Patrick Leo Nihill
July 21, 2015
NIHILL, Patrick Leo- – – – SPC 1905-1907
DoB:- – 1893, Elmore, VIC
Father:- – John Nihill
Mother:- – Catherine, nee Hayes
Patrick Nihill was boarder at St Patrick’s from Elmore, a small town to the north-east of Bendigo.
Service No:- 631
Rank:- – Private, later Corporal, later Sergeant
Unit:- – 38th Battalion
Patrick Leo Nihill enlisted in the AIF on 14 March 1916, aged 23 years and two months old. He was five feet, eight and a half inches tall, an unmarried man, who worked as a farmer. He had a dark complexion, hazel eyes and dark hair.
Private Nihill left Melbourne aboard the Runic, bound for England, on 20 June 1916. After some months training in UK, he proceeded to France on 22 November 1916. He was promoted to the rank of Corporal while in the field on 3 March, and a few days later, learned that he had been awarded the Military Medal for bravery in the field.
-‘-¦ At Armentieres on the night 26/27 Feb 1917 on the occasion of a raid of a composite Batt of his brigade on the enemy trenches he acted as No 1 in the leading Lewis Gun Team of his company and displayed great dash & coolness throughout the raid. He covered the entry of his Company into the enemy’s trenches with his gun and when he found that his gun could not be fired successfully from the prone position on to the enemy’s parapet, he stood up and fired his gun from his shoulder until the gun was too hot to hold. He afterward successfully covered the retirement of his Company from the enemy’s trenches. L/Cpl Nihill had previously shown conspicuous bravery and devotion to duty -¦’
On 15 June 1916, Patrick was promoted to the rank of Sergeant. In August, he was awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal for
-‘-¦ conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty. With two other men he attacked a party of about thirty of the enemy and forced them to surrender. His determination and gallantry have at all times been most conspicuous -¦’
Sergeant Nihill was wounded in action in France on 12 October 1917. He sustained a shell wound on his right hand, whereby his little finger was shot off, and he had gas blisters on his foot. He was transferred from France to London for further treatment, spending some time in the 3rd Auxiliary Hospital at Dartford.
He was returned to Australia at the end of 1918 aboard the Mamari, invalided as a result of the wounds he received on his hand in 1917.
After his discharge from the AIF in March 1919, Patrick returned to Elmore and resumed his farming career. Some time around 1924 he married Kathleen Veronica and they lived at Runnymede, near Elmore, for the rest of their lives. Patrick died on 1 October 1962 at the age of 69 years. He was buried at the Runnymede Cemetery. His wife Kathleen survived him, and at her death in 1980 was buried with her husband.
The College could not determine if Patrick and Kathleen had any children.