Second Lieutenant

Patrick Augustine Ongley

Conflict: 
WW1
References:
  • CWGC
  • Archives New Zealand
NZ WAR GRAVES
CONTRIBUTED

Public Contributions:

Submitted by: Marty Sharpe
Relationship to casualty: Great Great Nephew
Patrick Augustine 'Gus' Ongley is the solitary New Zealander among the 619 buried at Mory Abbey Cemetery near Bapaume. The first dux of Waitaki College in Oamaru and a student at Victoria U... Read More
Patrick Augustine 'Gus' Ongley is the solitary New Zealander among the 619 buried at Mory Abbey Cemetery near Bapaume. The first dux of Waitaki College in Oamaru and a student at Victoria University, Gus was a master at Wellington College when he died childless at the age of 28. One of 10 children, he is a dead-end on the family tree that grew on without him. By the time my generation came of age there was barely any memory of Gus. There was a vague tale about a relative who had been shot dead by a sniper in the war, but that was it. We never saw photographs, mementos or medals of Gus's. Gus signed up as a corporal in the Expeditionary Force in late 1916, was promoted to sergeant, then second lieutenant, and shipped to France in late 1917. He arrived the Front in mid-1918. He was killed in action, or as his military records prosaically put it, "became non-effective", on August 27. Gus likely died in the successful but bloody assault on Bapaume. Records at the cemetery reveal that, like many, he was exhumed from his battlefield grave and buried at Mory Abbey after the Armistice on November 11, 1918. His British War Medal and Victory Medal were sent to his brother Arthur in 1922. Like hundreds of thousands of others, Gus's legacy is a slab of Portland stone, 76cm high, 36cm wide and 7.6cm thick, in a lonely paddock in northern France. It's unlikely I'll ever know exactly what he was doing the day he was killed, or how he died, but every bit of information on what the division was doing around Bapaume in late August, 1918, holds real interest for me. For me, my kids, and any future generations, something that puts the horrors of the Western Front in context would be invaluable.


Personal Tributes:

Casualty

Service Number: 
33169
Name:
Patrick Augustine Ongley
Rank: 
Second Lieutenant
Date of Birth:
Not known
Next of Kin: 
Mrs Ongley (mother), Waterloo Road, Lower Hutt, New Zealand
Date of Enlistment:
Not known
Occupation on Enlistment:
Teacher
Armed Force: 
Army
Unit:
NZEF, Otago Regiment, 2 Battalion

Casualty Details

Cause of Death:
Killed in action
Date of Death:
27 August 1918
Day of Death:
Tuesday
Conflict: 
WW1

Embarkation Details

Embarkation Body:
New Zealand Expeditionary Force
Embarkation Place:
Wellington, New Zealand
Embarkment Date:
12 June 1917
Transport:
HMNZT 87
Vessel:
Tahiti
Destination:
Devonport, England

Text in italics supplied by Cenotaph Online, Auckland War Memorial Museum

Cemetery

Cemetery Reference: 
IV. B. 21.
Cemetery Location: 
France
Patrick Augustine Ongley
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