Francis Michael Monaghan
- Born: 1888, Tungamah, Victoria, Australia
- Died: 25 Jul 1916, Pozieres, The Somme, France, WW1 at age 28
- Buried: Villers-Bretonneux Memorial, France
Francis, or Frank, Monaghan enlisted in the A.I.F. at Liverpool, Sydney, just a couple of days before Christmas in 1914. He was a farm labourer aged 26 years and 9 months. He was 5 feet 5 inches tall, weighing 11 stone and his chest measurment was 33 1/2 - 37 inches, and it was noted that he had vaccination marks. He had a medium complexion, blue eyes and fair hair. His religion was recorded as Roman Catholic. Frank listed his next of kin as his father, James Monaghan, of "Roachdale", Rannock, via Coolamon in NSW.
Frank was initially assigned to the 4th Reinforcements, 3rd Battallion as a Private, Service Number 1773, but by April of 1915 he was reassigned to 5th Reinforcements, 5th Battallion, Regimental Number 2048. On the 7th August he was "taken on strength" by his Unit at "ANZAC". This refers to Anzac Cove where his Battallion had just fought in the Battle of Lone Pine on the 2nd August. The Battallion served at ANZAC until the evacuation in December, when they returned to Egypt.
On the 23rd September 1915 Frank was subjected to a Court Martial and disciplined for being AWOL between the hours of 1830 on the 12th September and 1000 on the 13th September. He received "14 days Field Punishment No. 2". Field punishment could be awarded by a court martial or a commanding officer for any offence committed on active service. There were two categories field punishment. Field punishment No. 1 consisted of heavy labouring duties, possibly being restrained in handcuffs or fetters, and being tied to a post or wheel. Field punishment No. 2 differed, in that the offender was not liable to be attached to a fixed object. [Source: Australian War Memorial Website Encyclopaedia www.awm.gov.au]
After the withdrawal from Gallipoli, the battalion returned to Egypt. Whilst in Egypt Frank was admitted to hospital In Cairo sufferring from Mumps. He rejoined his Unit on the 10th March 1916 and, on the 30th March 1916, sailed for France and the Western Front. The battalion's first major action in France was at Pozières in the Somme valley in July 1916. Pozieres, a small village in the Somme valley in France, was the scene of bitter and costly fighting for the 1st, 2nd and 4th Australian Divisions in mid 1916.
The village was captured initially by the 1st Division on 23 July 1916. The division clung to its gains despite almost continuous artillery fire and repeated German counter-attacks but suffered heavily. By the time it was relieved on 27 July it had suffered 5,285 casualties.
The 2nd Division took over from the 1st and mounted two further attacks - the first, on 29 July, was a costly failure; the second, on 2 August, resulted in the seizure of further German positions beyond the village. Again, the Australians suffered heavily from retaliatory bombardments. They were relieved on 6 August, having suffered 6,848 casualties. [Source: Australian War Memorial Website www.awm.gov.au]
Frank Monaghan was one of these casualties having been intially reported as "Missing", and subsequently reported as "Killed in Action" on the 25th July 1916 in the midst of the carnage at Pozieres. Frank was buried on the Pozieres battlefield and he is remembered at the Villers-Bretonneux Memorial in the Somme. He is also remembered with a notation on the Memorial Stone on his brother's grave in the Coolamon Cemetery, which is near the grave of his parents.
Frank was the recipient of the 1914/15 Star, No 11704, the British War Medal, No. 42230, and the Victory medal, No 41781. His father took receipt of a Memorial Scroll and a Memorial Plaque.