Matthew & Kathleen "Kate" French
Zone - Rural
Matthew French from Tumut, fought with the NSW Imperial bushmen,company in the Boer War.
1901 - Mr Matthew French married Miss Kathleen (Kate) Clee - in Tumut - (Ref- NSW BDM 10250/1901).
Muriel D - In 1930 she married Mr William C MORLEY in TUMUT - (Ref- NSW BDM 2543/1930).
Mona Isobel - married Kenneth Johnson
Delson (Brad) - married Bessie Johnson
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There are plenty of stories of families with three generations of service in the Army but not too many where that service dates back 110 years.
Sgt Henry French, a platoon sergeant with 5RAR, is the third member of his family to serve.
His father, NX79925 Pte Elton French, enlisted in the 2nd AlF in December 1941 and was posted to the 2/3 Pioneer Bn. Pte French joined his battalion in the Middle East in November 1942, shortly after the Battle of El Alamein.
He spent Christmas in Palestine, returning to Sydney with 9 Div in February 1943. The 2/3 Pioneers completed jungle training in the Atherton Tablelands and left for Milne Bay. New Guinea, in August 1943. Pte French took part in the defence of Scarlet Beach where his battalion fought as infantry and repelled a Japanese counter-attack
On October 1943, he received a shrapnel wound to his left foot, which led to his leg being amputated below the knee.
He was discharged from the Army in October 1944. and returned to the family farm at Brungle, near Gundagai.
Sgt French's grandfather, 926 Tpr Matt French, joined the 6th Contingent of the New South Wales Imperial Bushmen (6NSWIB) in April 1900 but only after putting his age up. The bushmen contingents were raised at the request of the British government who wanted 'hardy, bushmen who could ride, shoot and find their way about’.
Tpr French left Sydney in April, 1900, with 756 men and 800 horses, landing at Beira in Portuguese East Africa (Mozambique) before travelling to Bulawayo, Rhodesia (Zimbabwe). and then Cape Town by train.
They fought their way north on horse-back through Cape Colony, the Orange Free State and Transvaal. Tpr French, with D Sqn, 6NSWIB, rode as Lt-Gen Lord Methuen's body guard for several months, signifying the high regard Methuen had for the NSW troopers.
In March 1901, Tpr French was involved in amajor skirmish at Veldfontein, where Boer General De La Rey's convoy, including three artillery pieces and
TRADITION SPANS 110 YEARS
Trend Setter: Tpr Matt French starts 110 years of family military history.
Second to serve: Pte Elton French served in WWII. six Maxim guns, was captured.
Tpr French returned to Sydney and was discharged in July. 1901, and moved back to Brungle where he established a farm that stayed in the family for 80 years.
Matt French's grandson, Sgt Henry French joined the Army in June 1995. He said it was his family background that drew him to the Army. "But as long as I can remember I've wanted to join the Army," he said. "Then one day at TAFE the recruiting van came around and the rest is history."
Sgt French deployed to East Timor with Mortar PI 2RAR in September 1999 and has had further deployments there in 2001-02 and 2007, again with 2RAR.
He has enjoyed postings to ARTC as a recruit instructor in 2005- 06 and the School of Inf as a platoon sergeant in 2008-09.
Sgt French is now deployed in Afghanistan with 5RAR.
Sgt Dave Morley, Courtesy ARMY Newspaper
DEATH OF MR. WILLIAM MINGIS FRENCH. - A TUMUT PIONEER OF THE FIFTIES.
On Monday, 11th inst., at 7 p.m., after an illness of short duration (in which he had been attended by Drs Mason and Browne), there passed away to join the vast majority one of our oldest pioneers, at the ripe old age of 77 years, the cause of death being senile decay. The son of Mr and Mrs Daniel French, he embarked with his parents from his native heath, Scotland, in 1840, for Sydney, and thence migrated to Brungle, when he was 7 years of age.
His father secured the position of principal shepherd for Mr De Salis, who then occupied a very large ranch on Brungle, and the subject of our obituary there learned his first object lesson in the pastoral life of the then wild country on the south-eastern slopes. His mother died at Brungle, and later his father married the widow of Mr Samuel Piper. In his youthful prime, when the Ovens diggings was the Eldorado of the day, our lost one, went over to try his luck, and, being successful, returned to Tumut and married Miss Emma Haydon, daughter of Mr J Haydon (one of our first wheelwrights), and sister to Mrs James Carr, a well-known and respected old identity. He then turned his attention to farming an portion 65, of 45 acres, ph of Mondongo, co Buccleuch, then owned by Mr Thomas Piper sr and now Mr F Davis's.
After working this for a time with good results, he took advantage of the Robertson Land Act and selected a holding and turned his attention to gold mining and copper seeking in and around there and at Eurongilly. This lasted for some time, and later he came to Bombowlee Creek and purchased Portion 80, of 20 acres, Parish of Killimecat (previously taken up by a man named Donnelly, a ferruminator of the early days). He there started in the blacksmith, gun-smith and wbeelwrighting line; but eventually a fire occurred and he was burnt out.
He then repaired to his selection at Brungle Creek, and worked for some time at the McAlpine Copper Mine in about 1878, and gold mining at Bondo and other places, finally anchoring at his son's (French Bros) extensive property at Brungle, where he in his old days retired in seclusion, and this was where he died peacefully. He was a quiet, peaceable, irreproachable old citizen, a good conversationalist and one who could recount with absorbing interest the trials, tribulations and adversities our first settlers had to encounter when the " dusky denizens of the bush roamed the forest wild," speared cattle, held periodical corroborees, and kept the settler in a perpetual state of terrorism.
His family consisted of three sons, viz: Messrs
William, Robert (Brungle) and
Henry (Cootamnndra), and four daughters, viz:
Mrs Joseph Hibbens,
Mrs William Lowther,
Mrs Kebblewhite and
His wife predeceased him some years ago, and his children surviving are left to mourn the loss of a fond and affectionate father.
His remains were interred on Tuesday last in the Church of England portion of the Tumut old cemetery. The cortege was a long one, consisting of 34 vehicles and numerous horsemen, the occupiers showing a last tribute of respect to the departed. Mr Jas Elphick was the undertaker, and Revs W D Kennedy and R E Davies officiated at the grave. We tender the bereaved ones our deepest condolence.
Life's but a pathway to the tomb,
Death is the portal wide, Through which fair Eden's sweet perfume Is wafted o'er the tide - (Ref- The Tumut Advocate and Farmers & Settlers' Adviser (NSW : 1903 - 1925)(about) Previous issue Tuesday 19 July 1910 Page 2).
Marriages for the Groom's last name French in the years 1788 to 1961 registered in the District of Tumut.
3004/1863 FRENCH HENRY married KILEY JOHANNA in TUMUT
3980/1874 FRENCH STEPN DAY AMELIA TUMUT
7157/1883 FRENCH ROBERT D KELL MARTHA TUMUT
7307/1887 FRENCH HENRY A PIPER MARGARET I TUMUT
7162/1890 FRENCH, HENRY married Miss CLEE, FRANCES AMELIA in TUMUT
8601/1897 FRENCH MAURICE MCDONNELL GEORGINA A R TUMUT
1963/1898 FRENCH DANIEL FRENCH MARY J TUMUT
10250/1901 FRENCH, MATHEW married Miss CLEE, CATHERINE in TUMUT
5036/1904 FRENCH THOMAS MCKINNON MARGARET M TUMUT
8001/1905 FRENCH STEPHEN CLOUT FRANCES TUMUT
4941/1879 FRENCH WILLIAM W PACKET JANE TUMUT
26386/1955 FRENCH NORMAN RAYMOND MCGRATH KATHLEEN CLARE TUMUT
7538/1914 FRENCH ROBERT D FROST ELIZABETH TUMUT
8352/1919 FRENCH ROBERT J FOORD DAISY B TUMUT
13500/1919 FRENCH WILLIAM C PERCIVAL MARY A TUMUT
8296/1924 FRENCH FREDERICK N DELANEY LILLIAN M TUMUT
8789/1933 FRENCH JOHN D GRAHAM CONSTANCE M TUMUT
17979/1933 FRENCH ARCHIBALD E CLOUT MARY D TUMUT
17977/1927 FRENCH MALCOLM G FRENCH JOHANNA TUMUT
15612/1936 FRENCH, ELTON RAYMOND married BERG, MIRIAM ELIZABETH in TUMUT
17812/1942 FRENCH EDWARD GEORGE HOGAN EDITH PEARL TUMUT
6394/1943 FRENCH, DELSON MATTHEW married JOHNSON, BESSIE JOAN in TUMUT
1784/1947 FRENCH, LESLIE married KELLY, BETTY RAY
Marriages for the and Bride's last name French in the years 1788 to 1961 registered in the District of Tumut.
3511/1870 BLACK, JOHN married FRENCH MARIA in TUMUT
3605/1872 FOLEY JOHN married FRENCH SARAH TUMUT
3975/1874 KIBBEWHITE WILLIAM married FRENCH ISABELLA TUMUT
3995/1874 HIBBENS JOSEPH FRENCH EMMA TUMUT
5103/1880 MCDONALD ARTHUR WILLIAM married FRENCH MARY A TUMUT
7519/1886 CLEE RICHARD married FRENCH ANNE TUMUT
7306/1887 DUNN DENNIS FRENCH MARGARET M TUMUT
1963/1898 FRENCH DANIEL FRENCH MARY J TUMUT
9725/1900 PIPER ISRAEL FRENCH CATHERINE TUMUT
2554/1905 ATKINSON JAMES A V FRENCH EDITH A TUMUT
2552/1906 EVANS JOHN A FRENCH ADA L TUMUT
2626/1907 MORRIS FRANCIS FRENCH JANE M TUMUT
11899/1907 MCDONELL WILLIAM C FRENCH MARY J TUMUT
7258/1911 MCDONELL NEAL R married FRENCH MARTHA L TUMUT
10817/1911 MCKEY, JOHN J married FRENCH, EMMA M in TUMUT
14733/1911 MORRIS CHARLES FRENCH RUBY R TUMUT
3473/1913 HILL JOHN FRENCH SARAH E TUMUT
9320/1909 DAY ROLAND FRENCH ISABELLA A TUMUT
12628/1909 MCKENZIE GEORGE FRENCH LINDA M TUMUT
4929/1879 LOWTHER WILLIAM FRENCH REBEKAH J TUMUT
4555/1954 DUGGAN PATRICK JOSEPH FRENCH LESLEY FRANCES TUMUT
15326/1961 MCALISTER JEFFREY JOHN married FRENCH, RALDA MAY in TUMUT
6105/1960 MACMARTIN ALAN FRANCIS FRENCH HELEN JOAN TUMUT
6105/1960 MCMARTIN ALAN FRANCIS FRENCH HELEN JOAN TUMUT
15707/1914 ROBERTS VICTOR S J FRENCH ELSIE M TUMUT
8307/1918 WEBB, ALBERT H married FRENCH, EDITH A in TUMUT
8048/1920 DAY, JACK married FRENCH, MARGARET M in TUMUT
2543/1930 MORLEY, WILLIAM C married FRENCH, MURIEL D in TUMUT
17976/1927 DOWELL, JOCK married FRENCH, BERTHA M in TUMUT
17977/1927 DOWELL, MALCOLM G married FRENCH, JOHANNA in TUMUT
17977/1927 FRENCH, MALCOLM G married FRENCH, JOHANNA in TUMUT
17983/1927 COOPER, CHARLES H R married FRENCH, AMELIA J in TUMUT
10593/1936 CLOUT, EDWARD JOSEPH married FRENCH, STELLA ELIZABETH in TUMUT
15608/1936 TWOMEY, DANIEL EDWARD married FRENCH, DOROTHY ISOBELLA M in TUMUT
9788/1937 EGGLETON, ROBERT THOMAS married FRENCH, ELLA MAY in TUMUT
22198/1937 WEBB, DALLAS STANLEY married FRENCH, MYRA in TUMUT
22205/1937 JOHNSON, KENNETH VIVIAN EDGAR married FRENCH, MONA ISOBEL in TUMUT
10893/1939 WEEDEN, ROSS married FRENCH, BESSIE in TUMUT
20146/1940 GIDDINGS, VICTOR RAYMOND WILLIAM H married FRENCH, CASSIE in TUMUT
21091/1947 PEARCE, CHRISTOPHER REGINALD married FRENCH, VERA WHITTON in TUMUT
15241/1950 BRIDLE, ROLFE GEORGE married FRENCH, MAVIS BERYL in TUMUT
FRENCH Daniel farmer --- Brungle - NSW SOUTH WALES. - GUNDAGAI, Nov. 17. 1899 - Stock Movements - Thursday - 3,000 sheep from Wonnanmrra. to Gunning, J. H. Sand owner; and 1,300 sheep from Jugiong to, Brungle Creek, French Bros. owners. - (Ref- The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1956)(about) Previous issue Monday 20 November 1899).
FRENCH Henry farmer --- Brungle
FRENCH Stephen farmer & carrier --- Brungle
FRENCH, William farmer --- Brungle - DESTRUCTION OF PESTS. TUMUT, Tuesday..1938 - At a drive at Brungle on Saturday organised by W. French, 332 hares were killed by 30 shooters. Mr A. Last was top scorer with 45. - (Ref- The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954)(about) Previous issue Wednesday 28 August 1901). ---- TRUCK-DRIVER KILLED. TUMUT, Tuesday. Francis Daniel French 26 of Tumut was killed when a truck which he was driving to Gooboralong from a dance at Brungle struck a ditch. The engine stalled when ascending a hill and the blakes failed to hold the truck ran backwards into the ditch French was found dead at the wheel - Six other occupants of the truck were uninjured. - (Ref- The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954)(about) Previous issue Wednesday 14 December 1938). - Records show that in 1938 Francis Daniel FRENCH parents DANIEL & MARY JANE death was registered in GUNDAGAI, NSW - Ref- NSW BDM 22844/1938).