Home' Army News : March 4th 2010 Contents By Sgt Andrew Hetherington
THIS month 800 people will eagerly await
DNA results to find out if they are related
to any of the 250 soldiers whose remains
were recovered from a World War I mass
burial site at Fromelles in France.
Cpl Luke Grogan, the Pilbara Regt, had
a mouth swab taken in December after he
responded to a call for relatives of the missing
soldiers to come forward for DNA testing.
"I'm definite my great, great uncle will be
identified after my DNA sample is analysed,"
Cpl Grogan said.
During his posting to ALTC last year, his
RSM sent him a list of soldiers' names which
the Australian Fromelles Project Group had
issued in its search for probable relatives.
"One of them was Sgt Vincent Michael
Grogan, the same name of my great, great
uncle, who was a machine gunner in the 60th
Battalion killed in Fromelles on July 19,
1916," he said.
Sgt Grogan, who was 18 when he died,
lived at Koroit in Victoria and was a labourer
before he joined the Army.
"Apparently he was shot in the head and
killed instantly while he was sitting on a
The war service of his relatives influenced
Cpl Grogan to enlist.
"My mum said I wanted to join the Army
from when I was three and after research-
ing my extensive family military history it
inspired me further," he said.
This history extends back to the 1860s
to a war in which Australians did not open-
ly participate. Cpl Grogan's great, great,
great uncle Michael Vincent Grogan served
with 26th Massachusetts Regiment in the
American Civil War.
Army March 4, 2010
Vincent Michael Grogan
Service number: 3114
Unit: 60th Battalion (Infantry)
Date of death: July 19, 1916
Cause of death: Killed in action
Cemetery or memorial details: VC
Corner Australian Cemetery Memorial,
War Grave Register notes: Son of John
J. and Mary T. Grogan, of Bairnsdale,
Victoria. Native of Koroit, Victoria. 18.
Source AWM145 Roll of Honour cards
Feeling a special link
"He eventually settled in Sydney -- still
receiving a pension for his service in the Civil
War -- working in the Five Dock, Burwood
area as a stonemason until he died in 1907,"
Cpl Grogan said.
Cpl Grogan's family did not expect to
find any relatives who fought in WWI.
"Not much was spoken about it, though
we knew we had many relatives in our family
who served in WWII," he said.
"Out of 11 boys in the family about 10
of them went to war and they all came back,
which was a good omen for me. One of them
was my grandfather, who was in the air force
with 30 Sqn, which flew Beaufighters."
If there is a DNA match, Cpl Grogan will
relish the prospect of visiting Fromelles in
July for the dedication of the new military
cemetery. "If I can travel to Fromelles for the
July service I will take as many great aunts or
uncles I can find with me," he said.
For details on the Fromelles project visit www.army.
Family pride: Cpl Luke Grogan and his dad, Steve, at Kapooka last year when Cpl Grogan was
a recruit instructor. The family is awaiting the result of DNA tests to confirm their link to one of the
soldiers whose remains were recovered from a mass grave at Fromelles.
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