Mortimer Eugene McCarthy

July 20, 2015

McCARTHY, Mortimer Eugene- – – – SPC 1905-1907

DoB:- – 1890, Myrniong, near Bacchus Marsh, VIC

Father:- – William McCarthy

Mother:- – Elizabeth, nee Hart

Mortimer, known as Mort while at SPC, kept in regular contact with the College after he left. The Annual of 1910 mentioned that:

-‘-¦ of -‘Mort’ as he was sometimes called, an old student writes: – I am sure that his school acquaintances will be glad to hear that he is held in high esteem by the inhabitants of Fern Hill, as he is not only a most business-like man, but also a model in the spiritual line for all his companions -¦’

In 1913 it was recorded that Mort:

-‘-¦ passed Matric in 1907, afterwards passed with Honours for a State School Teacher, then passed Census Office Exam, and finally the Federal Service Exam. His address -“ -‘Kentville’, Albion Street, Cottesloe, WA -¦’

And in 1914:

-‘-¦ Mort McCarthy is in Customs, Fremantle, and holds a very responsible position. Mort is a great favourite with everybody -¦’

Service No:- 3450

Rank:- – Private

Unit:- Special Reinforcements, No 2 Stationary Hospital. Later, Driver 3rd LH Field Ambulance

Mortimer McCarthy enlisted on 3 August 1915. He was a single man, 25 years of age, five feet, seven and a quarter inches tall, with a fresh complexion, grey-blue eyes and light brown hair. He left Australia for overseas service and was attached to the Special Reinforcements No 2 Stationary Hospital on 16 September 1915, as a Private. He embarked from Alexandria in Egypt on 4 December and arrived at Mudros West on the island of Lemnos three days later as part of the contingent assisting the ANZACs evacuating from the Gallipoli Peninsula.

He subsequently returned to Egypt and was himself hospitalised on 30 January 1916 in Tel-el-Kebir suffering from gastric influenza. He was discharged from hospital on 6 February, and taken on strength by 16 March. With his unit he served in Moascar and Jaffa, as part of the Southern Palestine Offensive. After another period of illness in September 1917, he rejoined his unit on 5 October 1917 at Alexandria. He was formally recognised for conspicuous service in mid-1918:


The name of the undermentioned has been brought to the notice of the Secretary of State for War by General Sir Edmund Allenby, KBE, KCMG, Commander-in-Chief, Egyptian Expeditionary Force, for distinguished service in connexion with military operations under his command -¦’

A few months later, Private McCarthy embarked on the Port Sydney for his return to Australia in March 1919.

Mortimer Eugene McCarthy died on 17 May 1967. The obituaries reveal the details of his life of service:

– -‘-¦ Sir Mortimer McCarthy dies, aged 77.

Melbourne, Tuesday -“ Sir Mortimer Eugene McCarthy, Chairman of the Tariff Board from 1945 until his retirement in 1957, died at his home in Kew today, aged 77. Sir Mortimer, born at Myrniong, near Bacchus Marsh in 1890, joined the Commonwealth Public Service in the Customs Department and moved to the Tariff Board in 1929. He is survived by Lady McCarthy, two married sons and a daughter. The funeral will be held on Thursday after Requiem Mass at Our Lady of Good Council Church, Deepdene starting at 10am.

Sydney Morning Herald, May 17, 1967.’

Other obituaries commented that Sir Mortimer could generally be regarded -‘to this day as a man who consistently helped the development of Australian secondary industry’.- He drove himself and his fellow board members hard. As both the Secretary and later the Chairman of the Tariff board, -‘his ability and personality dominated its policy’.

Sir Mortimer McCarthy was buried at Boroondarah Cemetery, Kew.