This article was published in Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 7, (MUP), 1979
Patrick Joseph Bugden (1897-1917), soldier, was born on 17 March 1897 at South Gundurimba, New South Wales, eldest child of Thomas Bugden, farmer, and his wife Annie, née Connolly, both native-born. His father died when Bugden was 6, leaving four children; and his mother remarried. Educated at Gundurimba Public School and the convent school at Tatham, he later worked for his stepfather as a barman at the Federal Hotel, Alstonville; outgoing and popular, he excelled at football, cricket and shot-putting. Before joining the Australian Imperial Force he completed twelve months military training under the compulsory scheme introduced in 1911.
Bugden enlisted in the A.I.F. as a private on 25 May 1916, trained at Enoggera in Queensland, and in September embarked for the Western Front with 31st Battalion reinforcements. He joined the unit on 19 March 1917 at Bapaume and served there until the end of May. On 26 September the battalion took part in the second phase of the battle of Polygon Wood. As it advanced towards its objective the leading platoons were swept by fierce machine-gun fire from a group of pillboxes. Bugden was in a small party sent forward to attack the first strong point: successfully 'silencing the machine-gun with bombs', he 'captured the garrison at the point of the bayonet'. In the next two days he performed several similar acts of gallantry, each of which contributed to the battalion's advance. Once, single-handed, he rescued a corporal who was being taken to the German lines, and at least five times he dashed out into intense shell and machine-gun fire to bring in wounded. 'Always foremost in volunteering for any dangerous mission', he was killed on 28 September. For his bravery during the preceding two days Bugden was awarded a posthumous Victoria Cross. He was buried in Hooge Crater cemetery, Zillebeke, Belgium. He was unmarried.
N. S. Foldi, 'Bugden, Patrick Joseph (1897–1917)', Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/bugden-patrick-joseph-5418/text9187, published in hardcopy 1979, accessed online 2 October 2014.
This article was first published in hardcopy in Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 7, (MUP), 1979