Monday 30 January 2012 by Daniel McGlinchey. 1 comment
News, New acquisitions, Collection

As a duty curator in the Military Heraldry and Technology section, you discover some unexpected stories when items are donated to the Memorial. One such story was that of Sergeant Daniel Gallogly of the 6th Field Company Engineers and the embroidered souvenir from Egypt that he purchased in 1916.

 The souvenir was found recently at the 5th Combat Engineer Regiment’s facilities but nothing was known about how it had come to be there. The souvenir was originally purple, representing the engineer’s colour patch but has faded significantly. The only clue to its history was embroidered on the souvenir, ‘6th Field Coy Eng, 1916, 2nd Division, Souvenir of Egypt, To Mimmie from Dan’. A search of the nominal roll of the 6th Field Company Engineers from the First World War revealed only one Daniel who had served in the unit. Confirmation was found in a letter written by Miss Mary ‘Mimmie’ McMahon in Daniel Gallogly’s service record.

 Gallogly was born in Darlington, Durham, England in 1883 and arrived in Brisbane on the ship SS Perthshire on 28 June 1909. At the start of the First World War he was living in Toowoomba, Queensland, working as a bricklaying contractor. He enlisted on 24 July 1915, aged thirty two. Four months later the 6th Field Company Engineers embarked at Sydney on board HMAT A40 Ceramic.

 The unit arrived in Egypt on 18 December and started training at Ferry Post. In the first three months of 1916 unit life consisted of training and surveying of railway lines and the Australian trench systems east of the Suez Canal. These were reinforced in case of any Turkish attack. Gallogly gained promotion to second corporal and in March Australian troops started to make their way to the Western Front in France.

A small ship passing Ferry Post on the Suez Canal. A small ship passing Ferry Post on the Suez Canal.
 6th Field Company engineers arrived in Marseilles on 26 March 1916 and were training at Warne north of Paris by the end of the month. With a promotion to sergeant, Gallogly and his unit were introduced to trench life on the Western Front in the Fleurbaix sector in April. They surveyed the trenches and constructed everything from observation posts to detention enclosures. The next few months followed a similar pattern, with the unit moving to Messines sector in mid June. At the beginning of July they were moved south in preparation to Australia’s contribution to the Somme Offensive.

The Remains of the French village of Pozieres as it appeared shortly after capture by the Australians. The Remains of the French village of Pozieres as it appeared shortly after capture by the Australians.
 As part of the Somme offensive of 1916 Australian troops of the 1st Division attacked the village of Pozieres, France between 23rd and 27th of July. The division took heavy casualties before being relieved by the 2nd Division. On 29 July, the division began its attack. Gallogly and his unit were consolidating positions taken by the 28th Battalion and constructing a medical dressing station when he was wounded. According to his service records he sustained multiple shrapnel and gunshot wounds to his face, back and right foot.

By the beginning of January 1917 Gallogly had recovered sufficiently from his wounds to attend a rifle course in Sidmouth, Devon, England. He attained a first class qualification and passed Lewis gun training with a ‘fair knowledge’ of the weapon. After spending the next seven months in a training battalion he was deemed unfit for front line duties and returned to Australia in August.

In Gallogly’s service record, Mary ‘Mimmie’ McMahon wrote in September 1917 to the Officer in Charge of the Base Records in Melbourne to know when she could expect him home. He was discharged by the end of November 1917. Mimmie and Daniel reunited and were married on the 16 January 1918 in Queensland. They had three children Vincent, Felix and Kathleen.

After the war Gallogly continued his building work and constructed buildings around Queensland, though this was not without problems as his industrial dispute with the United Operative Brick- layers' Society of Queensland (Toowoomba branch) would suggest. Some of the buildings he built were the Harrison Home, Toowoomba, St James’s Catholic Church and school at Coorparoo in 1925, the Marist Brothers' Monastery at Rosalie in the late 1920s. His tender for the erection of the Commonwealth Bank in Gympie was accepted in 1927.

 The Depression years affected Gallogly’s business and a newspaper article in the The Brisbane Courier suggests that he was declared bankrupt in 1931. The Second World War was not kind to the Gallogly family. Mary died in 1940 and the eldest son, Vincent, was killed while serving as a flight Sergeant in Bomber Command’s 103 Squadron RAF on 23 June 1942 over Germany.

The electoral roll of 1943 has the surviving family living in the Brisbane suburb of Albion, with Daniel listed as a public servant. He appears to have lived at this address until 1963. His date of death is unknown but he was buried in Nudgee cemetery, Brisbane, along with his wife and two of his children, Felix and his daughter Kathleen who died in 2008.

From the limited information provided by the donor of the souvenir, the Memorial through the use of digitised records, has discovered Daniel Gallogly’s story and recounted it. His narrative just one of the many that are uncovered by the Memorial during its work to remember the Australians who have served for this country.


Denis Connelly

Morning, In your article [4th para] you use the term "second corporal" was[Is] this a rank for WW1? Hoping you can assist. Regards. Denis Connelly. Editor/Vice President