honor role

O’Meara, Martin

** VC 3970 Stretcher bearer 16th Bn.

Born 1885 at Lorrha in what in modern Tipperary, Eire. He came to WA in 1912 and was working at Collie when he enlisted on 19 August 1914 giving his occupation as sleeper hewer, Nok his sister Lucy O’Meara, of Lorrha. Embarked at Fremantle 22 December 1915 per A31 Ajana. In August 1916 he was nominated for the Victoria Cross presented to him by King George V.  He displayed outstanding bravery at the Battle of Poziers on successive days 9th-12 August 1916.  On that last day he suffered a severe wound to the stomach and was evacuated to England.  He returned to his unit in France and was twice wounded, to the face on 9 April 1917 and to the buttocks, hips and back on 8 August 1917. O’Meara returned to Fremantle in September 1918 and hospitalised at Stromness Military Hospital, an old house on the corner of Keane and Monument Streets Mosman Park. Here, in December 1918, he was reported to be suicidal and homicidal and had to be restrained.  O’Meara was discharged from the AIF 30 November 1919 and spent most of the next 16 years as a patient at Claremont Asylum. He died on 20 December 1935 ‘ of war causes’ and given a military funeral at Karrakatta Cemetery attended by three VCs, two Senators, the State RSL President and some of his mates of the 16th Battalion. He was buried in the RC Section HA Grave 0093.  Citation: ‘For most conspicuous bravery. During 4 days of very heavy fighting he repeatedly went out and brought the wounded officers and men from ‘No Man’s Land’ under intense artillery and machine gun fire. He also volunteered and carried up ammunition and bombs through a heavy barrage to a portion of the trenches which was being heavily shelled at the time. He showed throughout an utter contempt of danger and undoubtedly save many lives.’  Martin O’Meara collected uncounted wounded and dead from some of the major battlefields on the Great War where Australia suffered heavy casualties including: Bullecourt, Reincourt, Ypres, Villers Bretonneux (April-May 1917) Hebuterne (March 1917).  Award and service medals: VC, 1914-1915 Star, BWM and VM.