• James Matthew Branegan

Army / Flying Corps
  • 8th Australian Infantry Battalion
  • 2nd Brigade
  • Private

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  • 1914–1915 Star
  • British War Medal
  • Victory Medal
  • Birth

    London, England

  • Enlistment - WW1

    Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Stories and comments
    • BRANEGAN, James Matthew
    • Posted by FrevFord, Wednesday, 21 March 2018

    James was born on the 29th of May 1872 in Kentish Town, London, England – the son of John and Margaret Siblings include: Catherine (Kate) b.20/4/1866 Smethwick, Staffordshire - marr Robert HUTTON 1889, (Whitby, Yorkshire); Margaret Hilda b.c1884 Whitby, Yorkshire – School Governess – d.1921 Melb, Vic Religion: Roman Catholic In 1901 James was a Servant/Caretaker for Police Constable Henry Wells at 24 Old Bond St, London In 1910 he jumped ship in Melbourne from the SS Franklyn, on which he had been a 2nd Steward (?) On his enlistment in the A.I.F. in 1915 he gave his occupation as a Waiter At this time he had a connection to the Mission for the Friendless and Fallen, run by Sister Grace in Exhibition St, Melbourne – to whom he was leaving an allotment of 2/- per diem WW1: James enlisted on the 13/7/1915 in Melbourne, giving his age as 39 years and 9 months, when in actual fact he would have been 43 He embarked on the Osterley 29/9/1915 as Private 3011 with the 10th Reinforcements of the 8th Battalion for Egypt Transferred to the 59th Battalion 26/2/1916 and then to the 60th Bn 15/3/1916 Embarked on the Kinfauns Castle 19/6/1916 to join the BEF and disembarked Marseilles 29/6/1916 Wounded on the 19/7/1916 at Fromelles when a high explosive shell burst in front of him, injuring his left hand and destroying the sight of both eyes – he was admitted to the 13th Stationary Hospital on the 20/7/1916 Embarked for England on the hospital ship St George 22/7/1916 and admitted to the 2nd London General Hospital, Chelsea 23/7/1916 Transferred to the 1st Australian Auxillary Hospital 3/10/1916 and then to St Dunstan’s Hostel for Blinded soldiers on the 1/11/1916, where he received training in Mat and Bag making On the 12/1/1917 he transferred the allotment of 2/- per diem from ‘Sister Grace’ to his sister Margaret, whose address at the time was W.L.3 Convalescent Camp, Woodcote Park, Epsom, Surrey Discharged in the UK 17/12/1917, his address to be 33 Cranbourne Terrace, Stockton-on-Tees, Durham, England James later returned to Australia with his sister Margaret on the Bahia Castillo, embarking 4/12/1920 Unfortunately Margaret died on the 8/5/1921 at the Melbourne Hospital His address at this time was C/- The Lady Helen Club, 227 Toorak Rd, South Yarra Following Margaret’s death, James returned to England and his pension was again sent to 33 Cranbourne Terrace, Stockton-on-Tees, Durham In 1939 he was living with his sister Kate HUTTON at 17 Richardson Rd, Stockton-on-Tees, Durham James died at his home in Whitby, Yorkshire on the 6th of June 1956, aged 84 The Herald (Melb, Vic), Fri 7 Jan 1921 (p.7): Vessel Due on February 1 BAHIA CASTILLO’S LIST Information has been received by the Repatriation Commission that the Bahia Castillo, which left the United Kingdom on December 4 with a number of dependents and fiancees of former members of the A.I.F., is due to arrive in Melbourne on February 1. The passenger list is as follows: The following ex-A.I.F. embarked with wife: – James M. Branegan, 60th Battalion; ……………….. [THIS WOULD HAVE BEEN HIS SISTER – HE NEVER MARRIED] Barrier Miner (Broken Hill, NSW), Wed 1 Jun 1921 (p.4): MEALS BROUGHT TO HOSPITAL COMMENT ON PRACTICE MADE BY A CORONER The death of Margaret Hilda Branegan (37), single, late of Fuller’s Hotel, Bourke-street, was inquired into by the city coroner on Friday (reports the “Age”). Deceased died at the Melbourne Hospital on May 8 from supposed poisoning. Richard Capper, stage hand, said that he used to take James Matthew Branegan, a blind soldier and brother of the deceased, to visit her at the hospital. He also took her meals from a café in Bourke-street, permission having been granted by Dr Hewitt. He took nothing that would do her harm. Dr C.H. Mollison stated that death was due to exhaustion from pernicious anaemia. The meals and other things might account for the irritated state of certain organs. John K. Kelly, medical practioner, Melbourne Hospital, said deceased had been under his care from May 1 until her death. He had treated her for pernicious anaemia. The meals had been stopped. Her brother insisted on bringing indigestible food, although the sister protested. The coroner gave a finding of death from pernicious anaemia. “The practice of bringing in meals from outside,” said the coroner, “should not be permitted in the hospital, as there is no way of testing them, and the practice might lead to a great deal of trouble.” St Dunstan’s Review, No. 438. Vol.XXXIX, June 1956: “In Memory” Private James Matthew Branegan, Australian Imperial Forces It is with deep regret that we record the death of one of our oldest St Dunstaners, J.M. Branegan, of Whitby, Yorkshire. He was eighty-four. He began his service in 1915 and came to St Dunstan’s in the latter part of 1916, having lost his sight at Armentieres. He suffered injuries also to his left hand. He trained as a mat-maker and returned for a short while to Australia, but his sister died soon after his arrival and he returned to this country. His age had prevented him from doing much work and he was a frequent holiday visitor to West House, where he also was a great favourite with everyone. His death occurred very suddenly at his home in Whitby. He was a single man and our deep sympathy is extended to his niece, Miss Hutton, and to the other members of his family.