Private John Leo Egan, 4779, 8th Battalion A.I.F.
He was the son of William and Mary Egan, of 20, Hopkins Street, Richmond, Victoria, Australia
He was 5’ 5” tall, weighed 9 stone 5 lbs, and had blue eyes and dark hair.
16th November 1915 enlisted at Richmond, Victoria aged 18 years and 7 months. His Occupation at enlistment was Leather Worker.
3rd December 1915 He was placed in 14th Depot Battalion at Ballarat.
13th January 1916 he was moved to the 15th Reinforcements of the 8th Battalion at Broadmeadows.
7th March 1916 embarked on the ‘Wiltshire’
28th May 1916 he embarked from Alexandria for Europe.
4th June 1916 he disembarked at Marseilles.
7th June 1916 he was marched into Etaples.
29th July 1916 he joined the 8th Battalion.
18th August 1916 he was killed in action, aged 19.
The Red Cross reports into his death:
“He was on my gun. Pte. Braybook told me that he was killed. His pay-book and disc were handed in to the office. He was a dark young fellow of about 18 and was in C. Company, Machine Gun Section.” L/Cpl Wilton, 5258, C Company
“He was amote of mine and went into action about August, at or near Pozieres. He was on the same gun as myself, and we both went over the parapet together and we were about hundred yards from the enemy trench, and a shell burst close to us and knocked me into a shell hole and I never saw him after, and the next I heard was that his pay book was found, if so he is dead, but he never suffered any pain because I was in the same shell-hole for about ten minutes, and he could not have been more than ten yards away at the time, when he got killed and I could have heard him.” Pte. L. Braybrook, 5049, 8th Battalion, A.I.F. Machine Gun Section.
“While retiring from an unsuccessful battalion raid when about a third of the way back I saw him struck by Machine Gun fire and killed instantly. His pay-book and disc were brought in with us. He was buried later in the vicinity. Short, slight, fair, clean shaven, about 20.” H. Ladkins, 4317.
“He was killed at Pozieres on the 8th august 1916. I know this because Father O’Heran, the Roman Catholic Chaplain to the Brigade had his pay boo. Somebody had found it on his body and gave it to the padre. Pte. Ladkins, of c. Company Machine Gun Section told me this. I saw Ladkins in April. He was then with the battalion.” Pte. O’Laughlin, 5429, C Company.
He is buried in Pozieres British Cemetery, Ovillers-La-Boisselle.
Source : National Archives of Australia