News

The Quailey boys of Lismore

No The Quailey brothers: George, Thomas, Ernest, and Joseph.
No The Quailey brothers: George, Thomas, Ernest, and Joseph.

THE young men who left our region to join the 1st AIF came from a variety of backgrounds.

Some were protestants, others were catholic, a few had no religious affiliation; some had been born in England, some had English parents; others came from Irish, Scottish, Welsh, other European, and even American parentage. Some, no doubt, had convict ancestry.

Many were interested in "fighting for the Motherland", but most simply wanted the adventure they believed beckoned.

Families were often large in those days and it was therefore not unusual for four or five sons to enlist. Usually one son stayed at home, perhaps in case the others failed to return, although it seems likely that, initially at least, little thought was given to their never returning. Most families were used to moving around the state, and even moving from one state to another.

This was often to find work or to obtain new land being opened up, but often it was simply for an adventure, especially for young men starting out on their own. The war was simply another kind of adventure.

Patrick and Bridget Quailey of Lismore, previously of Grafton, had five sons. Four of these enlisted in the war.

Sons Ernest and Thomas were both tailors and enlisted in 1915; George David, an ironmonger, and Joseph Timothy, a grocer, enlisted in 1916.

All joined the Infantry though Ernest later transferred to the 5th Pioneers.

Only two of the four were to return to Australia. George was killed in action in Belgium on June 7, 1917, aged 32, and Thomas died of wounds in France on August 11, 1918, aged 26. George has no known grave but is remembered on the Menin Gate Memorial, while Thomas is buried at Fouilloy Communal Cemetery, Oise, France.

Joseph returned in November 1918 (one record says February 10, 1919).

All the brothers had suffered various illnesses during their time overseas.

Joseph had to leave the ship at Devonport, Tasmania, because of laryngitis. It is not clear how long his illness kept him there. In those days, before antibiotics, many illnesses now thought minor were to be avoided.

Joseph was to be wounded several times but also found himself in hospital because of illness. At one stage he went absent without leave from the hospital. Possibly his "adventure" was losing its interest.

Presumably, Joseph returned to his occupation of grocer but he does not appear to have married until 1943 when he married Alice Edith Findlay at Mosman. However, he was one of the first to enlist in the Second World War. This was on April 15, 1940 when he gave his age as 43, two years younger than his actual age.

He gave his sister as his next of kin. No doubt because of his occupation he was attached to the Canteen Services but served for only a few months. He died in Sydney in 1972.

Ernest returned in July 1919. He had been plagued by illness too including deafness. He had been involved in some of the worst fighting at Pozieres and also at Bullecourt. He also went AWOL at one stage.

Many of our soldiers appear to have done so at least once. Mainly the punishment was cancellation of pay, a small price to pay for a few hours freedom no doubt.

As a member of the Pioneers, Ernest would have been at the front line most of the time. It is assumed he returned to his old occupation when he came back to Australia but was possibly badly affected by the war.

He died in Goodna Mental Hospital, Brisbane on July 16, 1957. He could well be said to be a casualty of war.



How to judge a winning bull at Casino's Cattle Competition

James Dockrill from Clovass handles the winner on the day Flemington Like A Cat at the Cattle Competition at Casino Beef Week.

High prices and big bulls at Casino's Cattle Comp

'Hunted like game': nude beach creeps prompt calls for safety

Residents have made calls for beachgoers to report sexual harassment to local police.

Calls for beachgoers to report sexual harassment to the local police

Stan our man for Archibald Prize

Stan Gilchrist in front of the portrait  East Ballina artist Brett Belot will enter in the Archibald Prize later this year.

Local face to be entered in prestigious national art prize

Local Partners

Book review: Mia Freedman's book meets her critics head on

IF AUSTRALIA does have a tall poppy syndrome, Mia Freedman has most certainly been a victim.

Comedy production hits Rochdale stage

Thoroughly relishing their roles as the three crotchety old veterans (performed by Co Gray Wilson, Jason Smith and John Taylor), they provide fascinating individual insights into three proud men who despite their frailties are determined be adventurous and joyful to the end.

Heroes is a comedy play by Gerald Sibleyras.

Stan our man for Archibald Prize

Stan Gilchrist in front of the portrait  East Ballina artist Brett Belot will enter in the Archibald Prize later this year.

Local face to be entered in prestigious national art prize

Mandy and Ellen will be just women like us in Nimbin

DUO: Mandy Nolan and Ellen Briggs bring their hit show Women Like Us to Nimbin.

Hit comedy show heading towards Nimbin

Chicago comes to Bangalow

CELL BLOCK TANGO: Actress Catherine Zeta-Jones in a scene from the 2002 film Chicago.

The next production by Bangalow Theatre Company

Model Bella Hadid's see-through dress shocks in Cannes

US model Bella Hadid attends the Cinema Against AIDS amfAR gala 2017 held at the Hotel du Cap, Eden Roc in Cap d'Antibes, France, 25 May 2017.

It’s like she’s become addicted to shock value.

Here's your chance to carp about feral pests

Carp might by great fun to catch but they're destroying Australia's watercourses.

Science in the Pub looks at carp and coral trees

SNEAK PEEK: What new shopping centre is going to look like

Artist impression of the proposed redevelopment of the cinema and shopping complex on Jonson St, Byron Bay.

Mercato billed as regional NSW's most sustainable shopping complex

How Toowoomba house prices compare in Australia

For sale sign in front of home.

Here's what $700,000 will buy you in Toowoomba, Brisbane and Sydney

Slaves in Byron: The dark side of housing crisis

Housing generic.

A darker side to Byron's economy

Bonville to become new housing hub

REZONING: Large areas of Bonville have been rezoned for residential

Land rezoning will turn farmland into housing

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!