Sergeant Maurice Vincent Buckley

Service number 633, 6594
Ranks Held Corporal, Private, Sergeant
Birth Date 13 April 1891
Birth Place Australia: Victoria, Melbourne, Hawthorn
Death Date 27 January 1921
Death Place Australia: Victoria, Melbourne
Also known as Gerald Sexton
Final Rank Sergeant
Service Australian Imperial Force
Units
Places
Conflict/Operation First World War, 1914-1918
Gazettes Published in London Gazette in 1918-12-14
Published in London Gazette in 1918-12-05
Published in Commonwealth Gazette in 1919-03-14
Published in Commonwealth Gazette in 1919-05-23
Description

Maurice Buckley (1891-1921), born in Hawthorn, Melbourne, was a coach trimmer before enlisting in late 1914. His early service was inglorious: while in Egypt with the 13th Light Horse Regiment, he contracted venereal disease and was sent back to Australia, where he deserted. Two months later, in May 1916, Buckley re-enlisted under the alias Gerald Sexton, and joined the 13th Battalion in France in January 1917. He fought at Bullecourt and through the third battle of Ypres; the next year, as a sergeant, he was wounded at Le Hamel. He was awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal (DCM) for his bravery near Morcourt in August.

On 18 September, with his Lewis gun and "displaying boldness which inspired all", Buckley rushed enemy machine-gun positions, captured a field gun, and took numerous prisoners. He received the Victoria Cross. With the focus of attention now on him, he had to disclose his true name. Buckley was fatally injured in 1921 after being thrown from a horse; ten Victoria Cross-holders were pallbearers at his funeral.

Rolls

Timeline

Date of birth 13 April 1891
Date of birth 13 April 1891
Date of birth 13 April 1891
Date and unit at enlistment (ORs) 18 December 1914 Enlisted under his correct name - Maurice Buckley - and sailed with the 13th Light Horse Regiment.
Other units 18 December 1914 13th Light Horse Regiment
Date of embarkation 25 June 1915
Date returned to Australia 25 September 1915 Admitted to Langwarrin Camp, from which he deserted on 21 Januray 1916.
Date and unit at enlistment (ORs) 16 May 1916 Re-enlisted as Gerald Sexton and taken on strength of the 13th Battalion.
Other units 16 May 1916 13th Battalion
Date of embarkation 07 October 1916
Date promoted 1918-01 Appointed Lance Corporal.
Date promoted 1918-04 Appointed temporary Corporal.
Date promoted 1918-06 Appointed Lance Sergeant.
Date wounded 06 July 1918 Wounded in the Battle of Hamel.
Date of recommendation honour or award 13 August 1918
Date promoted 28 August 1918 Appointed to Sergeant.
Date of recommendation honour or award 23 September 1918
Date of recommendation honour or award 23 September 1918
Date of recommendation honour or award 23 September 1918
Date of honour or award 05 December 1918 Awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal for his work in the Morcourt area.
Date of honour or award 14 December 1918 Awarded the Victoria Cross, and after the award was gazetted Buckley had to disclose his real name, which resulted in a further notice in the London Gazette.
Date of discharge 1919-12 Discharged medically unfit.
Date returned to Australia 1919-12
Date of death 27 January 1921
Date of death 27 January 1921
Date of death 27 January 1921