O’Brien, Hubert Denis (5063)
Place of Birth: Port Melbourne, VIC
Age: 29 years 10 months
Enlistment Details: Tuesday, 22 February 1916 – Melbourne, VIC
Service Number: 5063 view online service record
Next of Kin:
Mary Butler (mother-in-law)
Date: Monday, 3 July 1916
Ship: HMAT Ayrshire A33
Port: Melbourne, VIC
Unit: 21st Infantry Battalion – 13th Reinforcements
KIA: Sunday, 25 February 1917
Lance Corporal, 21 Infantry, killed in action 25 February, 1917, aged 30, commemorated Villers-Bretonneux Memorial, Villers-Bretonneux, Picardie, France.
Mother-in-law: Mrs Mary BUTLER, born Port Melbourne. O’Brien enlisted as a 29-year-old wood worker, a widower with his mother-in-law in Alexandra as next of kin; she was also listed as guardian of his two daughters, Mary and Bertha. No known grave; eyewitnesses suggested he and others were buried after being killed by a high explosive shell, but not subsequently located. No circular returned.
Additional research by Brian Membrey
“I buried these (eight) men at Sand Bag Barrier, Le Sars on 26th February, 1917. They were killed by a H.E. shell while going out of fatigue duty. They were killed where they fell” (L/Cpl G. J. Leith, 4744. Private address 63 Canterbury Road, Middle Park)
“… he came from Gippsland and I think he was employed in the saw milling industry before the war … he was a widower and I think one child, about 34 years of age, dark and clean shaven …” (Pte C.V. Cooper, 5001) Other eyewitnesses confimed seven others were killed by the same shell.