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Sgt. Dermot Patrick Ahern
Royal Australian Artillery


Dermot Patrick "Paddy" Ahern was born in Inch, County Wexford, Ireland on 14 February 1907. He was the fourth son of Patrick Joseph Ahern, Professor at De La Salle College in Dublin, and Josephine Ahern (nee Brennan). His parents moved to Arklow, in County Wicklow. As a young man Pat worked in Ireland's farming sector, specialising in bloodstock breeding.

He left Ireland in the mid-1930s. He joined thousands of young British men in the Spanish Civil War who volunteered to fight against Franco's fascist forces. From there he made his way to Australia, where he joined the 2nd A.I.F., ending up in the 2/15 Field Regiment of the Royal Australian Artillery

During 1940 Pat met Nancy Marianne Golby at a function organised for Australian troops on leave. Nancy worked at the time at the Marconi School of Wireless in Sydney. On 31 October 1940 they married at St. Albans Church of England Church in Epping, Sydney. The wedding reception was held at the Golby family home at 48 The Crescent, Cheltenham.

Nancy waved Pat goodbye from the wharf at Sydney as he and his comrades of the 2/15 were shipped out to Singapore in 1941. He survived the battles when the Japanese invaded Malaya, and was taken prisoner when Singapore fell on 15 February 1942. He was interned in Changi Prison, then sent to work on the Burma-Thailand Railroad, where he died on 17 July 1943. His body was exhumed by allied forces in 1945. Pat now lies in Kanchanaburi War Cemetery, Thailand, at Plot 1, Row J, Grave 6.

Pat and Nancy (Golby) Ahern
Pat and Nancy (Golby) Ahern

ENGAGED.
MISS NANCY MARIANNE GOLBY, elder daughter of Mr. and Mrs. C. H. Golby, of Cheltenham, whose engagement is announced to Sergeant Dermott Patrick Aherne, A.I.F., fourth son of the late Professor P. J. Aherne and of Mrs. J. Aherne, of Arklow, County Wicklow, Ireland. Sergeant Aherne is a cousin of the well known film actor, Brian Aherne, to whom he bears a strong resemblance. His father was formerly a professor at the De La Salle College, Dublin, and his brother is Wing-Commander J. C. S. Aherne, R.A.F.
The Sydney Morning Herald 17 October 1940

ROLL OF HONOUR
AHERN.—July 17, 1943, died of illness whilst prisoner of war. Thailand. NX13958, Sgt. D. P. Ahern, 2/15th Field Regiment, beloved husband of Nancy, dear son of the late Professor Ahern and Mrs. Ahern, of Arklow, Eire, and loved son-in-law of Mr. and Mrs. G. H. Golby. Cheltenham. At rest.
Sydney Morning Herald 7 August 1945

ENGAGEMENTS
RIDDELL—AHERN—The Engagement is announced of Nancy, widow of the late Sergeant Paddy Ahern and elder daughter of Mr. and Mrs. C. H. Golby of Cheltenham, to Gordon (ex-R.A.A.F.) only son of Mr. and Mrs. J. G. Riddell of Bardwell Park.
The Sydney Morning Herald 31 August 1946

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