Sunday, November 6, 2016

The Gundpowder Plot - Guy Fawkes Night The Origins & Why It's Still Celebrated Today

Who remembers Guy Fawkes Night?  Back in the 1950's and 60's it became commonplace with the development of the quarter acre blocks of homes being developed. Every 5th of November families would gather around for the spectacular effects of the fireworks.

We used to have pinwheels shooting from the fence, roman wheels, penny bangers making lots of noise and was fun. Regulations regarding fireworks is a state issue. It got banned by most states in Australia in the 1980's by the governments of the country because too many people were getting injured by the fireworks. Currently, the only states to allow fireworks are the Northern Territory and Tasmania.

Fireworks in London 1952

But where did this all originate from and why did it remain such a tradition for families?

It became known as the Gunpowder Plot of 1605.  But in earlier centuries it was often called the Gunpowder Treason Plot or even the Jesuit Treason.  It came about as a failed assassination attempt against King James I of England and VI of Scotland. The group responsible for this failed attack were provincial English Catholics led by Robert Catesby.

The group of plotters first met on the 20th May 1604. Robert Catesby was joined by some friends, Thomas Wintour, Jack Wright and Thomas Percy.  They met at the Duck and Drake, located in the Strand. A fifth person was Guy Fawkes. Fawkes was from York but he had been recruited by the group from Flanders, He had relevant experience, having already served in the Spanish army.

A plan was hatched to blow up Parliament House in Westminster and to this end they leased a small house located in the centre of Westminster, where Fawkes was placed as a caretaker, using the alias of John Johnson.

Parliament had been postponed to not sit again until the 5th November 1605.  In the meantime, the group had increased to a total of ten.  Robert Keyes, Robert Wintour, John Grant and Kit Wright were all related to the original members and one other was a servant of Catesby, Thomas Bates who was a very loyal servant and equally passionate to be involved.

In the March of 1605, the group proceeded to take out a lease of a ground floor cellar, which was located near the house they had rented earlier.  The cellar was positioned directly underneath the House of Lord.  They gradually moved in 36 barrels of gunpowder, which was enough to blow up everything in its vicinity, should it be ignited.

Guy Fawkes was rallying for support and went back to Flanders, where he was spotted by English spies, who reported his dealings.  A link was eventually made between Fawkes and Catesby. Still, more plotters were recruited, Ambrose Rookwood, Francis Tresham and Sir Everard Digby. The last two were of means and owned a large number of horses, which the plotters required to acquire for the plot to succeed.

The whole point of the uprising was to bring Elizabeth, daughter of King James I of England and VI of Scotland in as a puppet queen, to give the Catholics in England more empathy and religious tolerance. Which they felt had vanished during the reign of King James.

The plot was 'leaked' to the government via an anonymous letter on October 26th 1605. During a thorough search of the House of Lords, around midnight on the 4th November 1605, Guy Fawkes was caught 'red-handed' guarding the 36 barrels of gunpowder and he was arrested. Others tried to flee from London as they became aware of the arrest of Fawkes.  They were captured, Catesby was shot and killed along with another, during an altercation with the Sheriff of Worcester. Eight of the surviving plotters were tried on the 27th January 1606.  All were convicted to be hanged, drawn and quartered.

By Unknown (printed for P. Brooksby, I. Deacon, I. Blare, I. Back.) -, Public Domain,

Following the thwarting of the plot, Londoners were encouraged to celebrate the King's escape from assassination, by lighting bonfires and this tradition continues today.

To read more about this fascinating story go here.  I hope you have enjoyed reading the story behind the tradition.


Fiona Tellesson
Sharing the passion of family history
Chief Genealogist
Experts In Genealogy

Monday, October 10, 2016

How A Young Man From War-Torn Germany Found His Utopia On The Other Side Of The World Part Two

How A Young Man From War-Torn Germany Found His Utopia On The Other Side Of The World.

Continuing the story of Arno Josef Zapf born 3rd July 1932 in Staffelstein, Bavaria, Germany. See here for Part One, if you missed it or just want to refresh your memory.

Arno applied to the Australian Government for the opportunity to emigrate.  To do so he had to commit to the Australian Government for two years work.  He freely admitted that he had never heard of Australia and didn't even know where it was...He thought he was going to America...

The fares of the migrants were paid for by the Australian and West German Governments with assistance from the inter-governmental committee of the immigration scheme from Europe.  This scheme was backed by 22 nations of the world, including Australia and it operated from its headquarters in Geneva.

As part of the conditions, he undertook to  regularly attend the nearest free night class made available by the Australian Government for the purpose of providing migrants with instruction in the English language.

Clearly from the extract shown (below) he was thought of as a "Good strong type" by the person assessing his application. 

Whilst he did have his qualifications as an Electrician (see below), he had to apply to emigrate to Australia as a general labourer. Note the work "Reject" It reads Apprenticeship & Insufficient work experience as Ele Mechanic Tradesman - Reject all up as Electro Mech

He also had to supply referees in relation to the work he had been engaged in. There is a notation in black that indicates he was working in "house construction work". Given the post-war building boom that was occurring in Australia at this time, It always surprised me that they didn't accept his recent qualifications as an Electrician. The reason why he left his work is also noted as "Arbeitslos" or in English, "Unemployed". Jobs had become harder to find, Arno and his sister Brigitte were both unable to work in Germany.  Brigitte also emigrated, to Canada, she currently lives in Montreal.

Once this report had been received, Arno was then referred to have a chest x-ray to check for tuberculosis or TB as it was often referred to.  A local doctor also assessed him for general health issues too. Arno then had to wait for the "stamp of approval" to be accepted, to come to Australia. Once it arrived, it wasn't long before he was ready to leave his home, his siblings and his parents, his family support network.

Arno boarded the Fairsea in Bremerhaven on the 18th September 1953, it travelled through the Suez Canal, where Arno traded his traditional German Hat for a leather satchel, featuring the Pyramids of Egypt.  Which remains in the family today.  The ship docked in Naples, Italy.  By this time there were 1,890 passengers on board.  Like most cruises of today, there were daily newsletters shared

The ship landed in Fremantle, Western Australia on 18th October, where Arno disembarked.

Video below shows in detail the 'Fairsea' the ship on a journey from Bremerhaven to Quebec, Canada in September 1953, just prior to it's journey to Australia

MS Fairsea Bremerhaven to Quebec, Canada - September 1953

Front Page of The West Australian 19th October 1953
Source: Accessed 10 Oct 2016

                                      Source: Accessed 10 Oct 2016

He was then taken to Holden Migrant Holding Centre/Camp for processing.  This centre was located 96km (60 miles) from Perth.

What happens to Arno next...??? Where does he go and what adventures are ahead for him?

This story continues in part three, was this the 'Utopia' he was dreaming of???


Fiona Tellesson (nee Zapf)
Sharing the passion of family history
Chief Genealogist
Experts In Genealogy

Thursday, October 6, 2016

How A Young Man From War-Torn Germany Found His Utopia On The Other Side Of The World Part One

How a young man from war-torn Germany found his utopia on the other side of the world.

It's nine years today since my father passed away. This is his story.

Arno Josef Zapf was born on the 3rd July 1932 in Staffelstein, Bavaria, Germany.

Town Hall, Staffelstein

The fourth of seven children born to Lucia Hagenbarth and Hans Josef Zapf. He was a bright child, but world war two was about to change all of their lives. The family lived in the beautiful medieval town of Bamberg, with its gorgeous cobblestoned roads. Right in the middle of Bamberg, above the Bakery in Gruner Markt.

(Bamberg is a World Heritage Site, nominated by UNESCO in 1993. The city follows the early Medieval street plans, being laid out in the form of a cross with a church at each of the four points.)

From L-R Gisela, Heinrich, Arno, Brigitte
and Helmuth Zapf at the front c1936

It must have been extremely cramped. But, Arno never complained about that aspect of his childhood, except when the word 'Polenta' was mentioned, then he would tell us now much he hated it! Food was always a scarcity as Arno grew, his mother would spend all days in her kitchen, which was part of their living quarters.  On Shrove Tuesday, Lucia would spend the day grating a huge pot of potato to make Kartoffelpuffers (Potato Fritters). These were shallow-fried and had flour and egg added to the grated potato. Arno would then ensure that he won the competition, which was to eat the most number of Kartoffelpuffers, ending up always, with a sore stomach.

Bamberg was hit by bombing from the allied forces during 1945 in the dying stages of world war two. It was during this time when the US Troops were stationed in Bamberg that Arno was paid by the soldiers to assist them to remove the dead bodies from the damaged buildings.  During one of our walks in 1975, Arno showed me the buildings. Here is some rare footage (no sound) of the attack on the town of Bamberg on 15 April 1945.

Arno left school after eight years and started an apprenticeship as a hairdresser, which he didn't like at all.  He then became an apprenticed electrician in Bamberg (Firma, Deubert 1946 - 1950) and (Firma, Tempel 1951-1953) working in House construction.  But, this was now post-war Germany and once Arno finished his apprenticeship he became was a tough time.  He made a decision, he was going to emigrate to America.  So he started to explore this as a possibility.  

Arno in 1953 - Ready to explore the world

Where was Arno going to end up and was he (as his mother's favourite child) really going to leave the country of his birth? Come back for part two to see if he really did find his 'Utopia' on the other side of the world.


Fiona Tellesson (nee Zapf)
Sharing the passion of family history
Chief Genealogist
Experts In Genealogy

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

My Top Ten (10) Genealogy Tools

In August 2016 US bloggers James Tanner and Randy Seaver posted their top ten list for genealogy.
Pauleen Cass and now Jill Ball have done their Aussie choices.

Well, here are mine, taken from over twenty years of research using the internet.  Do you agree, or do you have your own favourites that you constantly refer back too?

Note these are in no particular order. Also, this is by no means a conclusive list, as there are far too many to list here...for all the best sites to see, visit Cyndi's List. - I've been a member since they started.  Since I use Family Tree Maker 2014 (and have done since FTM V2 1994), I now use the shakey leaves for clues, then go and prove the connections.  I am particularly enamoured with the DNA service since I had mine done whilst I was attending RootsTech2014. This has opened many more possibilities and is an exciting tool, even if I don't fully understand it all - yet!!!

I have loved (taken over by Ancestry and now, sadly a read-only site) since it was GenForum - you may find some genealogical research not located elsewhere as it goes back a long time in web years.

National Archives Australia - they a complete treasure trove there in their Record Search I happened to find my father's immigration record and downloaded the complete file, but since the amendment of the privacy act in 2000 access to these digital records has become limited. However, on the other hand, there have been some subsets of records that now have their own pages, to explore. Bringing Them Home - Name Index which is a list of index entries that point to Government records for Indigenous in the Northern Territory (1911 - 1978) and Victoria (approx 1860 - 1970). See the site for further information. I have managed to find lots of information on NAA to add 'meat' to the 'bone' of the family histories, that I've been researching and working on over the last 45+ years.

Discovering Our ANZAC's This was put together by the National Archives of Australia and Archives New Zealand.  Launched on the 28th October 2014 it contains all the digitised records from the Boer War and World War One.  Holding the records of 600,000 people, including 140,000 New Zealanders. (I was amongst the first to order a copy of my partner's grandfather's WW1 service history. You had to do this to get access to the digital they are all available.)

© National Archives of Australia 

Ryerson Index - My go-to site when I'm looking for recent deaths that may not be found in death indexes in the various states of Australia

SA Genealogy's South Australian Online Search - Some people I speak with who research, mainly on the east coast of Australia, have found research difficult in South Australia.  This is one of my fav sites...shhh it's our little secret...ok?!? 

Trove - what can I say about this awesome site...I'm addicted.  I have to allocate my time, or I'm on this site day and night...You may know it for the digitised newspapers of Australia, but also use it for pictures, archived websites (1996 - now), books, audio (found an audio of my partner's great aunt, well someone who had engaged with her during her working life, here in Australia) diaries and letters, etc.

Searching for those elusive Scottish Ancestors who landed in Australia and seemed to have walked on water to get here?  Then check out the Scottish Archive Network they have the 1852-1857 Highland and Islands Emigration Society Passenger Lists. You may just find that missing emigration information for the family tree.

Google Newspapers - The Sydney Morning Herald is available from the 1830's to 1980's and has been an invaluable aid for research for me as a professional.  It's also a great way to find out what was happening during a particular time. Search to find your preferred newspaper, (if it's here, otherwise check out Trove for Australian Newspapers). You never know what it is you may find.

Many Australians have links with 'Australian Royalty' CONVICTS. Once kept hidden within families at all costs, I've seen a complete switch in attitude, through the length of my research, with people now wishing them had a convict in their family.  Tasmania is rich in convict history.  The site that has made that research less difficult is LINC with the Tasmanian Name Index with a list of resources too numerous to mention here.  Go check this site out if you have any connections at all with Tasmania.

GADD Family of John GADD Convict Tasmania
Sarah GADD nee Manton with son George Henry GADD & his family

Well, clearly I cannot count!  I hope you have found something of interest in My Top Ten (10) Genealogy Tools.


Sharing the passion of family history
Chief Genealogist 
Experts In Genealogy

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Tell Your Own Story Too...Have You Digitised Your Own Photos?



Five days ago I was challenged through social media to share photos of myself.  They had to be more than 15 years old.  Well, that really was a challenge as ALL my physical photos are in storage and I haven't been able to scan them.  What little I have in digital form are not yet fifteen years old.  So it really was a challenge and one that I believed at the time couldn't be completed.  How wrong I was...

As I searched through my computer, I realised that I really needed to get my digital images sorted. How many of us have images scattered all over the place? This happens easily and before you know where you are, you have lost (maybe, temporarily at least) the ability to locate these images, when you require them. If you don't know where to begin, here are some ideal tips that will assist you to get started: Storing & Archiving Digital Photos

Anyway, I was having trouble finding pictures, that were more than 15 years old...finally, I found one, it was in the tribute that I put together for my father's funeral nearly nine years ago. It was the only christening photo that exists of me.  Why? You may well ask. Well, it turns out that Dad had his camera, full of photos of the happy event, he placed the camera down on a sideboard in my Grandmother's house.  Someone came along and took it...seriously, how could someone do that??? But the sad truth is that they did and it meant that all but one photo, taken by my Godfather survives to this day.

So, day one was done but was I going to make it to day two and beyond...I started is what I found...after searching through the PC to locate any picture images...lucky I had scanned a heap of photos in a concentrated effort after a Family Reunion several years ago.

Day Two: Was a picture taken out the front of 25 Hunter Street, Richmond, Victoria, with my Aunt Dianne Watson nee Harry. The same place as the first photo, but taken on a different angle and a few years later, before my Aunt married.  The beautiful cottage in the background was bulldozed over ten years ago and it is now the site of a modern architectural wonder. It was a toss up between that photo and the photo of me as a flower girl in my Aunt's Wedding picture. Here they both are...

This was beginning to be a bit of it truly made me realise that I need to sort my digital images sooner, rather than later. So I started to find photos of me.  Do you or have you, started to tell your story? If you are like me, you've started to tell your family's story...but what about you???  The best person to tell your story is YOU...start now, get it done.  It will be one of the hardest stories you tell.  But you can tell it on your terms, how you remember it.  That is the best!

Moving onto day three, by this time I'd found so many pictures to share, I had a tough time deciding how to do it..and what to share...but once I found this picture, I knew I had to share it...

This was taken on my seventh birthday, we lived in Bessie Street, South Oakleigh, Victoria at the time.  The party was after school and attending the party was my BFF Lyn McCullogh, myself, my brother Karl (Dec'd) and a neighbour whose name was Deborah (can't remember her family name, she moved to Canberra, shortly after) her mum had forgotten about the party, so she came in her school uniform.  We had fun and one gift I was given was a colour picture, autographed (printed) of the Beatles.  I was in heaven...sadly the picture went missing later that year when we moved to Carrum, Victoria.

Well, it was now time to move on, to colour photos...once I found this, I knew it was 'next'. Taken ten years after the last photo that I shared.  I was now in form six (year 12) doing HSC (Higher School Certificate) and shortly after this was taken, was living in Germany. Life was exciting and I had the opportunity presented to me to stay in Germany to live and work there.  (I am a dual citizen by birth) But, I was torn, finally deciding to come back to Australia and begin my working life. So I started working at the State Bank Victoria as a clerk/teller.

Just after I started working in the State Bank Victoria, I met my partner.  I used to attend Square Dancing Nights, which kept me fit. Doing the four brackets of dances, as they were called meant that I was super energised.  We both enjoyed Square Dancing and began to attend conventions, wearing matching was a lovely time shared. We got engaged and married within twelve months of meeting, actually, it was eleven months, but who's counting?  This day arrived with dark clouds hanging overhead.  But just after this photo was taken, the sun shone through as I entered the church. As money was tight, well when hasn't it been, I picked up this gorgeous bridal gown, from Katies Bridal Boutique in Melbourne, CBD.  It cost $50 (which was one-tenth of the average Bridal Gown of the day).  I put it on Lay-by (which is how many items were paid off before credit cards became the norm) as it was the last one of it's kind and it fitted like it had been custom made for me.  

Well, that is a very shortened version of my first twenty years.  I have lots of work to do and paperwork and photographs to follow up with. I've included some links to help get you started.
Have FUN & ENJOY!!!



Sharing the passion of family history
Chief Genealogist 
Experts In Genealogy

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Thomas Keith Tellesson (Dr)

Thomas Keith Tellesson (Dr)

8th July 1927 - 9th August 1986

Keith as he was known to all his friends and family, (except of course to his father, he was always addressed as Thomas) was born to George Robert Tellesson and Ethel May Speechley on the 8th of July 1927 in Ashfield, New South Wales.  He was the middle son, of the three boys born to George & Ethel.


His life was typical of the period, until the day his uncle Tom married in the front room of the modest house at 173 Avoca Street, Randwick, New South Wales.  At the same time, elsewhere in the house George Robert Tellesson, (Keith's father) died after suffering a cerebral haemorrhage [stroke] & arteriosclerosis [hardening of medium and large arteries].

Life was a bit of a struggle for the family after this, but the other family members stepped up and assisted Ethel with raising the three boys.

Keith went on to study medicine at Sydney University and graduated in the early 1950's along with his brother Bill and eventual sister-in-law Patricia Svenson.

Getting engaged in 1950 to Nancy Luchetti, life couldn't have been better! They went on to have three sons and one daughter.

Moving to Cohuna, Keith bought a part of a medical practice and the family went about their business. Eventually, they moved on to Midura. Sadly they split and both Keith and Nancy remarried, Nancy moved to Kangaroo Island with her second husband, Les Giddings. Keith moved to Leopold, near Geelong on the Bellarine Peninsula, with his second wife.  He took up running and competed in the famous Melbourne Marathon, from Frankston to Melbourne. When he wasn't working in his General Practice, he was often found Nordic Skiing up in the mountains around Mount Hotham.

Sadly he didn't make it back one day, thirty years ago.  He was killed on Mount Feathertop, 9th August 1986. He is missed and most certainly never forgotten.

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Genealogy Blog Party Theme for April 2016: Time Travel to an Ancestor!


Elizabeth O'Neal has put forward this brilliant idea - it's a Genealogy Blog Party - here is her post - Join the April 2016 Genealogy Blog Party! (posted on 13th April 2016) on the Little Bytes of Life 

I've never viewed "Doctor Who"...but how could I knock back the invitation...I'm excited to join this party.

  • Who is the ancestor you will meet?
I would love to catch up with George TELLESSON an illiterate Norwegian Merchant Mariner who was born in Norway in 1837.  He is the 2xGGrandfather of my partner.

  • What question(s) do you need him/her to answer?
What are the names of your parents? Do you have a brother by the name of Thomas?

  • Is there a problem you can help your ancestor solve?
Where were you in the 1851 & 1861 UK Census?

  • Will you reveal your true identity to your ancestor? If so, how will your visit impact the future?
No...I don't want to change history...

  • Will you bring your ancestor to the future to meet his/her descendants? What will be the outcome, if you do?
No...I wouldn't bring George to the future...I would take my phone and take some pictures...


Now...for the curious...why have I asked those questions???
I'm not 100% certain of who George's parents are. The names given in his marriage certificate on his second marriage have given me some clues, but it is not the definitive answer.

On the first marriage certificate, there is further information given re George's father's details. (Note: it was many, many years until I confirmed that this was my George Tellesson...) the name given was obviously written down by the priest who married George and Elizabeth.

In regards to the question of whether or not he had a brother called Thomas - George's first son named George Robert Australia TELLESSON.  Thomas TELLESSON is believed to have come to Australia prior to the birth of George Robert Australia TELLESSON.  Note: the 'Australia' part of his name has never been noted in any further documents.

I have found a Thomas TELLESON who appears in the records of marriages, births and deaths.  His children have similar names to that of George's too and had followed similar careers to that of George's children and grand children.

Looking forward to seeing if there are any of Thomas's descendants out there.  
Thank you to Elizabeth O'Neal, for hosting this awesome party.

Fiona Tellesson
Sharing the passion of Genealogy & Family History.
Chief Genealogist
Experts In Genealogy

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Major Hugh Quinn - The Man Behind Quinn's Post Gallipoli Turkey WW1

Major Hugh Quinn - The Man Behind Quinn's Post Gallipoli Turkey WW1

I first became aware of Quinn's Post whilst doing research on Samuel William HARRY whose life was detailed last year. You may read Samuel's story here. Samuel William Harry and Hugh Quinn were boyhood friends...pals in Charters Towers, Queensland. They had many common interests too. This is the story of Major Hugh Quinn - the man behind Quinn's Post Gallipoli.

Major Hugh Quinn, eldest son of John Quinn and Mary Jane Irwin

Early Life of Hugh Quinn

He started out in his working life by taking up a position in Messrs. Cummins and Campbell's office and  worked  himself up to head clerk. He became a prominent athlete and proved himself one of  the best amateur  boxers in North Queensland. He was full of energy, perseverance and initiative, a manly man, and had a host of admirers among the Charters Towers youth. 

He followed up his profession of accountancy by qualifying for a membership in the North  Queensland Institute of Accountants, and shortly afterwards opened up a business of his own  in Townsville as accountant, auditor, and commission agent, and was on the high road to  commercial success. He had become the head clerk at Messrs. Cummins and  Campbell’s  when he resigned, to start his own business as a commission agent in Townsville, where he  was prospering when the war broke out. Holding a lieutenancy in the  Kennedy Regiment, he  closed his  business  promptly, and when the regiment was mobilised and sent to Thursday  Island, he  accompanied  them.  When volunteers were called for  service in the Pacific, he  was amongst  them, and on the return of  the  Kanowna to Townsville, he, with others of North  Queensland's best, offered for services abroad and was eagerly accepted. Anyone who knew  Hughie personally would expect him to answer the call of the country and Empire, as soon as  he was relieved from the garrison duty on Thursday Inland he was off. 
As he had held a captain's commission in the Kennedy Regiment he received the command of the 2nd Section of the  Australian Expeditionary  Force  which left Townsville for the training  camp at Enoggera in 1914. That he displayed the ability to lead men and had the courage of  the true soldier is evidenced by his rapid promotion on the field to the rank of major.

 He was 27 years of age he was a capable, cool, and fearless  officer, careful of the comfort  of his men, a soldier to  the  finger-tips, full of the Irish fighting  spirit. He was a worthy son of  a fighting race, the traditions of  which, as his letters to his mother show, he was proud of the  opportunity to uphold. Irlsh-Australians in reading these letters, so full of total devotion, will  rejoice in his deeds, and cherish his memory. As he was  promoted  to the rank of major on  the battlefield had he lived would have won much higher distinctions. 
Major Hugh Quinn was also one of Queensland’s leading athletes and was a champion amateur boxer.



 General regret was felt throughout the city last Friday when it became known that that young, popular  officer, Major Hughie Quinn was killed in action in the Gallipoli Peninsula. The sympathy of all went out to  his relatives, particularly to his mother, who at the present time is visiting another son in Southern  Queensland. Staff-Sergeant Major Blake had the trying duty of conveying the sad news to the uncle and  aunt, Mr and Mrs. Archie Irwin, Reefer's Arms Hotel. Flags were half-mast throughout the city out of  respect for the memory of one of the native born arid who had he lived,
would have given greater proof of the undoubted ability he possessed as a leader of men. He certainly  gave great promise of attaining to high place in military life. He was a popular as well as a capable officer  and the loss of such men as Hughie Quinn becomes a distinct loss to the Empire, All who came in contact  with Hughie as a boy and a man fully appreciated his worth.

Source: "UNION OF QUINN’ S POST" Daily Post (Hobart, Tas. : 1908 - 1918) 15 November 1915: 7. Web. 24 Apr 2016 .

Shrapnel Valley Cemetery


Visting the Spirit of Anzac in February 2016 I was shocked when I came upon an artifact retreived from Quinn's Post.  It was a Corrugated Iron Trench Cover (Quinn's Post). The description was as follows: Although this corrugated iron cover was overlaid with a layer of earth and sandbags, it was peppered with shrapnel and gunshot holes after the position was subjected to intense fire.

Corrugated Iron Trench Cover - Quinn's Post


Quinn's Post today is one of the 25 Northern War Cemeteries and one of the 14 battlefield sites that can be visited today.

Here is what it looks like today...

Shutterstock Images

"My spot will be long remembered by Australians." ~ Major Hugh Quinn 1915

I'm honoured to be able to commemerate Major Hugh Quinn.  He left behind his widowed mother Mary Jane Quinn nee Irvine and his brother Frank (Francis Arthur Quinn).  Frank married in 1916 and in 1918 his son was born and yes he was named Hugh Francis Quinn.

Fiona Tellesson
25th April 2016

Friday, April 22, 2016



Samuel William HARRY

Every ANZAC Day there would be a ceremony held at the State School I attended. I would hear about Simpson and his Donkey and his gallant efforts to rescue the wounded soldiers fighting on the narrow peninsula, then known as the Dardanelles. (From, Wikipedia…The Dardanelles, formerly known as Hellespont, is a narrow strait in northwestern Turkey connecting the Aegean Sea to the Sea of Marmara. It is one of the Turkish Straits, along with its counterpart, the Bosporus.) I always felt I had a connection…but to my knowledge, as a 7/8 yr old, I didn’t know of any family member, nor extended family member who had fought at Gallipoli.
Then in my early 20’s a cousin printed up a family history of the HARRY family. In that, there was mention of a Samuel William Harry who had died in Gallipoli…I was hooked. I had to find out EVERYTHING about Samuel William HARRY, who was my first cousin 4Xremoved. This is what Peter Reid wrote in the Harry Family History: “Samuel is known to have come to Australia from Cornwall, England and settled in Queensland, where his descendants still reside. A son of Samuel’s, Captain Samuel William HARRY, was killed in action in the First World War.” It was not a lot to go on, but it was all I had at the time and it was going to be many years until I unraveled the whole story, this is what I discovered.
Samuel William HARRY was the youngest child of eight from Samuel William HARRY & Sarah Hannah PORRITT. He was born in Pennsylvania, USA on Thursday 09 Feb 1882. Samuel William HARRY Snr, was a miner, as a skilled miner he traveled the world along with his family seeking work during the 19th Century, hence the children were born in England, Ireland and the USA. The family appears in the UK Census of 1851, 1861, 1871 and the US Census of 1880, before Samuel William HARRY jnr was born.

1880 US Census – Family of Samuel William Harry Snr
Samuel William HARRY, along with his parents & some siblings, moved to Charters Towers when he was aged 7yrs in 1889. He was educated at the Boys’ Central State School. He was already a member of the command in the local Senior Cadets at the outbreak of war, he had served for four years as a Commissioned Officer in 2nd Infantry.

Samuel William Harry jnr was mobilised for service in the war in August 1914. He embarked in Cairns, Queensland on the 8th August 1914, for Thursday Island, (War Station) Garrison Duty. Samuel then went on to enlist for service outside Australia on the 14th August 1914. He re-embarked on the “Kanonwa” to take part in the capture of German New Guinea. Taken on the strength of Australian Naval and Military Expeditionary Force (AN&MEF) vide routine order number 1 dated 9th September 1914. He returned to Townsville on the 18th September 1914 on account of the trouble caused by the firemen on the troop ship.
According to Wikipedia – During August and September 1914, Kanowna was requisitioned by the Australian military to transport 1,000 soldiers to German New Guinea as part of the Australian Naval and Military Expeditionary Force. Sailing late from Townsville on 8 August, however, the ship was forced to anchor off Thursday Island until 16 August, and did not arrive off Port Moresby until 6 September. The expeditionary force sailed the next day for Rabaul, but Kanowna fell behind the rest of the convoy, with the ship’s master signalling to HMAS Sydney that his crew had mutinied: the boiler stokers and firemen had stopped work. In Arthur Jose’s Royal Australian Navy-focused volume of the Official History of Australia in the War of 1914–1918, he claims that the mutiny was because these men refused to leave Australian waters, but Tom Frame and Kevin Baker state in ‘Mutiny!’ that this is incorrect; the troopship was on short rations of food and water because of the delays sailing north and only minimal resupply in Port Moresby, but the stokers and firemen were requesting more water to remain hydrated in the hot boiler rooms and to wash off coal grime and refused to work until this demand was met. The workers were taken into the custody of a party of soldiers, and the force’s commander ordered Kanowna to return to Townsville, with soldiers volunteering to keep the ship running. The Australian Commonwealth Naval Board conducted an inquiry into the mutiny, even though as a civilian vessel, Kanowna technically wasn’t under their jurisdiction. The state of the supplies was seen as a major contributing factor to the sailors’ actions. Kanowna was returned to her owners on 21 September 1915. More about this campaign can be found at
Samuel William HARRY did not participate in the capture of German New Guinea. He was discharged on the 18th September 1914 and classified as being eligible for the British War Medal vide BRM 52/572, his rank at this time was that of a 2nd Lieutenant.

History of Service
Further history of the Kennedy Regiment that Samuel William Harry served in can be found at
HARRY, Samuel William Town Hall, Charters Towers, North Queensland Embarkations:
From Melbourne, Victoria on board Transport A40 Ceramic on 22 December 1914

Troops waiting to board HMAT Ceramic –
Samuel William HARRY
Date of birth 9 February 1882
Religion Church of England
Occupation Town clerk
Address Town Hall, Charters Towers, North Queensland
Marital status Single
Age at embarkation 32
Next of kin Mother, Mrs S H Harry, Windsor Terrace, Red Hill, Red Hill, Brisbane, Queensland
Previous military service 4 years commissioned rank in 2nd Infantry (Kennedy Regt).
Enlistment Date 28 September 1914
Rank on enlistment 2nd Lieutenant
Unit name 15th Battalion, D Company
AWM Embarkation Roll number 23/32/1
Embarkation details Unit embarked from Melbourne, Victoria, on board Transport A40 Ceramic on 22 December 1914
Rank from Nominal Roll Captain
Unit from Nominal Roll 15th Battalion
Promotions Lieutenant
Unit: 15th Battalion
Promotion date: 16 December 1914
Unit: 15th Battalion
Promotion date: 25 April 1915
Other details from Roll of Honour Circular ‘Sent to Thursday Island at outbreak of war, and then volunteered for service with AN&MEF on 16th August, 1914. Returned to Townsville on “Kenowna” owing to trouble with fireman, 18th September, 1914. Joined AIF on 28th September, 1914. Embarked with 15th Battalion on 22nd December, 1914.’ Details from Brother.
Not a lot is known upon the arrival at ANZAC Cove, but a description of the last sighting of Samuel William Harry is here…Three parties of the 15th Battalion had pushed forward from Quinn’s Post (beginning at about 10:45pm, 9th May) and seized disconnected sections of the Turkish trench 30 yards in front. They attempted to reverse the parapet of this trench, but discovered that it was composed mainly of rotting bodies covered with soil. Meanwhile Turks poured into the gaps between each of the parties, and it became difficult for the Commander, Colonel J.H. Cannan, in Quinn’s Post, to keep touch with the progress of the attack:
‘Although gallant men continually risked their lives to ensure that headquarters should be kept fully informed, the intelligence which reached Cannan was disconnected and fragmentary. Eventually, Captain Harry, acting adjutant of the 15th, volunteered to bring news of each party. After reporting that all was well with the left and right, he again went forward to find Frank Armstrong of the centre party. He reached the trench, but was never seen again.’ (Bean V2 106) (Chataway p.42).

Opinion of the death of Samuel William Harry at Quins Post
A letter from Lt. Harry appeared in the North Queensland Register 5 July 1915 p29.
‘Word has been received by Alderman J.T. Harry (of Charters Towers) from Major R.H. Carter (at Captain Harry’s request in case of anything happening to him) stating that Captain Harry had died at his post, having gone over with a party when they charged the enemy’s trenches.’ (North Queensland Register 26 July 1915 p69).
There had been a delay of the details of the death of Samuel William Harry, with the Mayor of Charters Towers sending an urgent telegram to assist Sarah Hannah Harry (Samuel’s mother)

Urgent Telegram sent from Mayor of Charters Towers, Queensland

His left his widowed mother ‘of mature years.’ Four sisters, two brothers; all married. (Source: Rockhampton Daily Record 29 Jul 1915 p7)., His father had died in 1897, in Charters Towers, Queensland, Australia. Prior to the outbreak of the first world war, 
Samuel William Harry jnr was 5’5″ tall and in good physical health.

CHARTERS TOWERS, September 21 (1915):
‘At the Town Hall today, at the request of the mayor, Councillor J. Millican and Mr Pritchard performed the ceremony of unveiling the photos of Captain S.W. Harry and Major Quinn, who were killed at the Dardanelles. Captain Harry was town clerk, while Major Quinn was a native of Charters Towers. A touching speech was made by the mayor regarding the good qualities of both officers. Captain Harry’s sword was hung under his portrait.’ 

(Brisbane Courier 22 Sept 1915 p7).

Ceremony for Men lost in Gallipoli from Charters Towers

Probate of the will of Samuel William Harry, formerly of Charters Towers, accountant, but lately an officer in the Australian Expeditionary Forces, deceased, was granted by the Registrar (Mr. Chas.S.Norris), at the Supreme Court, Townsville, to Sarah Hannah Harry of Brisbane, widow, mother of deceased. (Messrs Hobbs, Wilson, and Ryan) as town agents for Messrs. Marsland and Marsland, solicitor for executrix) Personalty sworn under £785.

Probate Granted
Eventually, the effects of Samuel William Harry were returned to his mother, the receipt of these goods was signed for by her Daughter in law.

Personal effects of Samuel William Harry.
Housewife = Housewife, a small canvas roll containing needle, thread, buttons etc, used for the personal maintenance of a soldier's kit.

Samuel William Harry, received the standard medals that were awarded to the participants in the fighting at Gallipoli, these were not received by his family until 1920

War Medal

Honours bestowed on Samuel William Harry
Source: Record of Samuel William HARRY – NAA: B2455, HARRY S W

I’m very proud to tell the story of Samuel William Harry, my Gallipoli Hero.
Fiona Tellesson – First Cousin 4XRemoved.
25th April 2015