Title:The Most Fearless and Gallant Soldier I Have Ever Seen – The Story of Martin O’Meara, Australia’s only Irish-born Victoria Cross recipient of the First World War
Author: Loftus, Ian
Edition: 1st Edition
Publication Date: 2016
Cover: Soft Cover without Dust Jacket – 274 pages.
Comments: “I respectfully beg to draw your attention to the conduct of Pte O’Meara during the recent operations of this Bttn. Pte O’Meara is the most fearless and gallant soldier I have ever seen”
Lieutenant Bill Lynas of the Australian Imperial Force’s 16th Battalion penned these words in mid-August 1916, shortly after the battalion had withdrawn from fierce fighting near the small village of Pozieres, on the Western Front.
A little over two years later, in December 1918, O’Meara was described as ‘suffering from Delusional Insanity, with hallucinations of hearing and sight, is extremely homicidal and suicidal, and requires to be kept in restraint’.
The contrast with 1916 could not appear to be an greater. So what happened to Martin O’Meara in those two or so years?