Cpt JP Lalor, AIF

Captain Joseph Peter LALOR
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Captain Joseph Peter ('Joe')

G Company, 12th Battalion, Australian Imperial Force

Born 12th August 1884 at Richmond, Melbourne, Victoria
[Birth certificate 1884 Richmond 19898 Vic]

Educated: Xavier College, Kew, Victoria

Married; Soldier, of Military HQ, Perth, Western Australia, & Elgin Street, Hawthorn, Melbourne, Victoria

Next of Kin listed as: Wife; Hester Lalor (nee Loughrey), of Elgin Street, Hawthorn, Melbourne, Victoria

Photos of Captain Lalor are known to exist in the following locations:
Denning p108. Melbourne Herald 5 May 1915 p8. Age 6 May 1915 p8. Argus 7 May 1915 p8. Melbourne Punch 13 May 1915 p668. Table Talk 13 May 1915 p18. Sydney Mail 2 Jun 1915 p18. Melbourne Herald 18 Aug 1915 p1

Killed in action
25th April 1915
on Baby 700, central Anzac sector
Aged 30

12th Battalion, AIF


Baby 700 cemetery


Dulce Et Decorum Est
Pro Patria Mori
Lord Thou Knowest Best

Translation from the Latin:
How Sweet it is
To Die For One's Country
Lord Thou Knowest Best


Grandson of Peter Lalor, leader of the 1854 Eureka Stockade revolt, who lost an arm as the result of the fighting there.

Father; the late Dr. Joseph Peter Lalor. Mother; Agnes Lalor (nee McCormick).
Mother 'lives at 'Ours', Vaucluse, Richmond,' Melbourne. (Melbourne Herald 5 May 1915 p1).

'His wife is now in England with her only child.' (Argus 6 May 1915 p8).
Wife's uncle: Dr. R. Loughrey, 'a well-known physician of Lower Hawthorn.'

Eldest son. Father 'for some years practiced locally' [Orange, NSW]. Attended Xavier College 1892 - 99. 'an accomplished linguist, having travelled extensively.' Stationed in Western Australia 1910 - 1913, transferred to, Queensland as area officer and Brigade major, 2nd Infantry Brigade. 'His wish was to serve amongst his friends in the west, and he secured command of G Company, 12th Infantry Battalion.' 'He was married to a niece of Dr. Loughrey, of Hawthorn, his widow and one son, aged 2, being at present in England. A younger brother, Captain Peter Lalor, (who is also well known in Orange) is surgeon at Duntroon Military College. He also is an old Xaverian.' (Orange Leader 7 May 1915 p2).

Joined the Royal Navy as a boy and deserted. Served in the French Foreign Legion and possibly fought in South American revolutions. (Bean V1 p291), (Coulthard-Clark, 'From Eureka to Gallipoli', in Defence Force Journal Jan/Feb 1984).

'His first commission was granted in 1909, and he was appointed to the permanent forces in 1910. He was stationed for some time at Kalgoorlie as Assistant Brigade Major, and made numerous friends in military and private circles during his Goldfields sojourn. Later he was appointed Brigade Major at Perth, and joined the A.I.E.F. as a captain. The late Captain Lalor originally served in the French Foreign Legion, and was stationed in Algeria. ...The 'British Australasian,' to hand by yesterday's mail from London, states: - 'Mrs J.P. Lalor, who is staying at Clapton, England, is the wife of Captain J.P. Lalor, now with the Australian Expeditionary Force, in Egypt.' (Kalgoorlie Miner 6 May 1915 p5).

'When two companies of West Australians were raised to supplement the Tasmanian contingent, Captain Lalor was placed in charge of them, and carried out the work of their instruction during the training at Blackboy Hill camp. Most of the captain's service was in Victoria and commenced as early as 1909, when he was 2nd Lieutenant in the Victorian Rangers. ...Captain Lalor was a born fighter. He travelled a good deal and was once attached to the French Foreign Legion in Algeria. He also visited South America and took part in two revolutions amongst some of the minor Republics. He is described by his brother officers as a most interesting and likeable man. He spent in this State something like 2 1/2 years, and about 18 months ago was married.' (Kalgoorlie Miner 6 May 1915 p5).

'Unconventional in everything, he was one of the parties to a 'white wedding' not eighteen months ago, and spent his honeymoon camping on the shores of the Swan.' (Orange Leader 21 May 1915 p4).

Killed at about 3:30 pm, 25th April:
'Morshead made his platoon left form and move across to Lalor's left. Lalor waved his hand, and moved his own line to join Morshead's. Fire was coming from the lower knolls down near the beach. Lalor stood up to see, and resolved to charge forward. 'Now then, 12th Battalion,' he cried; and, as he said the words, a Turkish bullet killed him.'
(Bean Vol. 1 p309)

(Mentioned, Bean Vol. 1 p271, 274-5, 276, 283, 286, 287, 288, 291-4, 295, 296, 306, 307, 308, 310, 312, 313, 316, 322; biography 291, killed 309, mentioned 466, 549).

Shortly before his death, Captain Lalor was carrying a family sword. It had been dropped, but was recovered by Lance-corporal Freame some hours later, then dropped again 'in the stress of the fighting at dusk'. (Bean V1 p309). It has never been found, though it was reported at one stage to have been in a Turkish museum. It seems doubtful that there is any connection between the sword and the revolt at Eureka Stockade, despite speculation to the contrary.

At the 1916 Anzac Day Service at the Roman Catholic Cathedral, Perth, Archbishop Clunes said:
'...The dead faces of those who went forth in the bloom and freshness of youth rise before us to-day - those of Captain Lalor, Lieutenants Anderson and Franklin, poor Harry Campbell, young Kidston...' (West Australian 26 Apr 1916 p6).

Captain Lalor's son and only child, Peter, also attended Xavier College, (1921-1930), served in the army cadets, and was killed in the Second World War (though probably not, as stated here, at Dieppe):

'Peter Lalor, son of Joe who died so publicly at Gallipoli, died less noticed as a paratrooper at Dieppe.' (Dening p229).

Lest We Forget

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