Patrick James Geary
Serial No. 4565
20th Battalion, 1st Pioneer Battalion &7th Battalion
Patrick James Geary - Information
Patrick was another son of David and Bridget Geary, born in Narellan c1876. Unfortunately, Patrick and his siblings were separated with the untimely death of their parents, and placed in the care of relatives or of the state. Patrick eventually got married and found work as a general labourer. Sadly, Patrick and his wife, Elizabeth, separated in East Maitland in 1915. Needing a change of pace, he enlisted in the AIF in mid December. However, while in Camp, he found it difficult to adapt to army discipline. He broke Camp on several occasions going absent without leave. He was also charged with drunkenness, arrested at Hyde Park and sent to Darlinghurst Gaol. This was just the tip of the iceberg with numerous previous civilian charges for drunkenness. On the 6th of June 1916 at Rutherford, Patrick was discharged from military service, as ‘unlikely to become an effective soldier.’ He then tried to enlist again, signing up on the 9th of February 1917 in West Maitland, aged 41. At the time, he was residing in Paterson with Elizabeth. He was transported to the Royal Showground Camp, where he was posted as a Private to the 13th Reinforcements, 1st Pioneer Battalion. In June, he was transferred to the 20th Battalion for a short time before rejoining the Pioneers. He was then shipped overseas from Sydney Harbour on the 31st of October 1917 onboard the HMAT Euripides.
Patrick stepped off the ship in Devonport on Boxing Day, and was marched into the Pioneer Training Battalion at Sutton Veny. In early May 1918, Patrick was transported to the Western Front in France. He was taken to the Base Depot, before joining the 1st Australian Pioneer Battalion on the 9th of June. In early September, he was transferred to the 7th Infantry Battalion. However, less than a week passed when the added stress, led to him to sick bay. Then, at the beginning of October, he was invalided to England. A shell had exploded rather close to where he was standing. The concurrent shock wave aggravated an old leg fracture, causing him much pain and limited movement of his leg. He was considered unfit for active service and ordered back to Australia. On the 8th of November 1918, Patrick began his journey back to Australia. He was given a medical discharge for senility and his leg injury in late May 1919.