• James Edward Devine

Army / Flying Corps

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  • Enlistment - WW1

    Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

  • Birth

    Brunswick, Victoria, Australia

Stories and comments
    • Tilly Devine
    • Posted by zoedarcy, Friday, 29 May 2015

    Matilda 'Tilly' Devine, the wife of James (Jim) Edward Devine, was a prominent Sydney crime syndicate gang member figure, involved in a wide range of activities, including sly-grog and razor gangs, but most notable as a madam. Tilly and Jim met during the war while Jim was in London, and they were married on 12 August 1917 (when Tilly was 16) at the Sacred Heart Church, Camberwell, London. An extract of their marriage certificate is in Jim's service file.The couple had one son, born at Camberwell in 1919. Tilly's career in prostitution had began when she was a teenager and continued after she was married. She and many English women were usually found soliciting on the wide footpaths on The Strand, at night. From 1915 onwards to 1919, she spent time at Bow Street Court and Lock Up for prostitution, theft and assault. When Jim returned to Australia she followed him back on the bride ship Waimana, arriving in Sydney on 13 January 1920. Her son stayed in London and was brought up by her parents.Both Tilly and Jim Devine rapidly became prominent illegal narcotics dealers, brothel owners and crime gangs members in the Sydney criminal milieu.