Our Two Duffy WW1 Soldiers

On the War memorial at Milton, there two Duffy men listed: DUFFY  T.J.S.  PVT.  and DUFFY  T.  PVT.  MM

The first man is Thomas Stanley Joseph Duffy, born at Milton View Conjola in 1893, the son of Alexander Duffy and his wife Ann nee Boyle. On searching for Duffy in the numerous records for WW1, one will not find him, as he enlisted using the surname of Duffey. He was known locally as Stan. His father Alexander had passed away in 1913 and the Clyde Shire Council at the instance of Councillor Murray, to vote £10 to the widow and orphans of the late Alex. Duffy, a faithful employee of the Council, who died at Conjola while on duty as maintenance man.

Thomas (Stan) who was an engineer enlisted 18 April 1915 at the age of 22 years and was assigned to the 19th Battalion. He embarked for overseas service on board HMAT Ceramic on 25 June 1915 from Sydney. Thomas served with his unit in France. In August 1916 his brother Alexander Duffy of Conjola was granted conditional exemption from war service as he was working their deceased father’s farm of Milton View at Conjola.

Thomas returned to Australia in March 1919, his name appears on the Milton Ulladulla RSL Honour Roll and the Milton Town Memorial. He received the British war and Victory medal. He married on Nellie Allen of Kogarah Sydney in October 1919 at the Conjola Church. Several ‘Diggers’ journeyed to Milton to support their comrade.  The happy couple left for Nowra en route to Sydney, for their honeymoon, to a royal send off by the Diggers, who formed themselves into a tin can band. In a newspaper notice in the St George Call Thomas was noted as Private Duffy, one of the famous Anzacs, the marriage was attended by Corporal Stan Cork, as best man, and Pte, Bert Bishop, M.M., as groomsman, both from Milton. By 1937 they have moved to the Newcastle region.

The other Thomas Duffy listed on the Milton war memorial was born at Nelligen in 1869, yes he was 43 years old when he enlisted in July 1916. His wife Jemima was living at Comboyne NSW at the time. Thomas sold off his stock and plant, and the homestead selection of 224 acres at Cockwhy at the time of his enlistment. In late July 1916 a farewell was held at Benandarah for him and Robert Lewis and Mr Murphy. Thomas was presented with a watch hub, and there was also another presentation by the Cullendulla community. Thomas then went to the Kiama camp for training. His unit embarked for oversea service on board HMAT A24 Benalla on 9 November 1916 from Sydney.

Thomas served with the 39th Battalion, fighting in the trenches of the Western Front and in June 1917 he was recommend for the Military Medal with was approved in August 1917. As on June 7th, 1917, during operations and fighting south of Messines for untiring energy and devotion to duty whilst acting as stretcher bearer. Under a very enemy barrage Thomas Duffy made 30 trips between the front line and the Regimental Aid Post. He rendered great assistance to the wounded. Thomas’s personal courage and devotion to duty were splendid.

A few weeks later Thomas was wounded, from which he was sent back home to Australia in November 1917 for treatment and care. He arrived back in Sydney in January 1918, Thomas was still in the Military hospital at Randwick in March 1918 and medically discharged from war service in July 1918. Thomas’s name is listed on the Milton Ulladulla RSL Honour Roll and the Milton Town Memorial, all noted him with MM being the Military Medal. Thomas also received the British War and Victory Medal. Other local Milton men in the 39th Battalion were Bertrie Roy Latta and John William Sperring