Thomas James Carmody

June 21, 2015

CARMODY, Thomas James- – – – SPC 1906

DoB:- – 1892, Ballarat, VIC

Father:– – Michael James Carmody

Mother:– – Mary Ellen, nee McNanhuy (?)

Thomas Carmody was a boarder at St Patrick’s with his brother Laurence Francis Carmody (SPC 1906). Laurence also signed up (Service No 6323) and was killed in action in Belgium on 25 September 1917.

Service No:– 530

Rank:- – Corporal mechanic, later Sergeant mechanic

Unit:- – 3nd Squadron Australian Flying Corps, later 69th Australian Squadron Royal flying Corps

Tom Carmody enlisted in Melbourne on 8 September 1916. He was 24 years and four months old, five feet seven and three quarter inches tall, with a medium complexion, brown eyes and curly black hair. He was a married man (to Elsie Annie, nee Ramsay) with one child, and was a telephone mechanic by trade. At the time of enlistment, he lived in the Melbourne suburb of East Malvern.

On 25 October 1916 he embarked from Melbourne aboard the Ulysses, disembarking at Plymouth, England on 23 December, where he was appointed to the 69th Australian Squadron Royal Flying Corps as a wireless operator. After some further training in England, he proceeded overseas to France on 24 August 1917.

On 14 January 1918 Second Corporal Carmody was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal, relating to conspicuous services rendered in the course of duty.


– – – – – HIS MAJESTY THE KING has been graciously pleased to award the Meritorious Service Medal to the undermentioned non-commissioned officer for gallantry in the performance of military duty : – No 530 Second Corporal T J CARMODY

Further to this, he was recommended by Lt Col JA Ceamier, DSO, on 23 November 1918, for the Bar to MSM (Meritorious Service Medal). The report of his actions is as follows:

“For great gallantry and devotion to duty on 5th Nov 1918, about 1600 a Bristol Flighter Machine from cause unknown caught fire in a hangar on the aerodrome at PREMONT. Cpl Thomas James CARMODY was the first to see the fire, and he raced to the scene, but by the time that he arrived the machine was a mass of flames and the ammunition was exploding in all directions. In spite of this and at great personal risk he laced up the hangar thereby preventing the wind from fanning the fire, and then proceeded to organise and direct the men who by this time had arrived on the scene. The night was so dark that it was impossible to distinguish faces, but this NCO collected the men in parties and directed the removal of all the adjacent machines so expeditiously that no further damage was caused, except to the original machine and hangars.

When the hangar collapsed and the fire was still burning fiercely he made splendid efforts to save several valuable wireless instruments and fearlessly assisted in putting out the fire”.

This award was promulgated in the Commonwealth of Australia Gazette, No 115, on 10 October 1919, two months after his return to Australia.

Tom settled back into civilian life with Elsie and they lived at 68 Aintree Road, East Malvern. One of their sons, Alan Thomas, (1920-1978) later Sir Alan, enlisted in 1940 in the Citizen Air Force of the Royal Australian Air Force, specialising as a radar officer.

The College could not locate a death or cemetery record for Thomas James Carmody. He disappears from the electoral rolls after 1931.