Owen's Grandfather, James O'Mara, arrived in
Australia on 12th July 1837 aboard the ‘Heber‘
with 216 other Convicts. James was put to work
at Victoria Barracks and Circular Quay and
obtained his ticket of leave in 1845 . He
married in 1848 and had 11 children. The seven
O’Mara’s who enlisted for WW1 were his
O’Mara Brothers and Cousins.
Owen Cooney O’Mara - 4614 – 45th Battalion -
KIA, 7th August 1916
William Joseph O’Mara - 5647 – 18th Battalion –
My Grandfather. WIA Twice
John (aka Jack) O’Mara - 2229 -- 10th FA Brigade
AIF - WIA
James Philip O’Mara - 1608 - Severely wounded.
Died, June 20th 1920
Thomas O’Mara - 2653 - 7th Light Horse -
suffered with Malaria.
Stephen Arthur O’Mara - 53841 – Graves
Registration Det. France
Stanislaus O’Mara - 2621 - 39th Battalion - WIA
Owen Cooney O’Mara was my Grandfather's Brother.
Owen was KIA on the night of 7th August 1916 in
the Battle for Pozieres. A direct hit from
German Artillery killed him and three of his
cobbers instantly. They were buried together,
where they fell, with just the one cross for the
four of them. Red Cross records advise that Sgt.
James Peel Wise buried them the following
morning. This was exactly 12 months to the day
that Owen enlisted back in Cootamundra NSW on
Saturday 7th August 1915.
Owen wrote his last two letters from the
trenches in July 1916. In reading the first of
his letters he was at pains to put his parents
mind at rest as to his safety and wellbeing. He
even suggests that should they ever be advised
of him being wounded to “Treat it Lightly”. He
mentions cousin Jack who was raised by his
parents after the death of his mother’s twin
sister. I’m sure that Jack was considered as a
son by Michael & Ellen, they no doubt worried
about their three boys at War.
However, the tone of his second letter changes.
It seems to me that he felt the odds were
stacked against him ever returning to Sunny
Australia. He gives a very descriptive account
of “ bullets and fragments of shells . Battery
after battery, belching out deadly metal “…..
Sadly, Owen’s last two letters were not received
by his parents Michael & Ellen until after they
were advised of his death. His Letters were
published in the Gundagai Independent on 21st
September 1916 and I would like to share them
To Read The
B Coy 2nd Tour
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