#OnThisDay 1917 Chaplain Micheal Bergin MC from Roscrea, Tipperary, was killed in action while working at an aid post. Despite orders restricting chaplains from the front lines, Bergin was often found there, once even giving Mass under enemy artillery fire.
In 1914, Bergin was working in a catholic school in Syria, then part of the Ottoman Empire and was taken prisoner as an enemy civilian. He was eventually extradited to Egypt where he joined the Australian Imperial Force (despite having never even visited Australia), who were short on Roman Catholic chaplains and so he was assigned to the 5th Light Horse Brigade.
He served as chaplain in all the unit’s major actions in France and Belgium, including at Pozières, Mouquet Farm, Messines, and the Third Battle of Ypres (Passchendaele). He was awarded a Military Cross for his “magnificent zeal and courage”.