John Sylvester Dooley

First Name: 
John
Middle Name: 
Sylvester
Last Name: 
Dooley
Date of Birth: 
Friday, October 30, 1874
Mother's Name: 
Margaret Dooley nee Daley
Father's Name: 
Thomas Dooley
Rank at Enlistment: 
Captain
Rank at Discharge: 
Major
Unit: 
22nd Battalion
Service: 
Infantry
Awards: 
Military Cross
1914/1915 Star
British War Medal
Victory Medal
Date of Death: 
Monday, October 28, 1946
Place of Death: 
Leeton, N.S.W.
Details: 

John Sylvester Dooley was born in Gerringong, N.S.W. in 1874.  The Dooley family was quite prominent in the Kiama area for many years.

In 1914 John married Mary Broughton, and a daughter was born after John left Australia to fight.  The Dooley's later had a son who was born in 1920.

John had extensive military service, having served for 19 years as part of the Queens Guard with the Jubilee Contingent of 1897.  On 9th October 1899, after spending time training with British units, he sailed from England for the Boer War and saw active service as a Sergeant with the N.S.W. Lancers.  John was awarded the Queens Medal for his service.

John's was 41 years old when he enlisted for the Great War, and at that time he was working as a farmer at Leeton, N.S.W.  

He then spent 8 years as the area officer at Bulli, N.S.W. with the 37th Infantry.

After enlisting with the AIF John embarked from Sydney on HMAT A8 Argyllshire with the rank of Captain, with 4th Reinforcements, 19th Battalion on 3rd September 1915.

The troops arrived in Egypt on 30th November 1915, and after time in England John arrived in France on 28th August 1916.  On 11th October 1916 he was posted to 22nd Battalion in France.

John was awarded the Military Cross on 21st December 1916.  The recommendation for the award reads:

"For conspicuous coolness and ability in command of his Company in action near FLERS on 14th Novr 1916. On the trenches occupied by his Company being heavily bombarded by the enemy he moved his men forward about 120 yards and occupied shell craters till dusk. Whilst his own trenches were practically destroyed the Company had only 3 casualties. In view of our own artillery fire this movement required the nicest calculation and coolness of judgement."

 

On 5th February 1917 John was promoted to Major.

On 15th April 1917 John was wounded in action and evacuated to hospital in England for treatment of a gun shoot wound to his right hand, returning to his unit on 10th June 1917.  

He was wounded a second time on 19th May 1918 and again evacuated to England for treatment of a gun shot wound to his leg.

John was returned to Australia in July 1918 and discharged on 10th April 1919.

He returned to the farm at Leeton where he and his family lived for the rest of his life.

John died in Leeton in 1946.

John is commemorated at the Gerringong Soldiers Memorial Hall and on the Gerringong Roll of Honour.

Sources: 
NAA: B2455, DOOLEY J S

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