• Daniel Digan

Army / Flying Corps
  • 16th Australian Infantry Battalion
  • 47th Australian Infantry Battalion
  • 4th Brigade
  • 12th Brigade
  • Private

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  • British War Medal
  • Victory Medal
  • Enlistment - WW1

    Perth, WA, Australia

  • Birth

    Tullmore, England

Stories and comments
    • DIGAN, Daniel
    • Posted by FrevFord, Thursday, 21 December 2017

    Daniel was born on the 23rd of July 1875 at Tullamore, King’s County, Ireland – son of Daniel DIGAN and Anne HENEHAN The family emigrated to Sth Australia between 1879 and 1884, where Anne died on the 30/5/1901 in Adelaide, aged about 58 years old. Addresses: Hackney Rd, Adelaide; Kent Town, SA; Wellington Saw Mills, Dardanup, WA; 44 Duncan St, Victoria Park, WA Daniel (snr) died on the 28/9/1929 at Victoria Park, aged 89, and is buried with his son Daniel at Karrakatta Cemetery Siblings: William b.22/1/1864; Edward b.22/5/1866 – d.29/12/1922; Mary – marr F.H. LONGBOTTOM 1898- d.21/3/1937; Patrick b.1/5/1871 – d.7/3/1936; Elizabeth Agnes b.24/6/1873 – marr J.T. ARBERY 7/3/1896; Joseph b.10/7/1879 Ireland; Annie – marr J. STARRIT; John b.22/2/1884 Maylands, SA – d.20/8/1950; Ellen (Nellie) b.28/8/1887 Stepney, SA [WW1 NOK altered to Miss Nellie Digan, 4 Rundle St, Kent Town, SA in March 1917] Religion: Roman Catholic Labourer – in the timber districts of WA WW1: Enlisted on the 9/12/1915 in Perth, WA, aged 41 years and 5 months Embarked on the Ulysses at Fremantle 1/4/1916 as Private 4798 with the 15th Reinforcements of the 16th Battalion, and disembarked in Alexandria 25/4/1916 Transferred to the 48th Battalion 20/5/1916 Embarked at Alexandria 7/6/1916 on the Huntspill, and disembarked at Marseilles, France 14/6/1916 – and taken on strength of the 48th Bn 18/7/1916 Wounded at duty 6/8/1916 AWL 25/10/1916 (awarded 7 days FP No.1) Having served for 14 months as a stretcher-bearer, Daniel was wounded in action on the 11/6/1917 at Messines, when a bullet entered above the left eye, disorganising both eyes which necessitated their enucleation (removal). He was recommended for a Military Medal for his work that day, but unfortunately it wasn’t forthcoming – his family however, received a note from Maj General W. Holmes, commander of the 4th Division, A.I.F., congratulating him on his courage and devotion to duty. Following his wounding, Daniel was transferred through the hospital system to England and admitted to the 1st Southern General Hospital on the 21/6/1917, then to the 1st Australian Auxiliary Hospital, Harefield on the 9/7/1917 Finally he was admitted to St Dunstan’s Hostel for Blinded Soldiers on the 27/8/1917 – and discharged on the 7/11/1917 Returned to Australia on HS Karoola 25/11/1917 – 4/1/1918 Discharged from the AIF on the 14/2/1918 Member of the WA Blinded Soldier’s Association Daniel died on the 2nd of April 1919 at his sister’s residence in Brown St, East Perth, WA Buried in the Roman Catholic section of the Karrakatta Cemetery (Grave 0045) The West Australian (Perth, WA), Tue 28 Aug 1917 (p.5): WAR CASUALTIES Mrs E. Arbery and Mrs F. Longbottom, of Brown-street, East Perth, have received word that their brother, Private D. Digan, has been removed from Harefield to St Dunstan’s Hospital, suffering from several gunshot wounds in the eyes. The Daily News (Perth, WA), Tue 6 Nov 1917 (p.4): Mainly About People Mr Daniel Digan, of Wellington Mills, has received a letter from his son, Private Daniel Digan, to the effect that he has lost the sight of both eyes, and is now in St Dunstan’s Hospital, London (says the “South-Western Times”). He has also received a card from Major-General Holmes, commanding the 4th Australian Division, congratulating him on his son’s courage and devotion to duty at Messines. Westralian Worker (Perth, WA), Fri 9 Nov 1917 (p.2): Timber Topics Bill Digan, of Wellington Mills, has received a letter from the adjutant of the 48th Battalion containing a card which is worded as follows: – “Major General W. Holmes, C.M.G., D.S.O., V.D., commanding 4th Australian Division, congratulates 4798 Pte D. Digan, 48th Battalion A.I.F., on his courage and devotion to duty at Messines on the 11th June, 1917.” Sad to say Dan, poor fellow, will return to Australian shores soon, but will never see again this sunny land, because he is blind. The West Australian (Perth, WA), Sat 17 Aug 1918 (p.10): BLINDED SOLDIERS’ PENSIONS To the Editor Sir, Mr Hocking’s letter of Friday last was brought under our notice to-day. Has Mr Hocking tried in any way to ascertain what the blinded soldiers are doing? When he refers to us as leading idle, useless lives he surely cannot be acquainted with the facts of the case, as a display of our work has been arranged by the Braille Writers Association for the third week in September, the Singer Sewing Machine Co. having kindly allowed the use of their premises in Hay-street for this purpose. This work is done by us in our own homes and is disposed of by us independently. Will Mr Hocking tell us of any work being taught in the Victorian Institute for the Blind which does not have to be taken back there to be disposed of – Yours, etc. J. McWhirter, C. Murray, A. Hoey, W. James, A. Forbes, D. Digan. Perth Aug 15 The Daily News (Perth, WA), Sat 31 Aug 1918 (p.8): W.A. BLINDED SOLDIERS’ ASSOCIATION A GOOD START Friday A meeting of the W.A. Blinded Soldiers’ Association was held in the Ugly Men’s rooms, Barrack-street yesterday afternoon. Mr McWhirter presided and the following blind members were present:– Messrs Murray, Hoey, James, and Digan. ……………………………….. https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/81369230 The Daily News (Perth, WA), Wed 2 Apr 1919 (p.7): FUNERAL NOTICE DIGAN – The Friends of the late Pte DANIEL DIGAN, of the 48th Batt. (returned), are respectfully invited to follow his remains to the place of interment, the Roman Catholic Cemetery, Karrakatta. The Funeral is appointed to leave the residence of his sister, Mrs T. Longbottom, 186 Brown-street, East Perth, at 2.30 o’clock TO-MORROW (Thursday) AFTERNOON per road. Friends wishing to attend the Funeral may proceed by the 3.15 pm Train leaving Perth, and the 2.45 pm train from Fremantle. The West Australian (Perth, WA), Thur 3 Apr 1919 (p.4): NEWS AND NOTES Death of a Blind Soldier – The service comrades of the late Private Daniel Digan will learn with regret of his death yesterday. Private Digan was born in King’s County, Ireland, in 1875, and emigrated to South Australia with his father in his early youth. He was well-known in the timber districts of Western Australia prior to his enlistment in the 16th Battalion. He was transferred to the 48th Battalion abroad, and for 14 months did fine work as stretcher bearer, until a bullet wound at Messines, cost him the sight of both eyes. The funeral will take place this afternoon, and the general secretary of the R.S.A. (Mr Sexty) hopes to see a large attendance of returned soldiers. Members wishing to attend should proceed by the 3.15 pm train to Karakkatta. Permission has been granted by the Commandant for the wearing of uniform by men wishing to pay their last respects to their deceased comrade. The Daily News (Perth, WA), Fri 4 Apr 1919 (p.3): THE LATE PRIVATE DANIEL DIGAN The funeral of the late Private Daniel Digan took place yesterday (Thursday) afternoon, and was attended by a large number of relatives and friends, including representatives from the various branches of the Returned Soldiers’ Association. The deceased, who was 43 years of age, was born in King’s County, Ireland, and emigrated to South Australia with his father in 1875 [sic]. On December 19, 1915, he enlisted in the 16th Battalion, and embarked on April 1, 1916. Whilst abroad he was transferred to the 48th Battalion, and for 14 months did fine work as a stretcher-bearer, until a bullet wound at Messines cost him the sight of both eyes. Prior to his enlistment he was engaged in the timber districts, where he was well known and highly respected. The cortege moved from the residence of his sister Mrs F. Longbottom, 186 Brown-street, East Perth, and proceeded to the Roman Catholic portion of the Karrakatta Cemetery, where the remains were interred. The Rev. Father Fahey conducted the last rites. The chief mourners were Mr D. Digan (father), Mr W. Digan (brother), Mesdames F. Longbottom, A Starratt, and J. Arbery (sisters), Messrs F. Longbottom, and J. Arbery (brothers-in-law), Misses V. Arbery, E. Arbery, K., G., and A. Longbottom, and E Starratt (nieces), and Master E. Arbery (nephew). The pall-bearers were Bombardier L. Bowtell, Driver J.F. Bennett, Corporal T. Moore, and Privates R.R. Rasmussen, C.L. Longbottom, and W.A. Whitting. Numerous wreaths, floral tributes, letters, telegrams, and messages of sympathy and condolence were received by the bereaved family. The funeral arrangements were in the hands of Messrs Bowra and O’Dea. The Truth (Perth, WA), Sat 5 Apr 1919 (p.3): VALE DANIEL DIGAN “NO MILITARY HONORS” Our attention has been drawn to the fact that at the funeral of Daniel Digan, a blind private A.I.F., on Thursday, there was no official military recognition. The commandant graciously gave permission for comrades of the deceased to wear their uniforms at the last obsequies; but there was no official fanfaronade. When an officer dies “full military honors” are the official order of things. No gracious permission to wear the trappings of militarism has to be sought. Comrades do not straggle along to the graveside in twos and threes – they march with bowed heads and glum looks. Perhaps it is not of much consequence to the departed; but it certainly carries beneath the earth that alarming officerial distinction as between the two groups of Australia’s allegedly democratic army. We are not enamored of the officerial definition of democracy. It is a shifting of the democratic sands to suit the officerial exigency of the passing moment. The West Australian (Perth, WA), Mon 7 Apr 1919 (p.1): DEATHS DIGAN – On April 2, at Brown-street, East Perth, Daniel (late 48th Battalion), dearly beloved son of Mr D. Digan, Wellington Mills, brother of W. Digan and Mrs A Starritt, Wellington Mills; Mrs F. Longbottom and Mrs E. Arbery, Perth; Edward, Patrick, John, and Nellie, South Australia. Aged 43 years. A hero at rest. The Daily News (Perth, WA), Mon 7 Apr 1919 (p.4): MILITARY FUNERALS FOR SOLDIERS (To the Editor) https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/81842915 Westralian Worker (Perth, WA), Fri 11 Apr 1919 (p.6): Timber Topics Gone West, one of the whitest men that ever donned khaki in Dan Digan. He was well known on the mills. His part in the war cost him his eyesight. The “Worker” extends its sympathy to his numerous relatives and friends in the Wellington and other timber districts.