Lt Maguire John Timothy "Boy"

  • Year of birth: 1896
  • Place of birth: Maryborough, Queensland, Australia
  • Date of death: 04/10/1917
  • Place of death: Unknown
  • Cause of death: Killed in action (K.I.A.)
  • Age: 21
  • Profession: Mail Carrier - Postman
  • Country: Australia
  • Rank: Lieutenant
  • Service number: 3545
  • Enlistment date: 09/08/1915
  • Enlistment place: Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
  • Last known unit: Australian Infantry, 8th Bn.
  • Force: Australian Imperial Force


Additional information

Lieutenant John Timothy “Boy” Maguire was born in 1896 in Bowenvale, Victoria, Australia. He was one of six children of John and Johanna Maguire and was engaged to a woman called Bee Dillon. Before he enlisted in the army he worked as a postal worker. When he enlisted, he first joined the 22nd Depot Battalion, he later transferred to the 24th Battalion and eventually joined the 8th Battalion of the Australian Infantry, part of the 2nd Australian Brigade of the 1st Australian Division. He was quickly promoted to Acting Sergeant on September 6th 1915 and kept on moving up in rank, being appointed temporary Sergeant on February 28th 1916, becoming a full Sergeant on March 23rd 1916 and eventually being promoted to lieutenant on June 8th 1917. He was killed in action of October 4th 1917 in what would become known as the Battle of Broodseinde.

On October 2nd the 8th Battalion moved from the bivouacs and shelters at Chateau Segard to Anzac Ridge where they relieved 2 Companies of the 9th Battalion A.I.F. Zero hour for the attack on October 4th was 06.00 a.m., but Lieutenant Maguire would not live to start this attack. At 01.00 a.m. (five hours before zero hour) the battalion started their move forward to their assembly positions. Lieutenant Maguire being in “A” Company was supposed to assemble on the left side of the front line. During the move forward, however, enemy shell fire fell upon the troops and killed Lieutenant Maguire instantly. These circumstances of his death, prior to the attack, are known owing to a letter written by several members of his battalion to the family of Lieutenant Maguire, explaining how he died and expressing their respect for him. He was buried by his battalion at D.27.d.5.3. Due to the duration of the war, however, his grave eventually got lost and has not been found. He is now remembered on the Menin Gate, Panel 17.

His fellow soldiers and commanders spoke very highly of Lieutenant Maguire as a very courageous man in whom other soldiers had a lot of faith. He was also awarded the Military Cross in recognition of his work in command of the right platoon of his division during the attack of Polygon Wood on September 20th. He led his platoon to capture two strong points and was able to consolidate the final objective of the attack, whilst also rendering assistance to another battalion.