PTE Cyril O’Malley – 13th Reinforcement

Last week Shane from Trade In Military Ltd made contact with me regarding a postcard that he acquired. Written on the back of the postcard was a message that stated “3 of the Knuts of the No 1 ASH Heliopolis Egypt XMAS 1915, Yours Cyril”. Shane quickly worked out that this Cyril must be a member of No 1 Australian Stationary Hospital. This led him to my website which lists all known personnel and quickly found that there was only one Cyril amongst the list. PTE Cyril O’Malley joined No 1 Australian Stationary Hospital most likely after the unit returned from Gallipoli. He had enlisted in October 1915 and was allocated the 13th reinforcement to the No 1 ASH. As the back of the postcard indicates that he must have arrived in Egypt just in time for Christmas in 1915.

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This is the photo of Cyril and two other members from No 1 ASH. Unfortunately I do not know which one is Cyril. We can assume he is the one sitting down but I hope to confirm this in the future. If a relative of Cyril O’Malley sees this then please get into contact. I love the red cross patch on the sleeve of the sitting down member but also the No 1 ASH colour patch on the sleeve of the man on the right of the picture.  Great Photo!

Thanks again Shane for sharing this photo with me and allowing me to ultimately use it in the book.


Nice pick up at an auction

On Sunday 02 November 2014 I jumped online as a registered bidder of a Book Auction: The Stuart Braga Collection of Australian Military History held by the reputable Michael Treloar Antiquarian Booksellers. This impressive collection was up for auction and contained a huge selection of Australia’s military history to the end of the First World War including many scarce original battalion histories, rare printed ephemera, memorabilia, photographs, maps and artwork. Some of the items included Charles Bean’s virtually unknown Cairo publication, What to Know in Egypt (March 1915); a lengthy run of the very rare Gallipoli journal Peninsula Press; and Norman Wilkinson’s eyewitness watercolour of the Landing at Gallipoli which sold for a five-figure amount.

As the auction progressed I was so pleased to learn that the auctioneer was the great-grandson of one of the doctors from the No 1 Australian Stationary Hospital. I have since been in contact and hoping to share information soon.

I was after one little book which was called War Service of Old Melburnians 1914-1918 by John Beacham Kiddle. The book was an illustrated history of all the old boys of the Melbourne Church of England Grammar School who fought in WWI. One of the 1325 names in the book was my relative LTCOL Henry Bryant, the commanding officer of the No 1 Australian Stationary Hospital. A two page biography and a new photo of him makes the purchase all worthwhile.