2628, Private, 20 Infantry Battalion, 1-13 Reinforcements.
b. 1st or 4th Sept. 1884 Birkenhead, UK.
Enlisted: 19.08.1915 Holdsworthy, NSW.
d. 27.09.1953 Sunshine Coast, Qld.
Next of Kin: Louise Connelly – Wife.
Described on his headstone as 'a proud Cockney', James was born in Birkenhead, Cheshire England but could have lived within earshot of the Bow Bells, of St Mary-le-Bow in east London’s Cheapside District to earn the title “Cockney”. He emigrated to Australia and by the time of his enlistment at Holdsworthy, New South Wales in August 1915 he was married with two children.
James Connelly’s service with the Australian Forces in 1915 and 1916 took him to places that most people of the time had never heard of, and few people of today know - Zeitoun, Tel-al-Kebir and Abassia, formed in the British protectorate of the Sultanate of Egypt. An initially small British force was raised to guard the Suez Canal and Egypt. Many of the Australian Forces were sent there to help defend the canal.
After being hospitalised on two separate occasions, James' war service took its toll and he returned to Australia for a medical discharge in June 1916.
In December 1940, James wrote requesting a copy of his Discharge Papers as his copy had been burnt while he was working at a camp in the Northern Territory.
James Connelly was buried in the Military Section of Woombye Cemetery.
Source: National Archives of Australia.
From the Genealogy Sunshine Coast publication
“AND THEIR NAMES SHALL LIVE FOREVER…”
REMEMBERING MILITARY PERSONNEL IN THE OLD MAROOCHY SHIRE CEMETERIES – BOOK 1, WOOMBYE
James is not included in the Adopt a Digger database as he falls outside our criteria of living in the district before 1925. He is included in this gallery as he has lived in the district later in his life and is commemorated on the Sunshine Coast. Importantly, as a WW1 digger he still deserves to be recognised and commemorated by our project.