Thomas Joseph O'Donohue

Information about birth

Year of birth:
Place of birth:
Branxton, New South Wales, Australia, Australia

General information

Last known residence:
Dalby, Queensland, Australia
Roman Catholic

Army information

Australian Imperial Force
Service number:
Enlistment date:
Enlistment place:
Toowoomba, Queensland, Australia
 —  Australian Infantry, 42nd Bn.  (Last known unit)

Information about death

Date of death:
Place of death:
Retaliation Farm, Zonnebeke, Belgium
Cause of death:
Killed in action (K.I.A.)


Tyne Cot Cemetery
Row: C
Grave: 17

Distinctions and medals 2

Points of interest 4

#1 Place of birth
#2 Last known residence
#3 Enlistment place
#4 Place of death (approximate)

My story

Thomas Joseph O’Donohue, a former labourer, was born in May, 1881 in Branxton, New South Wales, Australia. He was the son of Patrick and Mary O’Donohue. On February 25, 1916 he enlisted in Toowoomba, Queensland and embarked from Brisbane on board HMAT A42 Boorara on August 16, 1916, with the 2nd reinforcement of the 42nd Battalion, part of the 11th Australian Brigade of the 3rd Australian Division.

On October 4, 1917 the 42nd Battalion took part in the attack on the Broodseinde Ridge. Their assembly point was located between Hill 40 and the Zonnebeke station on the Ypres-Roulers railroad. The attack began at 6 a.m. John’s Battalion advanced behind the 43rd Australian Infantry. Forty minutes later the 42nd Battalion leapfrogged through the 43rd and moved towards Thames. The Germans were caught off guard and John’s Battalion captured the fortified positions at Alma and Thames without much fighting. After the line at Thames had been consolidated, the 44th Battalion moved through, continuing the attack on the ridge. Though the men didn’t met much resistance along the way, the German artillery heavily shelled the advance. Most casualties were sustained due to shell fire. Casualties were especially high when a barrage caught the advance in Thames Wood.

Thomas Joseph, aged 36, was killed in action on October 4, 1917. Private O’Donohue was initially buried where he fell, west of Retaliation Farm (28.D.28.c.70.70). After the war, his remains were exhumed and reinterred at Tine Cot Cemetery, Plot XXXVI, Row C, Grave 17.

Sources 5

11th Brigade Australian Infantry (Australian War Memorial, Campbell (AWM), AWM4 23/11/11).
Sources used
42nd Battalion Australian Infantry (Australian War Memorial, Campbell (AWM), AWM4 23/59/12).
Sources used
First Australian Imperial Force Personnel Dossiers, 1914-1920 (National Archives of Australia, Canberra (NAA), B2455).
Sources used
Picture T.J. O'Donohue
Sources used
Unit embarkation nominal rolls, 1914-18 War (Australian War Memorial, Campbell (AWM), AWM8).
Sources used

More information 4