Today is Remembrance Day. Today I remember Private John Joseph Mulqueeney, of Tumut, New South Wales – my great-grand uncle. A labourer in civilian life, he enlisted in the 4th Battalion of the 1st AIF (Australian Imperial Force) on 9 October 1915, embarking for Egypt on 3 February 1916. His unit was soon redeployed to France, where it fought in the Somme offensive; in the middle of August it was involved in the attempts to capture Mouquet Farm, near Pozières. On 17 August 1916, Pte. Mulqueeney was looking out over the parapet when a shell landed in front of his trench, and he was hit in the head by a piece of shrapnel. He died instantly. He was 25 and, according to his sergeant, a 'good chap'. His fellow soldiers buried him in a nearby shell-hole, marking it with a rough cross, though his remains are now in Courcelette British Cemetery.
Lest we forget.
Image source: Australian War Memorial.
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