• Andrew Joseph Hayes

Army / Flying Corps
  • 31st Australian Infantry Battalion
  • Private

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  • 1914–1915 Star
  • Enlistment - WW1

    Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

  • Birth

    Cooma, New South Wales, Australia

Stories and comments
    • Andy Brings Home a War Bride
    • Posted by annstewie, Saturday, 3 January 2015

    Pte Andrew Joseph Hayes Service No: 5500 31st Battalion and Australian Employment Company Jack (born 1867), Andy (1883) and Frank Hayes (1889) were the sons of Patrick Hayes and his wife Elizabeth Stewart. The boys probably grew up with their siblings on “Rosebrook”, a large property belonging to the Harnett family, situated in Rose Valley, north of Cooma. Patrick's parents, Thomas Hayes and Margaret O'Shanassey had migrated from Ireland in 1841. Thomas was one of a group, who found enough quantities of gold, to spark the Kiandra Gold Rush, in 1859. Thomas was later employed as a shepherd and Margaret as a housekeeper, but eventually they selected land at Rock Flat. Some of their grown children later worked and lived on “Rosebrook” for a long time, including Patrick. Margaret, his mother, went to live there too, when her husand Thomas died, in 1899. Elizabeth's parents were William and Esther Stewart, who had migrated from Northern Ireland in 1842. Elizabeth was born in Gundaroo, NSW (near present day Canberra) and then, after a decade at Naas Creek (now ACT), the family selected their own land at Cooma Creek. When her mother was killed by lightening in 1857, the care of the six younger children would probably have fallen to Elizabeth, until three years later, when she married Patrick, who was a shepherd at the time. He was later employed as a teamster and eventually had his own farm. The couple were the parents of 11 children, nine of whom survived to adulthood. They were probably living at “Rosebrook” in 1866, when the station was held up by the Clarke Gang, who relieved the Harnett family and friends of their winnings, gained at the Cooma Races, earlier that day. Patrick died in 1899 and Elizebeth in 1910. Andy would have been 16, when his father died. When he enlisted at an army exhibition, in Brisbane, in October 1915, Andy was a labourer and named his older brother William, who lived in Orange NSW, as his next of kin. His youngest brother, Frank, enlisted the following February and Jack's son, Cecil, in June. Andy was sent to France, via Egypt, with the 31st Battalion. He arrived in Etaples in June 1916, but was soon hospitalised with pleurisy. Andy rejoined his unit in October, and was transferred to Australian Employment Company, but was again struck by pleurisy, in December, and then mumps, in January 1917. Hospitalised in France, he rejoined his unit in February. He was returned to England in December 1918, after the end of hostilities. While stationed at the Hutment Camp, Wyke Regis, in January 1919, Andy married a young war widow, Edith Wilson (nee Cooke.) On his marriage certificate, Andy gave “copper blower” as his occupation. In September, he arrived home with his new bride and her young son. They settled in Nimmitabelle, NSW, where Andy found work at Holt's Flat. Frank had not fared so well. Badly wounded while serving with the 55th Battalion on the Western Front, he had made it home a year earlier, but was left with limited use of his arm. Their nephew, Cecil, who had been gassed twice, while serving with the 54th Battalion, returned home in June, 1919. Andy died in Balmain, in 1961 and Edith in 1976. REFERENCES: - “From Kilkeel to Cooma”, William and Esther Stewart Family History Group, Cooma NAA Army Service Record WW1 Series B2455 BDM NSW DC: #9731/1961 BDM NSW DC: 28066/1976