No. 6799 and 6799A Patrick John Flanagan
Patrick John Flanagan was the youngest child born in 1884 to Patrick Flanagan and Catherine Dunfort at Colac, Victoria.
All of his siblings were born at Colac. They were:
- Michael - born 1869
- William - born 1871
- Margaret - born 1874
- Edward - born 1876
- Patrick James - born 1880
- James - born 1882
- Daniel - born 1884
Before enlisting for the Great War, Patrick had served with the Mounted Rifles for two months, in 1905.
A Patrick (no middle name) Flanagan married Catherine Jane Sonaghan at Colac in 1912. They had their first child at Footscray in 1913. She was Mary Eileen Flanagan. Father: Patrick Joseph Flanagan Mother: Catherine Jane Sorraghan
Patrick Joseph Flanagan enlisted in the A.I.F. at Footscray on 24 August 1917 September 1917 as a Private. His age was given as 33 years and 5 months. At the time of enlistment his next of kin was his wife, Catherine Jane Flanagan of 36 Windsor Street, Footscray.
On 30 August 1917, he was sent to Broadmeadows for training.
1. Patrick Joseph Flanagan stated that he was born at Colac, and that his birth year was 1884. No record exists of that birth. (There was however, a birth registered at Colac in 1884 for a Patrick Flanagan, to Daniel Flanagan and Mary Casey)
2. Patrick John Flanagan’s birth was registered at Colac in 1886. It is suspected that both were the same person.
Whilst at the Recruit Depot at Broadmeadows, he was with the 3rd Sportsmen’s Unit, until 17 September 1917. At the completion of his basic training, Patrick John Flanagan was appointed to 20th Reinforcements., 21st Battalion, (3rd Sportsmen’s Unit), on 5 October 1917.
[For more information on the 3rd Sportsmen’s Unit, see below.]
Private Patrick Joseph Flanagan, Number 6799A, embarked from Melbourne per HMAT Nestor A71 on 21 November 1917. He was with the 21st Infantry Battalion, 20 Reinforcements. At this time the letter "A" was added to his regimental number.
The reinforcements disembarked at Suez on 15 December 1917 and went to the Australian Camp there for two weeks of further training.
He embarked from Alexandria on 8 January 1918 per E620 Albassiah, and disembarked at Southampton in England on 24 January 1918, where he marched in to the 6th Training Battalion at Fovant. While at Fovant, he was admitted to the Military Hospital at Hindcott, suffering with a hernia of the left leg. He was discharged four days later. Patrick was then transferred to the 5th Training Battalion at Fovant, and on 6 May 1918 he was punished for being in Fovant without a pass. He was awarded 14 days confined to camp.
After serving his punishment, on 20 May 1918, he embarked for France, via Folkestone, and two days later he marched in to the A.I.B.D., 21st Battalion at Ville Sur Ancre in France.
It was at this same location where Private Flanagan was treated by the 15th Casualty Clearing Station for a gunshot wound to his leg on 5 June 1918. He was subsequently charged with negligently, self-inflicting a wound on himself, on 5 June 1918. For this he was summarily awarded 28 days forfeiture of pay. This sentence was confirmed on 18 June 1918, when Private P J Flanagan awarded 28 days forfeiture of pay for Conduct to the prejudice of good order and military discipline – a self-inflicted wound.
He was then admitted to No. 10 General Hospital on 24 June 1918 for further treatment to his wound, before being discharged to the Base Depot at Havre in France, on 30 August 1918.
At Havre in France on 5 September 1918 he was classified as 'B1', and on 7 September 1918 he was transferred to the Australian Veterinary Hospital at Calais.
On 21 October 1918, he was reclassified as 'BII' at a medical parade in Calais. He was sent to Havre on 10 April 1919 for repatriation to England, and he arrived there five days later, on 15 April 1919.
A Court of Inquiry findings dated 25 March 1919, found that Patrick was on duty in the Reserve Trenches. He rested his loaded rifle on his left foot while pushing home the bolt and pressing the trigger. The evidence was not conclusive if it was accidental, or otherwise. It was to be reported as "Injured negligently, self-inflicted".
Private Flanagan returned to Australia per the Prinz Ludwig on 9 July 1919, and disembarked on 5 September 1919 to the 3rd Military District.
On 10 September 1919, he was admitted to the No.5 Australian General Hospital in Melbourne for further treatment on his gunshot wound to his left foot. He was then transferred to the No.11 Australian General Hospital at Caulfield on 9 February 1920. A Medical Board held on 25 March 1920 decided that he should be discharged from the A.I.F. as Permanently Unfit.
His discharge date was 1 May 1920.
A Patrick Joseph Flanagan, labourer, and Catherine Jane Flanagan appeared in the 1919 Electrol Roll at 36 Windsor Street, Footscray. In 1924 they had moved to 7 Hobbs Street, Seddon. Then between 1931 and 1954 they both resided at 11 Hobbs Street, Seddon. From 1963 onwards Catherine is recorded as living alone at 11 Hobbs Street, but there were other Flanagans nearby in Hobbs Street.
Medals & Entitlements:
- British War Medal
- Victory Medal
1. Sportsmen’s Units were mainly comprised of married recruits, with an average age of 28 years. The Age, 1 September 1917, p.14
Sportsmen’s Units of 150 men came under the umbrella of "The Sportsmen’s Thousand Units". Their eligibility requirements and benefits are detailed in an article in The Maffra Spectator, 25 February 1918, p.3.
2. The name P Flanagan from Werribee, first appeared in The Werribee Banner’s Roll of Honor, 13 February 1919, p.3. after the war had ended.
The name D Flanagan from Werribee (his brother) also first appeared in the Roll of Honor on 13 February 1919. There was no 'D Flanagan' recorded on the rolls, so he may have applied to enlist, but was then rejected.
Because both the Flanagan soldiers were entered on the Roll of Honor on the same date after the war ended, it would be logical to assume that they were siblings, and that their names were submitted by a local Werribee relative.
3. A.I.B.D. - Australian Infantry Base Depot. AIF (1st AIF)
CD Pioneer Index of Victoria 1836–1888
CD Federation Index of Victoria 1889–1901