Enlistment Address

Gilgandra NSW

Service Number



1st Light Horse Regiment


RTA March 1919


Sergeant Harold Edward Monaghan was a 28 year old carpenter when he enlisted on the 23rd April 1915 in Liverpool and was assigned to the 1st Light Horse. The medical examination described him as 5’ 63/4” tall, 152lbs, with a ruddy complexion, blue eyes and grey-brown hair. His religion was Roman Catholic and he was single with no previous service experience. Mrs Gordon of Miller St Gilgandra was his sister and next of kin.

Harold embarked for Egypt on the 9thAugust 1915 on HMAT ‘Runic’ and served in Gallipoli until 27th December 1915.

He remained in Egypt and joined the 1st Field Squadron Engineers when they were formed in June 1916. Harold served throughout the Palestine Campaign and was promoted from Corporal to Sergeant in October 1917.

The engineers, also known as sappers, were essential to the running of the war.  Their responsibilities included constructing the lines of defence, temporary bridges, tunnels and trenches, observation posts, roads, railways, communication lines, buildings of all kinds, showers and bathing facilities, and other material and mechanical solutions to the problems associated with fighting in the desert. The ingenuity and initiative of Australian engineers during the War should be recognised, because the daily difficulty of building and maintaining structures and machines to ensure the success of the war effort was an ongoing struggle.

Sergeant Harold Monaghan was awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal in January 1919.

“He has been with the 1st Field Squadron since its formation early in 1916. He has never been away to hospital and has done sterling work the whole of the period.”

He started his return journey to Australia on the 5th March 1919 from Port Said to the United Kingdom, he had leave in the Uk before he left on the ‘Boorara’ in July 1919. He disembarked in Melbourne and travelled by rail to Sydney.

He was issued the 1914/15 Star, the British War Medal, the Victory Medal and awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal.

He enlisted and served in the Second World War at Cowra Prisoner of War Camp and his son, Harold Edward also served in WW2.

Harold was born in Nyngan in 1886 to Thomas and Ann Monaghan and married Susan Copelin in Orange in 1920. He died in 1951 and is buried in Gilgandra Cemetery with his wife Susan who died in 1981 aged 83.

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