Alfred John Dooley

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Alfred John Dooley. Image courtesy

DOOLEY, Alfred John

Service no: 2898 [1]

Place of birth: Spring Hill, 1897

Address: Spring Hill

Occupation: Labourer

Next of kin: Patrick Dooley (father), Spring Hill

Date of enlistment: 9 August 1916

Place of enlistment: Bathurst

Age at enlistment: 18

Fate: Embarked HMAT A19 Afric, Sydney, 3 November 1916. Attended Hurdcott Training Camp from 10 January 1917 to 30 March 1917. Proceeded overseas with 15th Battalion 20 March 1917. Taken on strength 57th Battalion 23 March 1917. Killed in action, Bullecourt, France, 13 May 1917.

Date of death: 13 May 1917

Buried: No known grave

Alfred John Dooley was born at Spring Hill in 1897. His parents were Patrick and Laura Dooley. Alfred gave his occupation as a labourer when he enlisted at Bathurst on 11 August 1916 at the age of 18 years.

As part of the 57th Battalion he embarked at Sydney her HMAT A19 Afric on 3 November 1916. Alfred spent three months in training at Hurdcott Training Camp near Fovant in Wiltshire prior to leaving for France on the 20 March 1917. While in camp a photo was taken of the “local boys” and sent to Mr Cashmere, father of Lance Corporal Charlie Cashmere. Among the boys was AE Dooley. [2]

Hurdcott Camp near Fovant, England, where Alfred Dooley trained in early 1917. Image courtesy Australian War Memorial.

Arriving in France on 23 March 1917, Alfred was taken on strength with the 57th Battalion. He served on the Western Front for less than two months; killed in the Second Battle of Bullecourt on 13 May 1917.

According to the Red Cross Wounded and Missing Bureau enquiries SJ Clancy, SN2883, reported:

He was killed by shell concussion near Lagnicourt, he died instantly, not a mark on his body or face.
The Dr said his heart must have been weak. I know he was buried the same night but cannot give personal particulars.
His home was near Orange, NSW. I was in Camp with him at Bathurst and we came over together in the A19 Afric left Sydney Nov 3/16.

There is no known grave for Private Alfred John Dooley. He is remembered on the Spring Hill Public School Honour Roll, the Spring Hill Temperance Hall Honour Roll, the World War I Roll of Honour on the southern face of the Orange Cenotaph, on panel number 163 on the Roll of Honour at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra and the Australian National Memorial at Villers-Bretonneux in France.

In 1918 Alfred’s 12 year old sister Alice, a pupil at the Spring Hill Public School, unveiled the school’s Honour Roll. [3]

In 1923 the Anzac Memorial Avenue of trees was planted along Bathurst Road to commemorate fallen WWI soldiers. A tree was planted in honour of “Pte AJ Dooley”; it was donated by Mark Kelly. Very few of the trees are still standing today.

  • Sharon Jameson and Margaret Nugent, January 2019
Thomas Gregory and Alfred John Dooley. Image courtesy
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