Friends of the Somme - Mid Ulster Branch  
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5079   Sapper John Crilly
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Dated added: 30/12/2015   Last updated: 01/03/2018
Personal Details
Regiment/Service: Tunnelling Company, Australian Royal Engineers (Australian Army)
Died: 25/09/1919 (Died of Illness)
Age: 58
Summary      
John Crilly was born in Dungannon about 1861. John emigrated to Brisbane, Australia. He had served for three years in the Australian Light Horse before enlisting for overseas service on 15th July 1916 at the age of 45. His attestation papers show that he was 5 feet six and three quarter inches tall. He was transferred to France on 15th October 1916. Due to sickness he was transferred from the Australian Base Hospital in Rouen, France to Middlesex County Hospital, England It was recommended that he was no longer fit for Military Service. He was sent home to Australia and upon arrival was transferred to hospital from early June 1917 until August 1918. He was discharged from the army on 13th July 1918 and died in hospital in Brisbane on 25th September 1918.
Further Information
John Crilly was born in Dungannon about 1861.
John Crilly and Maria McCollum were married on 27th September 1889 in the district of Dungannon. They went on to have five children, all born in Dungannon.
Family: John Crilly, Maria Crilly, William John Crilly (born 25th December 1889), Eliza Jane Crilly (born 7th October 1891), Annie Crilly (born 13th August 1893), Robert Crilly (born 27th December 1895), Thomas Crilly (born 5th June 1898).
The 1901 census lists John as age 40, living with his family at house 7 in Tempanroe, Bernagh, County Tyrone. He was a labourer in corn mill.
The 1911 census lists John as age 50, living with his family at house 23 in Railway View, Dungannon, County Tyrone. He was a miller.
John Crilly emigrated to Brisbane, Australia.
He came to Australia and said he had served three years with the Australian Light Horse
In 1913 John Crilly married Mrs Esther Caroline Flamank, formerly Keogh, who had two dependent children, Eric George Flamank (born 1904) and Clara Eva Goldsmith Flamank (born 1906). They had a daughter Esther Crilly born about 1914. He was employed with the Mount Morgan Gold Mining Company Ltd as a Miner in 1915.
At the Rockhampton Recruiting Office on January 7, 1916 the miner passed the medical examination. Attestation Forms were completed which give his age as 41 years, his height as 169cms (5ft 6 ¾ins) and weight 63.6kgs (140lbs) with a chest measurement of 90cms (35½ins). He had a dark complexion with brown eyes and dark hair. Church of England was nominated as his faith and his wife Mrs Esther Caroline Crilly of D’Arcy Street, Mount Morgan, Qld was his next-of-kin. He allotted three-fifths of his pay to support her and his family. He was sworn in on January 15, 1916
John Crilly Attestation Papers
The following day Sapper Crilly was one of 79 Reinforcements departing on HMAT A26 Armadale from Port Melbourne, Victoria. Durban, South Africa was reached on August 15, 1916 and leave was granted from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. and they departed the next day. Arrived at Cape Town a few days later on August 20, 1916 and a Route March lasting three hours kept them fit before enjoying leave until 11 p.m. The ship was scheduled to leave at 2 p.m. but cancelled and left the following day at 5 p.m. The quality of liquor in town was considered bad. A one day stopover to refuel at Port le Grand, St Vincent was the last harbour visited on September 8, 1916. After a 64 day voyage the ship arrived at Devonport, England on September 30, 1916. The men marched into No 3 camp at Parkhouse for further training.
The troops proceeded overseas to France marching in to the Aust. General Base Depot on October 19, 1916. On November 2, 1916 he was to proceed to Segregation camp and on November 27, 1916 marched in for Segregation at Etaples. On December 11, 1916 Sapper Crilly was attached to the 1st Anzac Entrenching Battalion.
Basic training began soon after with the 11th Depot Battalion concluding on February 19, 1916 when he was sent to the Mining Corps, A.I.F. From there he was transferred to the Miners Reinforcements Camp at Seymour, Victoria for further training on May 10 until July 18, 1916. He was assigned the regimental number 5079 in the rank of Sapper with the 2nd Reinforcements to the Tunnelling Companies.
He was taken from the field to the 5th Field Ambulance suffering from diarrhoea on December 16, 1916 and sent to the Casualty Clearing Station. The following day he was conveyed on A.T.16 and admitted with Debility remaining until Christmas Eve.
On Christmas Day, 1916 he was admitted to the 12th General Hospital at Rouen with Debility and was evacuated to England on December 30, 1916 on the Hospital Ship St Patrick suffering Influenza and Bronchitis.
On the 30th December 1916 he was transferred from the Australian Base Hospital in Rouen, France to Middlesex County Hospital, England suffering from bronchitis and influenza. His health was making good progress until 14th February 1917 when he took a number of epileptic fits. The Consultants findings on the 7th March 1917 were that he was suffering from Epilepsy and Cardio Vascular damage, due to wear and tear. He was also diagnosed with Fibrosis of the lungs and Emphysema and it was suggested his service had aggravated this condition. It was recommended that he was no longer fit for Military Service and this was confirmed by Doctors on 28th March 1917.
He was sent home to Australia on 8th April 1917 and upon arrival was transferred to hospital from early June 1917 until August 1918
Sapper Crilly was discharged on a pension as medically unfit due to Epileptiform Convulsions on July 13, 1917. He received $6 (£3) per fortnight from July 14 and his wife Esther was granted $3 (£1/10/-) per fortnight and their daughter Esther was granted $1 (10/-) per fortnight. His dependant step-children Eric Flamank was granted $2 (£1) per fortnight and received for Clara Flamank $1.50 (15/-) per fortnight.
John Crilly died in hospital in Brisbane on 25th September 1918.
From the Brisbane Courier dated Monday 26th May 1919:
CRILLY—The Friends of SAPPER JOHN CRILLY, late of No. 1 Tunnelling Coy, are respectfully invited to attend his Funeral, moved from the Funeral Parlour, Wickham-street, Valley, THIS (Monday) FORENOON, at 10.15 o’clock, to the Toowong Cemetery. K.M. SMITH, Undertaker.
Private John Crilly is buried in Brisbane General Cemetery, Brisbane, Australia. His grave can be found in Portion 10 of the Toowong Cemetery, Brisbane Old in Section 41 grave number 20.
Photo of John Crilly's headstone
Area around John Crilly's headstone
A son of John Crilly also served. Private Thomas John Crilly, 57245 enlisted with the 4th Rifles (Egypt) on the 28 May 1916. Thomas was born in Dungannon on the 9 February 1899. Thomas was serving with the 11th Light Horse Regiment when he was discharged from Military Service on the 14 September 1919. Thomas next of kin was his sister, Miss Annie M Crilly, also born in Dungannon and living at, Tawanlin, Via Cooroy, Queensland, Australia. He is not recorded by the CWGC as having died in the war.
Caroline Esther Crilly died in 1952
From the Brisbane Courier/Mail dated 19th January 1952:
Deceased: CAROLINE ESTHER CRILLY. formerly of 16 Billet Street, Brisbane, in the state of Queensland, but late of Eventide, Sandgate North. Widow. Applicant: CLARA ENID GOLDSMITH FLAMANK, of Alderson Street. Newmarket, Brisbane, aforesaid, a lawful Daughter of deceased, the sole Executrix appointed by the Will, dated the Twentieth day of May. 1946. Solicitors: RICHARDSON CARTER & CO., 120 Adelaide Street. Brisbane, aforesaid.
Many thanks to Kenny Farquar for his research on the Dungannon details.
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References and Links
No Link Reference Map Doc
1 1901 Census lists Crilly family Lists John as age 40 living with his family at house 7 in Tempanroe, Bernagh, Tyrone
2 1911 Census lists Crilly family Lists John as age 50 living with his family at house 23 in Railway View, Dungannon, Tyrone
3 Australian Embarkation Roll 1 Embarkation Roll - John Crilly
4 Australian Embarkation Roll 2 Embarkation Roll - Nominal? - John Crilly
5 Australian Military Documents Military Papers (36 no) for Private John Crilly
6 Australian Nominal Roll Nominal Roll - John Crilly
7 Australian Roll of Honour Roll of Honour - Private John Crilly
8 Caroline Esther Crilly's death John Crilly's wife's death announced 18 Jan 1952
9 www.tunnellers.net casualty profile (word files) Full details of John Crilly including grave photo
Cookstown District's War Dead Acknowledgements 2010-2019