Friday, April 22, 2011

Not Just Ned

Today I visited the excellent Not Just Ned exhibition at the National Museum of Australia.

Highlights for me were
•The Australia House dolls house given to Lord Belmore's (13th Governor 1866 - 1872) 5 children & taken back to Ireland
•A beat as a policeman - I wish my police ancestors had kept a scrapbook of newspaper clippings about himself like Constable Thomas Waldron
•The video "Live at the Quiet Man" traditional music & dance.
•All the Kelly gang armour together.

I also liked the Ancestors of Jeff & Karen Toohey printed family tree with the use of colour to show born overseas (with small flag of country) or Australian born.

You can search for your family on computers provided & there were several people available to help. You can also search at home on

So definitely worth a visit. The Irish seem to feature in every part of Australian life!!

While you're there it's also worth checking out the other exhibits as well.


Thursday, April 21, 2011

Hugh O'Brien at the Australian War Memorial

Visiting Canberra went to the Australian war memorial. Excellent displays & tour. Placed a poppy for Hugh O'Brien on the wall. So many names. So many families impacted.

Picked up tickets for Anzac day service on Monday.

My First post using blogpress app - hope it looks OK.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

In memory of Hugh O'Brien

My Great Uncle Hugh O'Brien of 9th Battalion Australian Imperial Force was killed in action 23 July 1916.  He is remembered with honour on the Villers Bretonneux Memorial in France.

His WW1 file is available on the National Archives of Australia website.

Hugh arrived in Brisbane, Australia from Ireland in January 1912 with his sister Bridget.  He then nominated his father Hugh, brother Richard and sisters Ellen & Maria who arrived in Brisbane, Australia in December 1913.  At the time Hugh was working for the Woodford & Kilcoy Railway.

Hugh enlisted 7 October 1915.  He embarked from Brisbane on the HMAT Kyarra on 3 January 1916.  Passing through Colombo, Alexandria & Marseilles he joined the 9th Battalion in France in May 1916.  He was killed within 2 months.  From the 3rd Brigade Diary available on the Australian War Memorial website we learn a total of 15 officers and 348 other ranks from the 9th Battalion were killed, wounded or missing between 19 July and 26 July 1916 in fighting near Pozieres.

Following Hugh's death his father Hugh & his sister Maria (my grandmother) received a pension.  I understand he had been supporting them prior to his death. 

Hugh's Victory Medal was received by his brother John O'Brien in 1923.  With the death of my great grandfather Hugh O'Brien in 1922 the medal needed to be claimed by Hugh's eldest brother John who was residing in the USA even though there were 3 sisters and a brother in Australia at that time.

Sadly we do not have any photos of Hugh O'Brien.

Lest we Forget

Sunday, April 3, 2011

My Australian Irish research in words

Using Wordle to really easily display family names, places and research tools with a focus on my Irish Australian family links.