Patrick Joseph O’LOUGHLIN (O’LOUGHLEN)
Per his initial military service record (Depot), Patrick O’Loughlin was born at Ballyvaugan, County Clare, Ireland. He gave his age as 27 years and 8 months, his marital status as single, and his occupation as laborer. His description on his medical was height 6 feet tall, weight 13 stone, with a medium complexion, light brown eyes, and black hair. His religious denomination was Roman Catholic. He completed his medical at Molong on 22nd October 1915, and was attested by Captain Nicholas at Molong (8 miles east) on the 22nd October 1915. He claimed to have no previous military experience.
The postal address he gave on his initial Application to enlist in the Australian Imperial Force form at Molong on 22nd October 1915 was Tattersalls Hotel, Gilgandra N.S.W.
It was reported in The Western Champion (21/10/1915, p. 19) that the Parkes Recruiting Association had held a recruiting meeting ‘for the purpose of enrolling recruits who were willing to join the volunteers now on the way, by road, from Gilgandra to Sydney’, and that ‘five men had mounted the lorry in response to the appeal’, and that ‘one of them went on to Dubbo’, with the remaining four planning to proceed to Molong to join the contingent. Patrick O’Loughlin was one of the four recruits sent by the Parkes Recruiting Association to join the Coo-ees at Molong.
The Gilgandra Weekly newspaper reported on 3 December 1915 (p. 10) that O’Loughlin had enlisted at Parkes, and joined the Coo-ee March at Molong, and had said that “a mate of mine told me that the Mayor of Parkes was offering £5 to every man who would join the Coo-ees’ march. I went in search of the Mayor and found him at the Parkes railway station. I asked him if what I had been told was true, and he said Yes, I am giving five pounds to every man who joins the Coo-ees from Parkes, and passes the medical man with the route march. He then paid my train fare to Molong, and I caught the train and joined the Coo-ees at Molong.”
After completing the Coo-ee March he went to Liverpool Camp as reinforcement for the 13th Battalion. However on the 17th November 1915 Private O’Loughlin went before a Medical Board where they recommended his discharge due to Varicose Veins. On the 29th November 1915 Private O’Loughlin was discharged as medically unfit.
In the official correspondence of the march held in the Mitchell Library collection, there is a receipt for £5 made out to P. O’Loughlin dated 16th November 1915 with note ‘Parkes townspeoples honorarium’, and an undated letter from O’Loughlin addressed to Mr A. H.Miller, Secretary of the Gilgandra Recruitment Association, about his non-payment after he was discharged, which had his address at the time listed as being Millthorpe Grand Western Hotel.
A year after his initial enlistment in the Coo-ee March, he re-enlisted at Dubbo Military Camp under the name of Patrick Joseph O’Loughlin, with regimental no. 7048, on the 27th October 1916. He completed (and passed) his medical, and was attested, that same day. He gave his age as 28 years and 8 months, his marital status as single, and his occupation as laborer. His description on his medical this time was a height of 6 feet 0 ¾ inches, weight 172 lbs, with a fair complexion, brown eyes, and black hair.
On the 3rd November 1916 Private O’Loughlin was transferred from Dubbo Depot Batalion to Liverpool Camp as reinforcement for the 3rd Battalion.
On his embarkation roll his address at time of enrolment was P.O., Dubbo, N.S.W, and his next of kin is listed as mother, Mrs M. O’Brien, Corkscrew Hill, Bally Vaughan, Clare, Ireland.
On the 9th November 1916 Private O’Loughlin departed Sydney on the HMAT A24 Benalla, arriving at Devonport, England, on the 9th January 1917, marching into the 1st Training Battalion at Durrington.
On the 16th May 1917 Private O’Loughlin was charged with being Absent Without Leave from reville on the 30th April, till apprehended by the Military Police at Waterford at 8.30 pm on the 7th May 1917. He was also charged with attempting to escape from escort by jumping from a train whilst in motion. He was awarded 14 days Field Punishment number two and forfeiture of 30 days pay and spent eight days in custody awaiting trial.
On the 14th June 1917 Private O’Loughlin marched out of the 1st Training Battalion and departed for France from Southampton. On the 15th June 1917 Private O’Loughlin marched into the 1st Division Base Depot at Le Havre. On the 28th June 1917 he departed the 1st Division Base Depot and marched into the 3rd Battalion on the 3rd July 1917 whilst it was conducting training in the vicinity of Mesnil, France.
On the 18th September 1917 the 3rd Battalion was at Dickebusch, near Ypres, in Belgium, when Private O’Loughlin was killed in action, only three months after arriving at the Western Front.
Private O’Loughlin has no known grave, and is remembered on the Menin Gate Memorial at Ieper (Ypres), Belgium, under the name O’LOUGHLEN P. J.
His name is recorded as Patrick Joseph O’LOUGHLEN on the Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour database.
Patrick O’Loughlin’s name is also recorded on the Coo-ee March Memorial Gateway at Molong as one of the five men from Molong who joined the Coo-ee March on 22nd October 1915.