Seeking Info. On John Bourke, Born 1869 Thurles, Co. Tipperary

John Bourke (1869 – 1928)

John Bourke was born in Thurles, Co. Tipperary in 1869, to parents James and Johanna Bourke.

John migrated to Australia with his family in 1876. He would later marry Catherine Bedelia Maddin on February 19th, 1901, in the Rural town of Jackson, Queensland. They went on to have three children; James Francis, Kathleen Veronica and Michael Alphonsus.

John was occupied as a Railway Maintenance Inspector and with a gang of ‘Lengthsmen’, was responsible for the laying of miles of railway lines through Western Queensland, providing transport for passengers and goods. [Note: Lengthsman – initially someone who kept a “length” of road neat, tidy and passable in the 1700’s, with particular emphasis on boundary marking. Lengthsmen were also later used on canals and railways]

John Bourke died on May 1st, 1928 in Richmond, western Queensland and was buried in Richmond Cemetery.

The cause of his death was assessed as ‘Acute Dilation’ of the heart, due to the fact that a week earlier, when a heavy hand operated railway trolley came off the tracks, rather than having his men take the load, he lifted the trolley back on to the tracks by himself. He was well known for being a very strong man who would lift heavy loads.

John was well respected and known as a man who shared his friendship with everyone. His funeral was attended by his fellow railwaymen and residents of Richmond.

He remained always proud of his early beginnings as an Irishman.

Has any of our readers any further information on this same Bourke family named above or indeed are you possibly a relative?
We would love to hear from you, as indeed would family relatives currently, actively tracing their Irish roots.


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