Tuesday, April 25, 2017

JOHN FRANCIS WALSH - GALLIPOLI 100+ YEARS ON




JOHN FRANCIS WALSH - GALLIPOLI 100 YEARS ON...





I first became aware of the Three Young Men from Charters Towers, whilst doing research 
(2002-2015) on Samuel William HARRY whose life was detailed in 2015. You may read Samuel's story here. Hugh Quinn the second (who had Quinns Post named after him) had his story told here...these two men were mates in Charters Towers, Queensland. They had many common interests too. But, there was also a third young man, whose name was John Francis Walsh.

One of the main reasons for doing John's story last, was that I truly believed that it would be difficult to tell his story. But, I was so, so wrong.



MAJOR JOHN FRANCIS WALSH


John Francis Walsh was the third son of John Walsh and Ellen Buckley born 1 February 1890 in Charters Towers. He had three brothers, Edward Peter, Robert Joseph, William John and an elder sister Mary Catherine Walsh. John was educated at the Boys' Central State School, Charters Towers and went on to the Townsville Grammar School, Townsville. 


Boys' Central State School, Charters Towers

http://www.bonzle.com/pictures-over-time/pictures-taken-in-1904/page-4/size-3/picture-d7rl5ng1/charters-towers/students-and-staff-gathered-outside-boys-central-state-school-charters-towers-1904 (Accessed 25 April 2017)


He became a Forwarding & Customs Agent (A person that organises shipments for individuals or corportations to get goods from the customer to a market or final point of distribution, used widely in the area of shipping consignments). As such he travelled between Cairns and Townsville in this position. He had a great life and was involved in the St. Monica's Amateur Dramatic Society along with his fiance Angela Theresa Hogan (known as Tess Hogan) they had become engaged on Saturday the 13th December 1913.  

Engagement Notice
"Town & Country" Cairns Post (Qld. : 1909 - 1954) 
13 December 1913: 6. Web. 25 Apr 2017 


Tess was a music teacher, who worked for one of the local schools. She was also a fine singer, appearing in musical productions for many years.


MUSICAL ANNOUNCEMENT. (1913, January 21). 
Cairns Post (Qld. : 1909 - 1954), p. 4. 
Retrieved April 25, 2017, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article39924274




Edmonton Concert. (1919, July 24). 
Cairns Post (Qld. : 1909 - 1954), p. 4. 
Retrieved April 25, 2017, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article40338912


Tess was a well loved part of the Walsh family in Charter's Towers as evidenced in the social news of the time:

1914 'SOCIAL ITEMS.', 
The Northern Miner (Charters Towers, Qld. : 1874 - 1954), 5 December, p. 7. ,
 viewed 25 Apr 2017, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article85477976


John's first commission was dated 22nd February 1909, as 2nd. Lieutenant, and as Lieutenant on, the 8th May, 1911. He became Captain on 22nd. April 1912, at the creditably early age of twenty-two, he embarked for duty on the 8th August 1914 in Cairns, traveling to Thursday Island (War Station) Garrison Duty. He enlisted for duty 'outside Australia' on the 14th August 1914 in the Kennedy Regiment, and when the regiment was mobilised and sent to Thursday Island, he accompanied them aboard the Kanowna on the 16th August 1914, to take part in the capture of German New Guinea. He did not take part in this 'capture' due to a mutiny of the crew occuring, (but that's another story).



The unit was disbanded on the 18th September 1914, when volunteers were called for service in the Pacific, he was amongst the first of them, as had been Hugh Quinn and Samuel William Harry, and on the return of  the Kanowna to Townsville, he, also with the others of North Queensland's best, offered their services abroad and they were eagerly accepted. 



From the Cairns Post (Qld. : 1909 - 1954), Thursday 6 May 1915, page 4

THE LATE CAPTAIN WALSH.

Killed in Action.

A painful sensation was caused in Cairns on Wednesday when it was known that the late Area Ofiicer of this district had been killed in action at the Dardanelles. The keenest regret was everywhere expressed, and many tributes to the deceased officers worth were heard on all sides. Speaking on the subject, Lieutenant N. P. Draper said, "Walsh was undoubtedly the smartest' officer in the Kennedy Regiment. He was always enthusiastic, and a power of strength to any of the officers who had the pleasure of serving with him. On the late expedition to New Guinea he proved his theoretical knowledge in actual practice. His ever cheerful nature and constant anxiety. for the comfort of his men gained him the respect of all ranks."

John Francis Walsh was just over twenty-five years of age, having been born on the 1st. February, 1890. His first commission was dated 22nd February 1909, as 2nd. Lieutenant, and as Lieutenant on, the 8th May, 1911. He became Captain on 22nd. April 1912, at the creditably early age of twenty-two. He sailed for Egypt among, the Second Contingent, with the rank of Lieutenant, under which he is referred to in the official cas-ualty list. His inclustion in this Fifth Division at the Dardenalles proves that that Division is not exclusively composed of First Contingent men.

In private life the late Captain Walsh enjoyed the esteem of all who knew. him. He won his way by merit, not by bluster. In addition to his military duties he was an active participant in the social amenities of. Cairns, and his Work in connection with St. Monica's Amateur Dramatic Society will long be remembered. He was a member of a well-known Charters Towers family, and was engaged to a highly-respected Cairns young lady. To all the bereaved, relatives the most earnest sympathy is extended.
This, so far as is known, is the first Cairns casualty in actual warfare. We must face the fact that it will not be.the last.

A Requiem Mass will be held at St.. Monica's on Saturday morning.

An excellent likeness of the late Captaln Walsh will be published in next week's "Northern Herald."


Studio portrait of Captain John Francis Walsh

15th Battalion from Charters Towers, Queensland. Recruited in May 1907 into the 2nd Infantry, he was promoted to Sergeant in June 1908 and commissioned a Second Lieutenant in February 1909. Later promotions saw him a Lieutenant on 8 May 1911 and a Captain on 22 April 1912. He embarked for Garrison Duty on Thursday Island on 8 August 1914, was transferred to the Australian Naval and Military Expeditionary Force (AN&MEF) as a Captain on 14 August 1914 and embarked for New Guinea two days later. He joined the AIF as a 24 year old on 28 September 1914 and embarked for overseas with A Company, 15th Battalion from Melbourne on 22 December 1914 aboard HMAT Ceramic. After being promoted to Major on 1 February 1915, he was killed in action at Gallipoli on 28 April 1915 and is commemorated on the Lone Pine Memorial, Gallipoli, Turkey with others who have no known grave.
Source: https://www.awm.gov.au/collection/H16803/ (Accessed 25 April 2017)

Lone Pine - Memorial_walsh-jf-hs-00


The effects of Major John Francis were despatched via the Kanowna on the 20th October 2015.  The very ship that had transported him to Gallipoli was now taking his belongings back to Australia.  The contents are listed here:

As if losing her son wasn't bad enough...the army then requested this information, even after Ellen Walsh was named 'next of kin' on all his paperwork.  Ellen than had to contest the bureaucracy of the army...

They wanted to give the medals to his deceased father...John Walsh. They wanted a 'nearer blood relations'.  The sadest part of this story is that by the time the medals were 'awarded' Ellen Walsh had died.



WALSH
Major John Francis

A Company, 15th Battalion, Australian Imperial Force

Born 1st February,1890 at Charters Towers, Queensland, Australia
[Birth certificate: 90/006950 Qld]

Educated: Boys' Central State School, Charters Towers; Townsville Grammar School, Townsvile, Queensland

Single; Forwarding agent and [Military] Area Officer, of Cairns and Townsville, Queensland

Next of Kin listed as: Father; John Walsh. Mother; Ellen Walsh (nee Buckley), of Corner of Jane & Stubley Streets, Charters Towers Qld.

Photos of Major Walsh are known to exist in the following locations: 
Townsville Grammar School Magazine Mar 1916 p179. Group photo Chataway facing p18 & facing p27. Brisbane Daily Mail 6 May 1915 p4. Sydney Mail 19 May 1915 p8

Source:http://www.anzacs.org/pages/AOwalsh.html (Accessed 25 April 2017)





LEST WE FORGET