The AIF Project


Regimental number1141
Place of birthLimerick, Ireland
ReligionRoman Catholic
AddressT Quirke, Galbally, Limerick Ireland
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation37
Height5' 6"
Weight172 lbs
Next of kinBrother
Previous military serviceServed for 18 years 72 days in the Royal Irish Regiment, British Army, in India: resigned.
Enlistment date5 October 1914
Place of enlistmentMelbourne, Victoria
Rank on enlistmentSergeant
Unit name14th Battalion, G Company
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/31/1
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Melbourne, Victoria, on board Transport A38 Ulysses on 22 December 1914
Regimental number from Nominal RollCommissioned
Rank from Nominal Roll2nd Lieutenant
Unit from Nominal Roll14th Battalion
FateReturned to Australia 11 April 1916
Discharge date29 June 1919
Other details

War service: Egypt, Gallipoli, Western Front

Embarked Alexandria to join the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force, Gallipoli, 12 April 1915.

Admitted to HS 'Gascon', 10 July 1915 (sun fever); transferred to Tigne Hospital, Malta, 18 July 1915; to Convalescent Camp, Ghain-Tuffeih, 13 August 1915; embarked for Egypt, 20 August 1915; to Gallipoli, 30 August 1915; rejoined unit at Gallipoli, 9 September 1915.

Appointed Temporary 2nd Lieutenant, 9 September 1915.

Disembarked Alexandria from Mudros, 3 January 1916 (general Gallipoli evacuation).

Tried by Court Martial, Moascar Camp, Ismailia, 21 February 1916: charged with striking a soldier, 'in that he, on 30 November 1915 at Durrant's Post Gallipoli struck No 934 Regimental Sergeant Major Frank Warburton, 14th Battalion AIF'. Defendant pleaded Not Guilty, and argued that Warburton was jealous of his promotion and 'provocative in the extreme'. Several witnesses for the defence claimed that Warburton had said that he and the Commanding Officer 'are running this battalion, and not a bloody second Lieutenant.' Another witness claimed that Warburton had said that 'Mr Quirk was a bloody liar and a bloody Irish bastard'. Major Durrant, character witness for the defendant, stated: 'I have known the accused since December 1914, and have no hesitation in saying that his character during the time I have known him is excellent. There is no soldier I know whom I would sooner have under my command than he.' Found guilty. Sentenced to forfeit seniority of rank to take rank and precedence as 2nd Lt, 14th Bn, AIF, and in the army as if his appointment as 2/Lt bore date 21/2/16, and to be severely reprimanded.

While awaiting trial on the charge, he was absent without leave in Port Said, 25 January-2 February 1916. 'On reporting himself back to his Battalion he pleaded mental aberration due to anxiety and worry over the impending Court Martial. On the grounds of this plea, and of a medical certificate bearing out same, the Divisional Commander decided that a second charge of absent without leave need not be pressed. Next followed this Officer's recent absence without leave from 9-3-16 till 14-3-16, he delivering himself up to the Authorities in Cairo, who returned him to his unit under arrest. Enquries since made elicit (a) that his discharge from the A&I Staff in Australia was due to drunkenness (b) he now admits that while absent in Prot Said he was drinking (c) he also admits that while absent in Cairo he was drinking. This Officer has now - since his case was reported - submitted an application ... for discharge. It is thought that in view of hislong service in the Army, his excellent recent war service, his self admitted liability to lapses of intemperance, - this case falls within the class intended to be covered by Defence Circular' promulgated 21 January 1916: '(1) It has come to notice that a few officers and Staff Sergeant Majors employed at A.I. Force Camps indulge in drink to excess.(2) These are to be demobilised or discharged for any future offence of this kind. It will not be necessary to prove any specific offence of drunkenness against such Officers and Non-Commissioned Officers, but if they are known to drink to excess the above action is to be taken, without Court Martuial, the Staff Sergeant major to be discharged "services no longer required" and the officers to be demobilised and a report submitted to Headquarters with a view to their services being dispensed with.

Commenced return to Australia from Suez on board HT 'Runic', 11 April 1916 ('services no longer required').

Appointment terminated (discharged), 14 May 1916.

Re-enlisted, Melbourne, 9 June 1916.

Embarked Melbourne, 16 December 1916, as 2868A Private, 38th Bn, on board HT 'Medic'; disembarked Plymouth, England, 18 February 1917., and marched into 18th Training Bn.

Transferred to 66th Bn, Windmill Hill, Perham Downs, 28 April 1917.

Found guilty of (1) drunkenness (2) being absent without leave from 0815 until apprehended 1600, 12 July 1917; (3) wearing a badge of rank to which he was not entitled: awarded 7 days' Field Punishment No 2.

Found guilty of being absent without leave from 0645, 21 August, to 2200, 22 August 1917: awarded forfeiture of 2 days' pay.

Proceeded overseas to France, 19 September 1917; taken on strength, 38th Bn, in the field, 30 September 1917.

Appointed Lance Corporal, 1 November 1917; reverted to Private at own request, 19 May 1918.

Wounded in action, 17 July 1918 (gun shot wound, left arm); transferred to England, 27 july 1918, and admitted to Reading War Hospital, 28 July 1918; discharged on furlough, 8 August 1918, to report to No 4 Command Depot, 22 August 1918. Admitted to hospital, 24 August 1918 (scabies). Admitted to 1st Australian Dermatological Hospital, Bulford, 26 August 1918; discharged, 28 August 1918; total period of treatment for venereal disease: 3 days.

Appointed Temporary Corporal, 5 November 1918; Temporary Sergeant, 29 November 1918.

Found guilty of being absent without leave, 2300, 24 February, until reporting back, 2000, 3 March 1919: severely reprimanded.

Reverted to Private on marching out to No 1 Command Depot.

Commenced return to Australia on board HT 'Khyber', 31 March 1919 (invalid); disembarked Melbourne, 22 May 1919; discharged (medically unfit), 29 June 1919.

Medals: 1914-15 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal

Wrote to Base Records, 26 March 1924, requesting a record of AIF service: 'It is two years since you send [sic] me a record of service, which was very valuable to me in registering and obtaining employment. that is completely destroyed now from use. As I have prospects of a job with the C. Sugar Ref. Coy., a record of service in the A.I.F. in conjunction with my Imperial Discharge, which I have, would be of great value to me. I am, Sir, hoping you will oblige an old soldier'.

Wrote again, 15 May 1925. When Base Records requested, 21 May 1925, that he return the original record of service, he wrote, 'It's impossible for me to do so as it was in shreds and rendered completely useless by getting saturated with rain whilst I was working at Cordeaux Camp. I put the remnants of it in the fire. I'm badly in need of a record of service at present to help me to get a job as it helps a man greatly. I would be very thankful if you would accept this a truthful statement, and send me a record as soon as you can.'

Wrote to Base Records from Salvation Army Workers Hostel, South Brisbane, 27 May 1929: 'I beg to request that you would send me a record of services. It's completely useless so I had to destroy it, producing it so often for Employment ... and been folded so often it could not last any longer. I hope you will not penalize me by withholding one from me. I'm an old man now and it would not be any satisfaction to you to do so. It's very necessary I should have a record of services now that I'm in a new State and not very well known. I would also ask you as a concession to an old soldier that you would not show, "Services no longer required" on my Discharge as an Officer.'

Wrote to Base Records, 19 December 1934, requesting a record of service: 'Now as I am an old man and I think you do not wish to handicap an old Digger for work, I would ask you to omit the words "Service no longer required". Leave it as above ['Appt as 2/Lieut ceased from 14th May 16"]. When a prospective Employer looks at my discharge and sees those words I'm gone to the pack. Hoping you will oblige.'

Wrote to Base Records, 20 March 1935, requesting replacement of his three medals 'lost some two years back when I was domiciled in Queensland': As this is the 20th Anniversary of the "landing" as you know and a great show is expected I hope you will see your way to provide me with the medals for that occasion.'

Wrote to Base Records, 15 September 1938, rwequesting replacement of his three medals, his previous letter (23 August 1938) not having been answered: 'I am an old Digger now 65 yrs of age'.

Wrote to Base Records, 12 January 1941, seeking replacement of his Returned Soldier's badge lost 'nearly three years back': 'it's necessary to have a badge at present to show that you have been on Service. Could you help me to get one. I'm an old digger (66) now, soI would appreciate the granting of one.'

Wrote to Base Records from 'Little Sisters of the Poor' [Home for Aged Men], Avoca street, Randwick, 18 May 1942, requesting a record of service: 'It is necessary for me to have them as I have a good chance to get into the V.D.C.'

Wrote to Base Records, 7 June 1944, requesting replacement of his records of service destroyed in a fire at the Little sisters of the Poor Home, June 1942: 'I am making an appeal to you as an old soldier & an old man 18½ yrs in the Imperial Army & 4.8 in the AIF. I'm 70 yrs old next month and may not have very long to go so I would appreciate very much if you grant me a re-issue of RSB & Records. It's very necessary to have badge now as the atmosphere is all military and a man want [sic] to show he done [sic] his bit.'

Wrote to Base Records, 28 March 1948, requesting replacement of his medals and returned soldier's badge 'which I have lost [stolen] in 1938 on my admission to Prince Henry Hospital [pneumonia]. I would appreciate if you would help me towards replacement as I would like to have them for this Anzac Day. It may be my last as I an now 77.'

Wrote to Base Records, 14 February 1953, requesting repalcement of his stolen Returned Soldier's badge: 'I had a room mate who cleared out with my new sports coat on which was my badge. I'm 77 yrs now & I would very much wish to have a replacement.'

Wrote to Base Records, 31 July 1956: 'I beg to report the loss of my medals, dischargs & Returned soldier's badge. My suitcase was stolen ... I'm an old digger now (81 yrs) and I would like to have thjem in my possession.'

Wrote to Base Records from Little Sisters of the Poor Home, September 1958, requesting replacement of his medals, discharge papers and returned soldier's badge: 'I've lost the lot in a car accident. I'm in the above home for good, as I'm 82 yrs of age & getting near the last Roll Call.'

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