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James William Donaghy


Serial No:
Serial No. 1099

36th Battalion


James William Donaghy - Information

James was a member of a Campbelltown family. He was born in Campbelltown c1886 and attended Campbelltown Public School. He then moved to Leichhardt with his family, where he found work as a labourer. The Donaghys soon said goodbye to James'€™ brother, Samuel, when he joined the AIF in 1915. James followed in his younger brother’s footsteps, enlisting on the 8th of February 1916 in Kempsey.

While training, James was designated to D Company, 36th Battalion, and left Sydney on the 13th of May 1916 aboard the HMAT Beltana. He arrived at Devonport in July, and after further training proceeded to France from Southampton in November. At this time, James would have been notified that his brother Samuel had become a prisoner of war. On the 19th of May 1917, James was slightly wounded in action, remaining in the frontlines. The following month, James and his unit gained ground during the Battle of Messines in Belgium. This stress proved too much, and in July he went AWL for two weeks. He was then detached to the 23rd Machine Gun Company in September, fighting at Ypres in Belgium. In April 1918, James was transferred to the 3rd Australian Machine Gun Battalion. Two days later, he was evacuated wounded from a mustard gas attack near Villers-Bretonneux. He was taken by ambulance train to hospital in Rouen on the 19th of April. Ten days later, he died from the effects of the gas attack at Rouen hospital. James was buried at Bois Guillaume Communal Cemetery in Rouen, France. Unfortunately, the Donaghy family had now lost one son dead, and another'€™s fate was uncertain as he was a prisoner of war.