6022 – 1st Tunnelling Company
Henry Louis McCrohon was born in Barraba, NSW in 1880 the son of Louis Estalle and Mary Elizabeth (nee Forbes) McCrohon. In 1907 he married Ella Margaret (formerly MacClenahan) in Armidale, NSW and they had four children. They moved to Queensland and his wife was residing at Targinnie, near Gladstone, while Henry was working in Mount Morgan but late in 1913 their dwelling was in Stover Street, Mount Morgan because Henry was working as a miner for the Mount Morgan Gold Mining Company Ltd.
Following a recruitment drive in Mount Morgan, Henry applied to enlist on June 15, 1916 and passed the preliminary medical examination. Information on his application reveals he was 173cms (5ft 8ins) tall and weighed 63.6kgs (140lbs) with a chest measurement of 92cms (36ins). His eye test showed good vision and he was declared fit for active service and his application was accepted by the recruiting officer.
Photo from: Queenslanders Who Fought in the Great War
Two days later at the Central District Central Recruiting Depot in Rockhampton, Qld the medical officer approved his fitness examination. Time to prepare was taken to organise family matters.
Forms of Attestation were completed on July 12, 1916 which adds further personal particulars of a medium complexion with blue eyes and brown hair. Distinguishing marks were the 2nd joint of his right index finger was stiff and had a scar on the right side of his right eye. Religious denomination was Roman Catholic and his wife Mrs Ella Margaret McCrohon of Stover Street, Mount Morgan was named as next-of-kin. He allotted four-fifths of his pay to her and their children.
CENTRAL DISTRICT VOLUNTEERS
THIRTY-FIVE MORE LEAVE
An additional thirty-five recruits accepted for service in the Australian expeditionary forces have left Rockhampton in the last fortnight. Their names are: Ernest James William Ranger, William John Rothery, John Charles Mignot, James Cain, Alfred William Sayers, William Harold Leslie Wyatt, Joseph Farr, John Booker, Francis William Tooth, Henry Louis McCrohon, Richard James Cotter, John Smith Lock, John Carter and P.S. West, all of Mount Morgan. (Abridged to Mt Morgan only)
he Rockhampton Morning Bulletin on Tuesday July 18, 1916 acknowledged the latest recruits leaving for Brisbane, Qld:
At Enoggera camp, Brisbane basic training commenced on July 16, 1916 as a Private with the 11th Depot Battalion and concluded on August 19, 1916. Final Home Leave was taken before he was transferred to the Miners’ camp (1st Military District) on September 1, 1916 for further training until September 9. He departed for their Seymour camp in Victoria to join other recruits for supplementary training and was assigned to the December 1916 Reinforcements to the Tunnelling Companies in the rank of Sapper with the regimental number 6022.
The 516 Reinforcements departed Melbourne, Victoria on October 25, 1916 at 1.30pm aboard the transport HMAT A38 Ulysses. The Australian coastline disappeared from view on October 30, 1916 with the port of Durban reached at 11.30am on November 13, 1916. Windy going around the Cape the ship docked at Cape Town at 7am on November 19. Sierra Leone was the next port of call but their departure was delayed until December 14, 1916 as it was not safe to proceed further. Arrived at Plymouth, England on December 28, 1916 after 65 days at sea, with the troops disembarking at 1.30pm and detrained to the station at Tidworth. The following day they marched into the Aust. Details Camp at Perham Downs for more training for the front.
The Reinforcements proceeded via Folkstone on January 25, 1917 on board S.S. Onward for France marching into the Aust. General Base Depot four days later. Sapper McCrohon was attached to the 1st Anzac Entrenching Battalion on February 8 remaining until May 17, 1917.
A transfer to the 1st Tunnelling Company took place on that date and was attached in the field on May 20, 1917.
On June 7, 1917 he was wounded in action and taken to the 3rd Canadian Casualty Clearing Station being admitted with a gunshot wound to his right arm.
7/12 Enemy shelled craters consistently
Carried out small repairs in dugouts
Constructed trench through to lip of ‘A’ crater
Constructed 2 O.T.’s ‘No Man’s Land’ on right of cutting.
5 men wounded; 1 killed.
he 1917 Unit Diary entry for June 7 to June 12 reads:
The next day he was conveyed on A.T.118 to Camiers and entered the 11th General Hospital. On June 13 he left Calais on board the hospital ship Stat Antwerpen where the following day was admitted to the 1st Birmingham War Hospital at Rednal, England. Diagnosis later was one wound only and x-ray showed no fragments or bullet in arm; suspected transfer to Aust. Hospital.
MOUNT MORGAN, QLD
MRS E. Mc-CROHON
REPORTED SAPPER HENRY McCROHON WOUNDED WILL ADVISE ANYTHING FURTHER RECEIVED
KW 6022 E
MOUNT MORGAN, Q
MRS E. McCROHON
NOW REPORTED SAPPER HENRY McCROHON ADMITTED FIRST BIRMINGHAM WAR HOSPITAL FOURTEENTH JUNE GUNSHOT WOUND RIGHT ARM
ase Records notified his wife with the following Telegrams:
After twenty-six days the patient was discharged on July 9, 1917 to the 3rd Auxiliary Hospital in Dartford and released on furlough the following day and report to the No.1 Command Depot, Perham Downs on July 24, 1917.
He remained at the camp and after a medical assessment reporting no disability and a dental check-up on August 4 was transferred to the Overseas Training Brigade on August 8 and proceeded via Southampton for France on August 22, 1917. He rejoined his unit on September 2, 1917.
Meanwhile in Mount Morgan on December 5, 1917 the Roll of Honour Board for employees of the Mount Morgan Gold Mining Company Ltd was publicly displayed. The name: McCrohon, H.L. appears as he was an employee of the Company when he enlisted.
Service in the field and camp life continued. He proceeded on leave in England from France on February 4, 1918 but while on leave was sent sick to the 1st A.D.H. at Bulford for treatment of a social disease on February 18, 1918. After forty-six days he was discharged on April 2, 1918 and marched into the No.1 Command Depot at Sutton Veny. He was sent to the Group Clearing Hospital on April 30 and returned on May 15, 1918.
Sapper marched out on June 6 for the Overseas Training Brigade at Deverill and proceeded overseas to France via Southampton on July 3, 1918 arriving at the A.G.B.D. at Rouelles the next day. He left to return to his unit on July 8 and rejoined in the field four days later. He was taken on strength on September 7, 1918.
After the Armistice he remained with his unit as part of the Army of Occupation assisting with the country’s rehabilitation through checking for mines or charges left by the enemy and repairing roads, bridges or canal crossings.
Sapper McCrohon was admitted to the 55th C.C.S. on January 31, 1919 suffering from Influenza and reported as dangerously ill on February 6, 1919. Two days later he died of disease (Influenza) on February 8, 1919 aged 38 years. He was interred in Charleroi Communal Cemetery, France.
MOUNT MORGAN QLD
MRS ELLA McCROHON
SAPPER HENRY McCROHON DANGEROUSLY ILL PROGRESS REPORT EXPECTED
MOUNT MORGAN QLD
MRS ELLA McCROHON
NOW REPORTED SAPPER HENRY McCROHON ADMITTED SIXTH FEBRUARY FIFTYFIFTH CASUALTY CLEARING STATION INFLUENZA
y mid February the following news was telegraphed to Mrs McCrohon:
It is not recorded when his widow Mrs McCrohon was notified of the death of her husband, possibly after February 21, 1919 when a C.I.B.L. 3228 coded Cable was telegraphed. Confirmation by mail came when a Certificate was issued on February 27, 1919 from A.I.F. Headquarters London.
On March 19, 1919 a letter to Base Records from Manchester Unity Independent Order of Odd Fellows, Sydney, NSW requested a certificate to confirm his Death so that benefits could be paid to Sapper McCrohon’s relatives. Base Records replied on May 8, 1919 with the required Certificate of Report of Death.
The A.I.F. Kit Store in London returned to Base Records Melbourne the personal effects of the late Sapper McCrohon contained in a sealed parcel (No. 49120) and consigned on the transport Bulla.
The Inventory reads:
1 Disc, Letters, Cards, Photos, 5 Religious Medallions, 1 Devotional Book, 1 German Button, 1 Pocket Knife, 1 Chain, 1 Charm, 3 Coins on Chain, 4 Pocket Wallets, 12 coins value 2 frcs 85 centimes, 4 American Coins, 1 Diary, 21 German Coins.
1 Pay Book (No. 19785) was forwarded to the Estates Branch, A.I.F. Headquarters, London.
Base Records on August 14, 1919 sent by Parcel-Post his property to Mrs McCrohon which she receipted on August 22, 1919.
A Circular and Booklet was forwarded to his widow on December 12, 1919.
On July 2, 1920 Mrs E.M. McCrohon was notified officially of the burial place of her late husband in Plot 1, Row 5, Grave No. 8.
The Memorial Scroll (355412) was sent December 16, 1921 and receipted by Mrs McCrohon on January 7, 1922. The Pamphlet Where Australians Rest was released on April 7, 1921 to her.
Three photographs her husband’s grave were issued on March 11, 1922. Mrs McCrohon wrote on March 24, 1922 enclosing a Postal Note for 30cents (3/-) and four stamps as payment for further photographs. On May 26, 1922 twelve copies of her husband’s grave photograph were dispatched as per her order and acknowledged on June 8, 1922.
On November 30, 1922 the Memorial Plaque (355412) was posted to her Mount Morgan address and receipted on December 12, the same year.
For serving his country Sapper 6022 Henry Louis McCrohon was awarded the British War Medal (51664) which was issued to the Commandant, 1st Military District on April 29, 1921 for delivery to Mrs McCrohon and the Victory Medal (50984) was sent to his widow on April 12, 1923 accepted on April 28, 1923.
Particulars were supplied to the Canteens Trust Fund on April 26, 1924.
A Register Order Form was dispatched on February 19, 1932.
Mrs Ella McCrohon continued to reside in Mount Morgan and in 1949 was living in William Street. She passed away in 1953.
Her son Mr S. McCrohon of 107 Derby Street, Rockhampton wrote to Victoria Barracks, Brisbane on February 9, 1953 requesting a record of the death of his father and supplied his details and service number. This was forwarded to the Office in Charge of Base Records in Canberra who issued the Certificate of Death in Service on February 20, 1953 and a covering note.
LEST WE FORGET
The following is his extract from the book Queenslanders Who Fought in the Great War:
McCROHON, Sapper Henry Louis
Born at Barraba, NSW and educated at Hillgrove. The son of Louis and Mary McCrohon, of Cessnock, NSW. Enlisted Mt Morgan June, 1916, and went into Enoggera Camp, where he was attached to the 1st Tunnellers. Went to Seymour Camp (Vic). Sailed for England per S.S. “Ulysses” December, 1916, and left for France, February, 1917, and was in action at most of the big battles. Was wounded once, and was also sick. He was in action when the Armistice was signed and was taken ill with influenza, and sent to 55th Casualty Station. He was waiting for demobilisation, but died of sickness 8/2/1919. He was buried at Charleroi.
© Donna Baldey 2010
Commonwealth War Grave Commission entry:
Buried Charleroi Communal Cemetery Grave S. 8.
Son of Louis Estalle McCrohon and Elizabeth Mary McCrohon; husband of Ella M. McCrohon, of Stover St., Mount Morgan, Queensland. Born at Barraba, New South Wales.