The AIF Project

Donald Murray Robertson COGHILL

Date of birth15 April 1871
Other trainingMA (University of Melbourne)
AddressAnthony Street, Largs Bay, South Australia
Marital statusMarried
Age at embarkation44
Height5' 7.5"
Weight187 lbs
Next of kinWife, Mrs G M Coghill, Anthony Street, Largs Bay, South Australia
Previous military serviceServed as Lt Colonel, 78th Infantry Regiment, Citizen Military Forces. Previopusly served as Lt, University Corps of Officers (Victoria), 1897-98; Lt, 2nd Infantry Bn, Victoria, 1898-1906; Captain, 6th and 10th Australian Infantry Regiments, 1906-08; Major, 1908-10; Lt Colonel to date.
Enlistment date22 July 1915
Date of enlistment from Nominal Roll3 February 1917
Rank on enlistmentLieutenant-Colonel
Unit name32nd Battalion, Headquarters
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/49/1
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Adelaide, South Australia, on board HMAT A2 Geelong on 18 November 1915
Rank from Nominal RollLieutenant-Colonel
Unit from Nominal Roll32nd Battalion
FateReturned to Australia 23 May 1917
Discharge date6 October 1918
Other details

War service: Egypt, Western Front

Embarked Adelaide, 18 November 1915; disembarked Suez, 18 December 1915.

Admitted to 15th Field Ambulance, 22 March 1916 (pyrexia and chill); transferred to 2nd Australian Casualty Clearing Station, Ferry Post (influenza) (date not recorded); rejoined Bn, Duntroon Plateau, 4 April 1916.

Embarked Alexandria to join the British Expeditionary Force, 17 June 1916; disembarked Marseilles, France, 23 June 1916.

Memorandum, Brigadier General E. TIVEY, 8th Infantry Brigade, 23 July 1916: 'I beg to report that I do not consider that Lieut. Colonel D.M.R. Coghill is equal to the task of commanding the 32nd Battalion. Since the recent action [Fromelles, July 1916] he has not been able to face the situation with resolution and it is necessary in the interests of the Battalion that an Officer be appointed who can face difficulties and set an example to the men.' Major General J.W. McCay, GOC, 5th Australian Division, concurred, 23 July 1916: ' ... he is unequal to the nerve strain of Commanding a Battalion at the front in times of stress or heavy losses. I ask for instructions in the matter, recommending that Lt. Col. Coghill be not further employed at the front.'

Relinquished command of 32nd Bn, 27 July 1916.

Commenced return to Australia from Portland on board HT 'Marathon', 8 August 1916 ('unsuitability); disembarked Adelaide, 24 September 1916; appointment terminated (discharged), 10 October 1916.

Re-embarked Adelaide on board HT Seang Bee', 10 February 1917, as OC Troops on Board (voyage only); disembarked Devonport, England, 2 May 1917.

Commenced return to Australia on board HT 'Ayrshire', 23 May 1917, as OC Troops on Board; arriveded Melbourne, 17 July 1917, for onward travel to Adelaide; appointment terminated (discharged), 22 July 1917.

Embarked Sydney, 8 May 1918, Sea Transport Staff, HMAT 'Osterley'; disembarked Liverpool, England, 10 July 1918.

Commenced return to Australia on board HT 'Carpentaria', 8 August 1918; disembarked Melbourne, 4 October 1918, for onward travel to Adelaide; appointment terminated (discharged), Adelaide, 6 October 1918.

Medals: 1914-15 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal
Miscellaneous detailsHead Teacher, Woodville High School, South Australia
Date of death29 November 1922
Age at death51
SourcesNAA: B2455, COGHILL Donald Murray Robertson

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