Gerald Francis Xavier Crotty

June 21, 2015

CROTTY, Gerald Francis Xavier- – – – SPC 1909-1911

DoB:- – 1893, Berwick, VIC

Father:– – John Crotty

Mother:- – Teresa Margaret, nee Logan

Gerald Crotty was a boarder at St Patrick’s, completing his Commercial Class in 1911.

Service No:– 6983

Rank:– – Private, later Corporal, later Sergeant

Unit:- 10th Battalion, later 1st Divisional Ordnance Unit, later Australian Flying Corps

Gerald Crotty enlisted on 24 October 1916 as a single man, aged 23 years and seven months. He was five feet 10 inches tall, with a dark complexion, brown hair and brown eyes. He worked as a military clerk as part of the Head Quarters Staff at Keswick, SA.

He embarked from South Australia on 16 December 1916 aboard the Berrima. He likely suffered from sea-sickness, as he was admitted to the ship hospital on the voyage and transferred to Devonport Military Hospital when he arrived in England in February 1917. After his recovery and some further training at Perham Downs, he proceeded overseas to France on 16 July 1917 and was attached to the 1st Divisional Ordnance unit.

By September 1918 Corporal Crotty was selected for training as a pilot in the Australian Flying Corps (AFC). He proceeded to Administrative Headquarters to report to Flying School in England, in October 1918. On 2 November he joined the No 2 School of Aeronautics, Oxford, for training as a Flying Officer (Pilot) and appointed Cadet. He undertook further training in June 1919 at the Royal Army Ordnance Corps, in Aldershot for three months.

By 15 September 1919 he had completed this course, but ten days later, on 25 September he left England aboard the Fort Denison to return to Australia, as the war had ended. He disembarked at Adelaide on 10 November 1919 and was formally discharged from the AIF on 26 December.

After his return to Australia, it seems that Gerald Crotty found it difficult to settle into civilian life. Electoral roll records reveal that he travelled through Queensland undertaking various labouring jobs and working as a station hand on outback farms.

Gerald Crotty died on 17 January 1950, destitute at St George, Queensland. He was 57 years of age. He never married.