Clancy

Background:-

Picture Clancy_aJohn Charles Clancy was born in 1886 at Forbes.

His parents were Thomas (d 1915) & Mary (nee Muir). Thomas was born in Bendigo Vic, Mary in Forbes NSW. They were married in 1885 in Forbes.

John was the oldest of 8 children. He had 3 sisters & 4 brothers. He went to school in Forbes & later trained as a stockman. He did not marry.

Enlistment:

John enlisted on 5 May 1915.

He stated occupation as labourer and address as Queen Street, Ashfield.

He was a large man being 5ft 10¾in (180cm) tall; weighed 168lb (76kg); chest 34-37in (86-94cm). He had no distinguishing marks; a dark complexion, blue eyes, dark brown hair; and was a Presbyterian.

John’s father died on 3 Jun 15 so he subsequently changed his next of kin to be his mother.

He was assigned Service Number 2252 and attached to 6th Reinforcements for the 13th  Battalion which was part of the 4th Brigade of the 4th Division.

War Service: Gallipoli

John and the 6th Reinforcements departed Sydney on HMAT Wandilla on 14 Jun 1915 for Egypt.

At this stage some confusion occurred in the records. John’s brother Leonard, who had joined up with John and also allocated to 13th Bn, became ill with malaria and did not embark. However Leonard’s papers sailed with John, and John’s stayed behind with Leonard. So according to the paperwork it was Leonard who sailed for Egypt.

John joined 13th Bn on Gallipoli 2 Aug. The Battalion War Diary notes that the 6th Reinforcements had received only 6 weeks training in Australia and 1 in Egypt and had “no field firing” rifle practice.

The Battalion then advanced on 6 Aug as part of a general offensive and unsuccessful battle for Hill 971. Other units suffered greater casualties but 13th had 45 killed, 129 wounded, and 153 evacuated sick. In this depleted state the Battalion then provided 259 men for an attack on Hill 60.

Casualty:

On 21 Aug the attack on Hill 60 commenced with the 13th Battalion detachment in the first wave. The attack was a failure with huge losses. Of the 259 committed, the Battalion lost 17 killed, 20 missing, and 67 wounded.

Lone Pine Panel37_ClancyUnfortunately many of the wounded and missing were lying in the open when a brush fire was started by exploding shells. The wounded were either burnt alive or killed by enemy gunfire.

Only 4 men of John’s platoon came out alive. John was posted as one of the Missing.

Now the paperwork error becomes evident as his mother was notified that Leonard was missing and she wrote to the Army to say that Leonard was in Sydney and that in fact it was John who was Missing. This mistake was cleared up so that eventually it was John who was posted Killed after a board of inquiry in Apr 1916 reviewed the circumstances of the attack.

His grave was lost and he is commemorated on the Lone Pine memorial.

Aftermath:

On 4 Nov SMH Our Men of Gallipoli stated:

“PRIVATE J. C. CLANCY.

Private J. C. Clancy, who has been reported as missing since August 23, is the eldest son of the late Mr. Thomas Clancy, a well-known stock-buyer, and Mrs. Clancy, of Queen-street Ashfield. He enlisted on May 1, with his brother, Mr. L. A. Clancy, who was also in the New Guinea expedition. Before enlisting he was employed by the Australian Gaslight Company.”

Mary received a pension of £2 per fortnight. She died in 1938.

Leonard, who contracted malaria while on the 1914 expedition to capture German New Guinea, was discharged unfit in Nov 1915, and died in 1983.

V2.5

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  1. Pingback: Anzac Day 2016 Update 4 | Breakfast Point War Memorial

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