81 Years Since the Death of Martin O’Meara VC

Martin O’Meara, Australia’s only Irish-born Victoria Cross recipient of the First World War, died on 20 December 1935 at Perth’s Claremont Mental Hospital. He had been transferred to Claremont from the Lemnos Hospital in early November 1935.


It seems that both his mental and physical health continued to deteriorate after he was admitted to Claremont, and he collapsed on 19 December 1935 and died the next day.

His death was certified by Dr Ernest Thompson, a doctor on the staff of Claremont, who had last seen O’Meara on 19 December 1935. The cause of his death, as described by Dr Thompson on the death certificate, was ‘pulmonary oedema’ with ‘chronic mania’ and ‘exhaustion’ being factors. A letter from the Mental Hospitals Department to the Repatriation Department of 8 January 1936 noted that:

On 19/12/35 he collapsed following a period of continued excitement and died on 20/12/35 from pulmonary oedema – 1 day, chronic mania and exhaustion – indefinite.

Martin O’Meara’s life story is told in my biography of him, published early this year. Click here for further information.