comrades to the worst battlefields of the great war, serving courageously in Gallipoli, on those beaches and soils of Turkey which were among the darkest hours,then hoping to return home after having known the hell of the fighting, your path has led you to the battlefields of northern France to the muddy trenches of the Somme in which you have, with your brothers in arms, suffered so much in these fields devastated by shells and death, mowing down, with the speed of a bullet, thousands of lives day after day, in murderous attacks in which you and your comrades showed exceptional courage under a deluge of fire and steel, the air filled with the smell of death and poison gas, in an almost lunar landscape filled with shell holes full of water and by the blood of thousands of men who gave their youth and their lives meter after meter and had no protection, no place to hide from the fury of the world that had gone mad and took the lives of young men who wanted to live and who had all done their duty bravely until their last breath, arms in hand to defend freedom and peace in which they put all their hopes and hearts in the hell of the battlefields in which they rest in peace today, all united, gone but never forgotten, they are always with us, standing in silence in front of us in the poppies fields, and who in the whisper of the wind tell us "you who live today in the peace for which we fought, for which we fell, do not forget us, tell them who we were and what we have all done for you, in this land we rest and in your hearts, in your thoughts we will live, do not forget us. "Peter, you and all the men who fell here in the Somme will never be forgotten, we will always be grateful to you, we live with you and I live for you, to live the peaceful life that you did not have, I will always be there for you , you who are and who will always be my heroes, my boys of the Somme, your names will live on forever.At the going down of the sun and in the morning,we will remember him,we will remember them.

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Biography contributed by Faithe Jones

Enlisted and served under alias 'Maroney'. Son of John and Annie GARONI, Wangaratta, Victoria. Native of Italy.