Martin O'Meara

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Martin O'Meara
Martin O'Meara VC.jpg
Born (1885-11-06)6 November 1885
Terryglass, Lorrha, County Tipperary
Died 20 December 1935(1935-12-20) (aged 50)
Perth, Western Australia
Buried at Karrakatta Cemetery, Perth, Western Australia
Allegiance  Australia
Service/branch Australian Army Emblem.JPG Australian Army
Years of service 1915–1919
Rank Sergeant
Unit 16th Battalion (S.A. & W.A.), Australian Imperial Force
Battles/wars
Awards Victoria Cross (UK) ribbon.png Victoria Cross

Martin O'Meara VC (6 November 1885 – 20 December 1935)[1] was both an Irish recipient (by birth) and an Australian recipient (by naturalisation) of the Victoria Cross, the highest and most prestigious award for gallantry in the face of the enemy that can be awarded to British and Commonwealth forces.

Early life[edit]

O'Meara was born at Terryglass, Lorrha, County Tipperary. He had been working as a labourer in Pinjarra Western Australia[2] when on 19 August 1915 he enlisted in the Australian Imperial Force.

Military career[edit]

Assigned to 16th Battalion[3] (S.A. & W.A.) as a private, O'Meara embarked for France on 22 December 1915.

Between 9 August and 12 August 1916 at (Mouquet Farm) Pozières, France, during four days of very heavy fighting, Private O'Meara repeatedly went out and brought in wounded officers and men from "No Man's Land" under intense artillery and machine-gun fire. He also volunteered and carried up ammunition and bombs through a heavy barrage to a portion of the trenches which was being heavily shelled at the time. O'Meara was wounded three times during the war and returned to Australia on 15 September 1918, having reached the rank of sergeant.

O'Meara (right) meeting fellow VC recipient, Lt. Albert Jacka, following the fighting at Pozières.

Later life[edit]

O'Meara was diagnosed by the OC, 24th Australian Auxiliary Hospital, Stromness on 19 December 1918 as:

"suffering from Delusional Insanity, with hallucinations of hearing and sight, is extremely homicidal and suicidal, and requires to be kept in restraint. He is not hopeful of his recovery in the near future.' Admitted to Claremont Mental Hospital (insane patient), 3 January 1919"[4]

O'Meara died at the age of 50 and was buried in Karrakatta Cemetery, Perth, Western Australia.

The Medal[edit]

His Victoria Cross is displayed at the Army Museum of Western Australia, Fremantle, Western Australia.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Reid, Richard E. "O'Meara, Martin (1885–1935)". Australian Dictionary of Biography. Canberra: Australian National University. Retrieved 22 July 2012. 
  2. ^ Richards, Ronald (2003). The McLarty Family of Pinjarra (soft cover ed.). Nedlands, Western Australia: J.D.McLarty. ISBN 0-9750632-0-0.  chapter 12, p. 156
  3. ^ "Australian War Memorial". Retrieved January 17, 2013. 
  4. ^ The AIF Project: Martin O'Meara profile

Listed in order of publication year