David Emmett COYNE 

31st Infantry Battalion, AIF

Sergeant, Regimental No. 3347.

Died of wounds, 15 May 1918, Vaire-Sous-Corbie, France.

Biographical Details

Born: 14 March 1896 at Marian via Mackay, QLD, Australia.

Father: David Emmet COYNE.

Mother: Anne HUGHES.

Marital Status: Single.

Education: State School, Queensland.

Occupation: Farmer.


Service and Enlistment Details

Enlisted on 25 January 1916 at Rockhampton, QLD.

Address at Enlistment: ?.

Embarkation Details: Embarked Overseas on

4 May 1916 with 31st  Battalion,

7th  Reinforcements at Brisbane, QLD on

Ship H.M.A.T. A49 "Seang Choon".

Cause of Death: Died of Wounds on

15 May 1918 while serving with 31st  Battalion at Vaire-Sous-Corbie, France at the age of 22 years.

Burial place: Vignacourt British Cemetery, France, Portion II, Row D, Grave No. 6.

Next of Kin:  Father, David Coyne, Marian, Mackay, QLD.

Religion: Roman Catholic.


Commemorative Details


Panel 118,  Australian War Memorial;

Mackay Cenotaph;

Mackay Old Town Hall Honour Board;

Marian Community Hall Honour Board;

Pinnacle Playhouse Honour Board;

Coyne Street, South Mackay;



David Coyne was awarded the Albert Medal in Gold the only member of the A.I.F. to receive the award. 


The Award citation reads:

"At Vaire-sous-Corbie at 9.30pm on the 15-5-18, Sergeant Coyne was in a platoon post in the support lines.  Being doubtful of the quality of some Mills Grenades in the trench, he decided to test some by throwing one over the parapet.  He did so but by some mischance or other the grenade fell back into the trench amongst a Lewis Gun team.

Coyne cried "go for your lives boys, the bomb is in the trench" and endeavoured to find the bomb in order to throw it out of the trench .

Owing to the darkness he could not put his hand on the bomb, which had rolled some little distance away.  Realising the fate of his mates who had got clear of the trench, he threw himself on top of the bomb, which exploded, inflicting on him injuries from which he has since died.  The last words to the men around him were "I laid on the bomb, I thought you didnt have time to get out".  He undoubtedly sacrificed his life in orderto save those of his comrades around him.  It was a splendid example of cold blooded bravery."


Other Sources/Acknowledgements:  



If you can supply any further information or photographs on the above please contact us by EMAIL.
  Mackay Historical Society


Mackay Historical Society and Museum Incorporated 2001-2011.
Page created 06 May 2011.
last updated 07 May 2011 .
Site maintained by Glen Hall