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Denis Joseph O'Brien
by Brendan Joyce
My father Denis Joseph O'Brien was born In Sydney NSW in 1895. He enlisted on the 19th August 1914. Sgt DJ O’Brien’s AMF Unit was 17th Signal Troop Army Engineers. His Unit name was Divisional Signal Company 1.
His unit embarked at Melbourne per Transport A10 "Karroo" on 20th October 1914. He joined his unit at Gallipoli on 5/4/1915 and was one of the first to embark at Gallipoli on ANZAC day 25/4/1915 as he was signalller.
He received special mention for acts of conspicuous gallantry or valuable service from 6/5/1915 to 28/6/1915 whilst in Gallipoli. According to a letter that I have in my possession from my Grandfather dated 11/12/1917 addressed to Base Records Officer, Dep. of Defence that returned men told him that my father's actions saved the lives of about 1000 New Zealanders at Lone Pine.
After leaving Gallipoli he was sent to the Western Front in France for service in the Field. He was at the "Somme", Fromelles, Pozieres, Ypres and also in Belgium from 4/5/1916 24/7/1917.
On the 9/4/1917 he had a special mention in Sir Douglas Haigs despatch.
On the 12/6/1917 he was awarded the MILITARY MEDAL for gallantry. He was returned to Australia wounded on the 23/10/1918. He died on the 12/5/1961 aged 66.