Phil Cleary's view on Australian politics, people, vfl and afl football, music, history and literature Phil Cleary's view on Australian politics, people, vfl and afl football, music, history and literature Phil Cleary's view on Australian politics, people, vfl and afl football, music, history and literature

Phil Cleary's view on Australian politics, people, vfl and afl football, music, history and literature
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Phil Cleary's view on Australian politics, people, vfl and afl football, music, history and literature Phil Cleary's view on Australian politics, people, vfl and afl football, music, history and literature
Phil Cleary's view on Australian politics, people, vfl and afl football, music, history and literature
Phil Cleary's view on Australian politics, people, vfl and afl football, music, history and literature Phil Cleary's view on Australian politics, people, vfl and afl football, music, history and literature Home : History Phil Cleary's view on Australian politics, people, vfl and afl football, music, history and literature

 

 

JOHN O'MEARA GOES TO THE GREAT WAR

A trade union man from Brunswick

JOHN Francis O'Meara was a 23-year-old driver, living at 30 Marion Street, Fitzroy when he joined the AIF on 4 February 1916. On 18 February 1916 he was aboard the Ballarat as is sailed for Europe, via Egypt. A staunch defender of the working man, he was, from 1930 until 1950 employed at James Marsh and Sons - manufacturers of sheet metal - 29-47 Villiers Street, Nth Melbourne. He was, of course, a trade unionist. His single fronted house at 1 Gray Street, Brunswick looks the same as when my grandmother - his niece - used to take me there in the early 1960s.

He married May Roberts, a divorcee and aunty to my grandmother (Dorian).

 

A blast of shrapnel left John with damaged hearing. According to the official records the order to disband John O'Meara's 12th battalion (previously the 21st battalion) on 25 September 1918 was met with a mutiny that led to the order being withdrawn. Its last battle was at Montbrehan on October 5.

 

This photo from Beatrice - no surname - was received in Le Harvre on 20/9/18 and ended with the words 'and a big x'. Were they intimate?

 

Received at Serepeaun, Egypt, 24/2/16, from Alexander William Doyle. The engine driver son of James Doyle, Alexander, No 3036, D Company, was from Katunga, near Gympie in Queensland and had embarked on the Itonus on 30/12/15.

Doyle wrote 'to my old Pal Jack, 4th Pioneer Division, 4th Division'.

 

3/3/18

This letter appears to be written by Jack O'Meara .

He mentions spending the night talking with Jack Royal and 'longing to be home'. Was he the same John Albert Royal, 7th battalion, driver, of 234 Donald Street, East Brunswick, who travelled on the Ceramic (23/11/15) with Sydney Ernest Knowles. see below.

 

This is the cover of the above letter. It reads`Souvenir from the Western Front battle of the Somme 1918'.

 

Sydney Ernest Knowles - no 3802 - lived at 48 Arden Street, Nth Melbourne, enlisted on 13/7/15 and embarked on the Ceramic on 13/7/15. His 14th battalion suffered heavy losses at Bullecourt and was under the command of John Monash.

 

The photo sent home by Syd Knowles.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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