Maurice Patrick DuffyA.K.A. John Wiltshire
Serial No. 7070
Maurice Patrick DuffyA.K.A. John Wiltshire - Information
Maurice was born in North Sydney in 1885, he had grown up in Camden where some of his step-siblings were born including, his younger brother, Joseph Duffy. Maurice attended Camden Catholic School, before leaving the area. He later married and had a son, John Leonard Duffy. Unfortunately, Maurice and his wife divorced, and she remarried. In January 1915, Maurice’s younger brother, Joseph, enlisted and went off to war. At this time, Maurice was living in Malebo Park, Malebo and working as a labourer. Maurice then decided to gain better opportunities for himself and join the war effort. He enlisted under the name John Wiltshire at Cootamundra on the 21st of October 1916. He listed his step-sister, Annie Driscoll, of Loretto on 50 Queen St, Alexandria, as his next of kin. During training, Maurice was allotted to the 23rd Reinforcements, 1st Battalion as a Private. On the 9th of November 1916, Maurice set forth from Sydney Harbour onboard the HMAT Benalla.
Maurice landed in Devonport in early January 1917. He then proceeded to France via Folkestone on the 3rd of May. He was marched into Etaples, and joined the 1st Battalion over a week later. The 1st Battalion then participated in action during the Third Battle of Ypres. Here, Maurice was wounded in action on the 18th of September, when an artillery shell blew up in his face. He was rushed to the Dressing Station by the 8th Field Ambulance. On the 27th of September, he was discharged to duty and returned to his unit. As the 1st Battalion were heading out for an attack on Broodseinde, Maurice was reported missing in action between the 2nd and 5th of October 1917. Witnesses explained that Maurice was killed by a bomb dropped by a plane into the frontline trenches near Passchendaele. The military confirmed the statements, filing that he was killed in action between the 2nd and 5th of October 1917. Unfortunately, he was unable to be given a proper burial. After the war ended, his name was inscribed on the Menin Gate Memorial in Ieper, (Ypres) in Belgium. His war medals were then entrusted to his ex-wife to be handed down to his son, John, when he came of age.