Patrick (John) Curo

From Our Contribution

Patrick (John) Curo
Curo PJ.jpg
The Westralian Battalion page 326
Personal Information
Date of Birth 23 Mar 1896
Place of Birth Jarrahdale, Western Australia
Death 28 Aug 1969, aged 73
Place of Death Bassendean, Western Australia
Age at Enlistment 19 years, 10 months
Description 5'3¾" (1.62m) tall ; 121 lbs
54.885 kg
; sallow complexion ; brown eyes ; brown hair
Occupation Labourer
Religion Roman Catholic
Address South West Highway, Mundijong, Western Australia
Next of Kin Mother , Mrs Lucy Curo
Military Information
Reg Number 248
Date of Enlistment 8 Jan 1916
Rank Corporal
Unit/Formation 44th Battalion, B Company / 11th Brigade, 4th Division
Date of Embarkation 6 Jun 1916 ‒ 21 Jul 1916
Ship Embarked On HMAT A29 Suevic
Date of Return 1 Jun 1919 ‒ 8 Jul 1919
Ship Returned On SS Somali
Fate Wounded in Action 8 Jun 1917 Messines
Returned to Australia
Monument Mundijong Honour Roll
Jarrahdale Honour Roll
ANZAC Memorial Park (Byford)
Medals British War Medal
Victory Medal

Pre War

War Service

Soon after entering camp, John was allocated to 'B' Company 44th Battalion, and he proceeded with them to England to undertake further training before the unit moved to France. On 25 Nov 1916 the battalion moved to France through Southampton, arriving in Le Havre early the next morning, from where they made their way to Steenwerck and their introduction to the Western front.

John was Wounded in Action on 8 Jun 1917 near Ploegsteert when the battalion sought to consolidate earlier gains on Messines Ridge. While minimal casualties were suffered in capturing their objectives, heavy casualties in the order of 300 men resulted over the next few days from their holding onto the ground gained. John's injury was a gun shot wound to his right leg. However, it can't have been serious as he had rejoined the battalion again after six days treatment by the 9th Field Ambulance and the 10th Field Ambulance. However the injury was made known back in Australia i.e. "Patrick John Curo of Mundijong is reported as Wounded."[1]

During September 1917 the battalion was rested and made the most of it. Neville Browning's book published part of a newspaper article from W.M. Bryans
"We lived very well. Vegetables and chicken every night for supper. Thanks were due to the skill of the 'B' Company Lewis gunners. Young Curo, Makeham, Bill Wise, Chambers and Corporal Cole (or the Brigand Corporal as the French Mademoiselles called him). They were expert with the revolver of the No. 1 gun team and knocked the birds with that. We pinched them for the cooks and had them for supper with some vegetables that we got out of the barn, which was heaped with them"[2]

For a lengthy period John remained with his unit without any absences, and on 22 Jul 1918 John was appointed Lance Corporal. Soon after he required treatment in hospital for illness from 18 Aug 1918 until 10 Sep 1918 in Rouen. Back with the battalion he was appointed Temporary Corporal on 20 Oct 1918, and that promotion was confirmed on 10 Nov 1918 a day before the Armistice.

John remained with the unit only until 1 Dec 1918 when he was transferred to the permanent cadre of the Overseas Training Brigade at Tidworth. He was shipped back to Australia, with one minor infraction - he was AWOL from 29 - 31 Mar 1919 - during the wait to go home. For this indiscretion John was awarded a loss of fourteen days pay. Following his return to Australia he was discharged by the 5th Military District on 22 Aug 1919.

Post War

10 Jun 1920 Patrick's Mother Lucy is reported to have died in Mundijong. In 1928 Patrick John married Alma Lily Wharton in Pemberton. Alma died aged 79 on 23 Feb 1986 in Mt Lawley. Electoral Roll entries - 1931 a mill labourer in Pemberton; 1936 & 1937 similar at 'Buckinghams' (mill?); 1943 Nyamup as a labourer; in 1954 - 1968 as a mechanic in Nyamup (about 24 km south east of Manjimup).

Patrick also served in the CMF during WW2 with Regimental Number W85565


  1. The Sun (Kalgoorlie) 15 Jul 1917 p.3
  2. 'The Westralian Battalion - The Unit History of the 44th Battalion A.I.F., Neville Browning, Advance Press, 2004, page 167

External Links