John Edward Leslie HOURIGAN

John Edward Leslie HOURIGAN

Corporal J. E. L. Hourigan (Cumberland Argus and Fruitgrowers Advocate 12/8/1916)

Corporal J. E. L. Hourigan (Cumberland Argus and Fruitgrowers Advocate 12/8/1916)

Per his military service record (regimental no. 4787), John Edward Leslie Hourigan was born at Parramatta, N.S.W. He gave his age as 21 years and 1 month, his marital status as single, and his occupation as carter. His description on his medical was height 5 feet 7 inches tall, weight 166 lbs., with a fair complexion, blue eyes, and fair hair. His religious denomination was Roman Catholic. He claimed to have 4 years U. T. [universal training] experience and was still serving.

“Jack” Hourigan was reported in The Cumberland Argus and Fruitgrowers Advocate as enlisting with the Coo-ees at Parramatta.[1] He completed his medical on the 11th November 1915 at Parramatta, and was attested by Lieutenant R. Howe at Parramatta on the 11th November 1915.

After completing the Coo-ee March he went to Liverpool Camp as reinforcement for the 13th Battalion. His service record shows he was made Acting Corporal from 11th November 1915.

He was reported in The Farmer and Settler on 5th January 1916 as being one of the Corporals in E company from the “Coo-ees” column, and it was noted that ‘as the “Coo-ees” are reinforcements for a battalion already at the front, and not part of a new battalion, these ranks may be only temporary’.[2]

On his embarkation roll his address at time of enrolment was 415 Church Street, Parramatta, N.S.W., and his next of kin is listed as his father, J. Hourigan, at the same address.

On 8th March 1916 Acting Corporal Hourigan departed Sydney on the HMAT A15 Star of England, along with many of the other Coo-ees, as part of the 15th reinforcements for the 13th Battalion. He arrived in Egypt on 11th April 1916.

On 19th April 1916, he was transferred to the 45th Battalion in Egypt,  along with some of the other Coo-ees.

On 29th May 1915 his promotion to Corporal was confirmed.

On 2nd June 1916 Corporal Hourigan left Alexandria aboard the transport Kinfauns Castle bound for France with other members of the 45th Battalion, arriving at Marseilles on 8th June 1916.

On 8th July 1916 the 45th Battalion was in the front line for the first time in the vicinity of Fleurbaix, France, when Corporal Hourigan was wounded in action, receiving a severe gunshot wound to his scalp. He was evacuated to the 4th Australian Field Ambulance then moved back to the 8th Casualty Clearing Station on 9th July 1916.

On 21st July 1916 he was sent to the 30th General Hospital at Calais in France. On 22nd July he was placed aboard the Hospital Ship Brighton for evacuation to England. He was admitted to the Wharncliffe War Hospital at Sheffield in England on 23rd July 1916.

On 21st September 1916 Corporal Hourigan was transferred to the 1st Australian Auxiliary Hospital at Harefield, England.

On 23rd September 1916 he was discharged from hospital, and marched into the Number 2 Command Depot at Weymouth, England.

On 14th October 1916 he was charge with overstaying leave from 3 p.m. on 11th October until 8 p.m. on 13th October 1916. He was reprimanded by the Colonel, and forfeited 3 days pay.

Corporal Hourigan was transferred to the Infantry Draft Depot at Pernham Downs in England on 24th January 1917.

On 13th March 1917 Corporal Hourigan departed Folkestone bound for France. He arrived at the 4th Australian Division Base Depot at Etaples in France on 14th March 1917. Corporal Hourigan rejoined the 45th Battalion on 29th March 1917 when it was training in the vicinity of Bapaume, France.

In October 1917 Corporal Hourigan was sent to the Lieutenants Training School at the 4th Australian Division Base Depot at Le Harve in France, however on 15th October 1917 he was charged with absenting himself from 10 p.m. on 13th October until 9.20 p.m. on 14th October 1917. He was reprimanded by the Commanding Officer, fined 2 days pay, and sent back to the 45th Battalion on 22nd October 1917.

On 21st January 1918 Corporal Hourigan went on 14 days leave to England.

He rejoined the Battalion on 9th February 1918 when it was being relieved from the front line in the vicinity of Hollebeke in Belgium.

On 25th March 1918 the 45th Battalion was moving by motor buses from Belgium to the Somme battlefield in France, when Corporal Hourigan sprained his left ankle.[3] He was evacuated to the 12th Australian Field Ambulance, then moved back to the 1st Australian Casualty Clearing Station, then placed aboard the 20th Ambulance Train, where he was conveyed to the 9th Canadian Stationary Hospital, being admitted on 26th March 1918.

On 29th March 1918 he was sent to the 7th Convalescent Depot at Boulogne, France.

On 10th April 1918 he was moved to the 10th Convalescent Depot.

On 18th April 1918 he marched into the 4th Australian Division Base Depot at Le Harve, France.

Corporal Hourigan rejoined the 45th Battalion on 13th May 1918 when it was in action in the vicinity of Villers Brettoneux, France.

On 6th November 1918 Corporal Hourigan was promoted to Sergeant.

Following the Armistice, on 19th November 1918 Sergeant Hourigan went on leave to England. He rejoined the 45th Battalion on 6th December 1918.

On 21st April 1919 Sergeant Hourigan marched into the Australian Base Depot at Le Harve to commence his return to Australia. He left for England the next day, on 22nd April 1919.

On 11th May 1919 Sergeant Hourigan departed England aboard the Transport Borda bound for Australia.

He arrived in Australia on 28th June 1919, and was discharged Termination of period of Enlistment on 12th August 1919.

[1] ‘Of the Boys’, The Cumberland Argus and Fruitgrowers Advocate, 7 June 1919, p. 8,

[2] ‘Route Marches. Gathering of the Clans. The “Cooees”winning praise in camp’, The Farmer and Settler, 5 January 1916, p. 3,

[3] Lee, J. E., The chronicle of the 45th Battalion A.I.F., East Sussex : The Naval & Military Press Ltd, [2009], p. 58.

2 responses to “John Edward Leslie HOURIGAN

  1. Hi Helen – guess there are quite a few like me who read your regular well-researched articles and never think to comment! Thanks for your hard work. We do enjoy reading about the Cooee soldiers.

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