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Great Southern Line | A Soldier's Story: Patrick James Phelan
Dr Mary Hutchison
By admin Posted in The Great Southern Line on February 21, 2018 0 Comments
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Patrick James PHELAN

Call boy, cleaner, fireman, driver

Picton, Thirroul

 War Service record: NAA B2455, PHELAN PATRICK JAMES (service No. 1816)

NSWGR Employment: NSW Public Records (Staff no. 9900)

No family contact

Patrick James Phelan Biography

Joined NSWGR at Picton Loco as a Call boy in 1913 when he was 16.  He enlisted in 1915 in 2nd reinforcements 30th battalion.  His service record describes him as a railway telephonist (interesting translation of call boy!).  In 1916 his pay was raised to that of cleaner.  He was captured by the Germans in France in 1916 and was a Prisoner of War in Germany until repatriated to England at the end of 1918. Discharged June 1919. When he returned to work he was appointed Fireman at Temora.  He returned to work at Picton in 1926.  In he went to work at Dungog 1936, returned to Picton in 1938 and then to Thirroul in 1939 where he was appointed Driver in 1940.  He continued in this position until retiring in 1957 at the age of 60.

Born in Picton in 1897. His father was living in Menangle Street Picton when he enlisted at the age of 18.  He was 19 when he became a Prisoner of War for two years.  When he returned to work he pursued his career in Loco with moves between Picton and other station.  His final move to Thirroul led to his promotion to Driver where he worked for another 17 years until he retired.

He is mentioned in the Picton Post as a member of the district rugby league team and as a member of the Picton railway cricket club team.  His return to Picton from Temora in 1926 was noted as was his farewell at Griffith under headline ‘popular railway man’ (PP 5/5/1926 p2).


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