Private James O'Donnell (c.1836......1922.)
Where Born : Limerick,
Occupation : / Soldier
Date Arrived : 6th November 1854
Ship Arrived on : "Empress Eugenie"
Rank on Discharge : Private
Regimental # : 3226
Date of Enlistment :
Where Enlisted : Cork
Date of Discharge : 1861
Where Discharged : Sydney
Died : 4th.
Where Died /
Buried : Melbourne/Footscray
Parents Names :
Spouse's Name : Rachel Waters
28th February 1835
Where Born : :
County Meath, Ireland
Occupation : Child's
Date Arrived : 29th September 1854
Ship Arrived on : "Caroline Middleton"
Died : 4th June 1922
Where Died /
Buried : Melbourne/Footscray
Date Married : 27th
Where Married : St. David's Cathedral Church,
Spouse's Parents : John and Rachel Waters.
- Back To . . .12th
Foot East Suffolk Regiment
- This information was kindly supplied by Bill O'Connor"
E-mail address email@example.com
- Area Settled :
- Children :
- 1 . Henry James. (b.: 22
December 1858 at Port Arthur ... d) .Married Kate Bullen
2 . James Henry. Born: 2nd June 1860 at Darlinghurst
Barracks Sydney ....d.)Married Caroline Evans(b.......d.)
3 . Rachel. (b.......d.) Married E.J. Wood Decd.(b.......d.)
, Married P. Bendell (b.......d.)
4 . Margaret(b.......d.) . Married Mr. McQuirk (b.......d.)
Decd., Married Mr. McQuirk (b.......d.)
5 . Mary(b.......d.) . Married John Kierce (b.......d.)
6 . Nora (b.......d.). Married Tom Dugan (b.......d.)
7 . Kate(b.......d.) . Married William Fewster.(b.......d.)
& Achievements :
- At the age of 18 years
James O'Donnell ran away from his home in Limerick,
Ireland to join the British
- Army. He was cut off from
the family with a shilling and was forbidden by his
father to ever return and was not allowed to communicate
with his family. However he did write to his mother
through the family Nanny.
- James joined the 12th East
Suffolk Regiment at Cork, and it was in November 1854
that they arrived in
- Melbourne. At this time
"miners were revolting on the Ballarat goldfields
and detachments of the 40th Regiment and the 12th
Regiment were in Ballarat trying to keep order in the
diggings. Major General Sir Robert Nickie led the rest of
the Melbourne based 40th Regiment and the newly arrived
division of the 12th Regiment, together with blue-jackets
from two naval ships on a remarkable 20 hour forced march
over hot dusty roads to Ballarat. By the time the main
force arrived the troops in Ballarat had stormed the the
Eureka Stockade and routed the miners" (from an
undated Melbourne Newspaper article)
- After 12 months in Victoria
a detachment of the 12th Regiment wastransferred to the
penal settlement of
- Port Arthur in Van Diemans
Land. Captain Atkinson was in charge.They arrived at Van
Diemans Land from Victoria on 29th December 1855.(Record
of British Military Forces serving in Tasmania from 1803
- 1870 shows among other dates1855 1866: 12th Regiment (East
Suffolks) 12 Officers, 35 NCOs and 222 men. The Old
Twelfth or the Old Dozen. Served at Port Arthur 1856 -
- It was at Port Arthur that
James met and married Rachel Waters. Rachel at the age of
19 years had arrived
- at Van Diemans Land 12
months earlier as a free settler and had the position of
maid to the children of the Officer in Charge at Port
Rachel arrived at Hobart Town aboard the Caroline
Middleton from Liverpool on 29th September 1854. She was
the youngest of 10 children and was a twin. She came from
County Meath, Ireland and was educated to read and write
and able to do needlework. James and Rachel were married
on 27th July 1857 at St. David's Cathedral Church in
- James served on the Tasman
Peninsula from 1856- 1858 and their first child Henry
James was born there.
- Then James went to the
Maori Wars leaving with troops under Major Hutchins on
the 12th January 1859 per "Salem" via Sydney.
On returning from New Zealand in 1861 he received the
Maori War Medal and took his discharge.
- James, Rachael and their
two sons moved to Melbourne where they had five more
children all girls.
- James found a position with
the Melbourne City Council where he was employed until
his retirement at the age of 70.
- When James died the
following article together with a photo appeared in a
- "Mr James O'Donnell,
who died at his residence 15 Thompson Street, Kensington
on January 4th was an old soldier of the Imperial forces.
He was employed as overseer of convicts in the early
settlements of Victoria, New South Wales and Tasmania and
was present at the Eureka Stockade. Subsequently he
served in the Maori war in which he served as aide-de-camp
to Major Millen of the 12th Regiment. For 45 years the
late Mr. O'Donnell was in the service of the Melbourne
City Council and he has been a colonist for 66 years. He
leaves a widow, seven children, 31 grandchildren and 20
(The 20 great grandchildren grew out to 65 great
grandchildren) James died on 4th January 1922.
Rachael died just five months later on the 4th June 1922.
- © Copyright B & M Chapman (QLD)
- Last revised: August 22, 2002.