Francis Michael MORIARTY was working as a Teamster in Bunbury, when he enlisted for service in the Great War, on 27th September 1916.  He was initially posted to Blackboy Hill for training, before being allocated to the 23rd Reinforcements of the 11th Battalion, in mid-November 1916.  Francis embarked from Fremantle on the troopship ” Berrima ” on 23rd December 1916 and arrived in Devonport England in mid-February 1917.  He had spent some weeks in the ship’s hospital whilst at sea , and was admitted to Devonport Military Hospital shortly after arrival in England.

On discharge from Hospital, Francis was posted to the 3rd Training Battalion at Durrington for approximately 10 weeks, then embarked from Folkestone to join the 11th Battalion in the field in France.  He spent a solid 10 weeks in the trenches on the Western Front, before succumbing to the painful effects of Trench Feet 0n 10th October 1917.  Immediate hospitilization at the 26th General Hospital in France, led to evacuation to the No. 16 Canadian General Hospital at Orpington England, for further treatment.

Francis was granted 14 days Leave in England from 23rd November 1917, before spending  the following 2 Months at the No. 1 Command Depot at Sutton Veny in England.  He was subsequently posted to the Overseas Training Brigade at Longbridge Deverill in England for 3 weeks, before embarking from Southampton to rejoin the 11th Battalion on the Western Front.

Despite the inherrent dangers in survival at the front, Francis was unscathed until 24th August 1918, when he suffered multiple gunshot wounds to the legs, back and scalp. Initial treatment was carried out at the No. 15 Field Ambulance, however Francis’s condition required evacuation to the No. 1 U.S.A. General Hospital at Etretat France on 28th August 1918. Unfortunately, even with the benefit of  the best work of Hospital Staff, Francis died on the following day from his wounds received in action.

Francis Michael MORIARTY was only 23 years of age at his death. His burial is at the Etretat Churchyard Extension, Etretat France, Plot 2,  Row  F, Grave No. 6.

18/09/1918–  The following note, setting out the nature of  the death of 6983. Pte. MORIARTY, F.M 11th Battalion , was signed by W.B. SOPER, Captain M.C. U.S.A. Commanding No. 1 Presbyterean U.S.A. General Hospital Etretat and sent to O.I.C. Records Administrative Headquarters Horseferry Road Westminster England-  ”   The abovementioned soldier died in this Hospital at 4.30 a.m. on the 29/08/1918 from the effects of  GSW  Legs, Back and Scalp.  Left leg amputated at thigh.  Spreading Gas Infection.  Condition poor.  Transfusion at 9.00p.m. 28/08/1918.  Operation 28/08/1918 at 9.30 p.m. . Died 4.30 a.m. 29/08/1918.  Buried in Etretat Cemetery, France Plot No. 2, Row ” F ” , Grave No. 6.  Services performed by Roman Catholic Chaplain “.

 

26/03/1919-   Letter written by Mother, Susanna Moriarty, of Tuart Street South Bunbury to the Army ” Dear Sir, I beg to tender my sincere thanks to you for your kindness in sending my dear son’s belongings to me. Also for doing them up so carefully “.

 

23/10/1919- Letter from Mother to the Army-  ” Dear Sir,  Please accept my sincere and grateful thanks for the photograph of my dear son’s grave, which came safely to hand.  I notice it is a wooden cross, I am afraid it will soon wear away.  Will you kindly let me know if the Military are going to put anything better; and are they going to put railing round the grave.  I wish I could afford to have a strong stone and an iron railing round my boy’s grave “.