Thomas John Buckley
June 16, 2015
BUCKLEY, Thomas John- – – – – SPC 1906-1907
DoB:– – 1891, Nhill, VIC
Father:- – John Buckley (deceased prior to Tom enlisting)
Mother:– – Catherine Cecilia, nee Bruder
Tom Buckley was a boarder at St Patrick’s, from a little town called Merino, Victoria, west of Hamilton.
Service No:– 5447
Rank:– – Private, later Lance Corporal
Unit:– – 6th Battalion
Tom Buckley enlisted on 16 August 1915, aged 24 years and three months. He was an Accountant by profession, with a dark complexion, brown eyes and dark brown curly hair. Before entering service, he married Ellen Clare O’Neil in 1915.
After enlisting, Private Buckley spent several months in Officer Training schools in Broadmeadows, Geelong and finally Royal Park. He was made Lance Corporal on 19 December 1916. He proceeded overseas from Melbourne on the Thermistocles, and from Plymouth, proceeded to Etaples, France in late November 1916.
While serving in France he suffered from trench feet, as a result of which he was sent to the 3rd Western General Hospital in Cardiff on 1 January 1917 for treatment. By August 1917 he proceeded again to France and rejoined his Battalion. On 10 October he was wounded in action, receiving a gun shot wound to his upper right arm. Tom was transferred to England for hospitalisation not only for his wound, but for shell shock.
The medical report made on 22 November 1917 at the hospital in Dartford stated:
-‘-¦GSW right upper arm through triceps, marked sepsis. Nerve inflamed, causing neuritic [sic] pains. Very nervous, cannot stand still. General condition poor-¦’
By August 1918, a General Ryan reported on Tom Buckley’s condition:
-‘-¦I see no reason why this man should be discharged as unfit for all services, he may have some slight weakness of the arm which is probably due to disease, he has no injury to veins, he has a small open wound, not connected with dead bone. Should within one month in my opinion be equal to all duties with in 6 months and if he declines duty he should be returned to Australia, but not on medical grounds-¦’
And so, after spending some further time in England undergoing training, he proceeded to Rouen, France at the end of October 1918. He had a brief spell of leave in Paris in January 1919, and was then back in the field until April of that year.
Sergeant Buckley was returned to Australia on 13 April 1919, aboard the Wyreema, disembarking in May and finally discharged from the AIF on 17 July 1919. He was deemed to have no permanent disability from his wounds.
Thomas John Buckley died on 17 February, 1973 in Ballarat, at the age of 81. His wife Ellen had died in 1970. They had three children, Maureen Catherine, Ronald William and Joyce Marie. The death certificate states his cause of death as,
– -‘-¦Bronchopneumonia -“ 3 days
– Fractured left neck of femur -“ 3 days
– Aneurysm of abdominal aorta’.
It seems likely that he suffered a fall and died three days later from complications arising from it.
He was buried at Coleraine Cemetery, Victoria and is remembered at Merino on the town’s cenotaph.