Casterton & District Historical Society Inc.
Rev. Father John Thomas HENEGHAN 1880-1918
1914 : Catholic Priest at Casterton, S-W Victoria, Australia
Photo of Father John Thomas HENEGHAN 1880-1918 which used to hang in his family home in Doogary, Aghamore, Co, Mayo, Ireland.
[image thanks to Eileen Moran]

Father John Thomas HENEGHAN 1880-1918
Rev. Father John Thomas HENEGHAN 1880-1918
  • 1880 : John Thomas HENEGHAN born May 1880, Doogary, Co Mayo, Ireland, son of Michael HENEGHAN and Margaret GREALY.
  • 1901 : John Thomas HENEGHAN, aged 20y, was residing with his parents, Michael (55), Margaret (47), sister Ellen (16), brothers James (14) and Domnick (10) at Doogary, Kilkelly, Co Mayo, Ireland.
  • 1907 : John Thomas HENEGHAN probably arrived at Melbourne on the "Ophir" on 18 November 1907.
  • 1907 : Rev. Father John Thomas HENEGHAN was a Catholic Priest at Port Fairy, Western Victoria from December 1907 until 1910.
  • 1911 : Rev. Father John Thomas HENEGHAN was a Catholic Priest at Warracknabeal, Western Victoria and moved to Charlton by December 1911.
  • 1913 : Rev. Father John Thomas HENEGHAN was a Catholic Priest at St Arnaud, Western Victoria in March 1913.
  • 1914 : Rev. Father John Thomas HENEGHAN was a Catholic Priest at Casterton in 1914 as well as many other localities in western Victoria from 1907-1915.
  • 1915 : John Thomas HENEGHAN was a Roman Catholic Priest from Smythesdale Catholic Presbytery (S-W of Ballarat), Victoria, Australia when he enlisted in the 1st AIF as Pte 3772, 7th Battalion (12th reinforcements), AIF at Melbourne 7-07-1915.
  • 1915 : He embarked from Melbourne 23-11-1915 on the troopship "Ceramic."
  • 1916 : He was stationed in Egypt prior to embarking from Alexandria for England on 31-05-1916 and arriving at Plymouth, England on 12-06-1916.
  • 1917 : He joined his unit in France as as Pte 3772, 7th Battalion, AIF on 6-01-1917.
  • 1917 : He was transferred to the 14th Field Ambulance, AIF on 11-01-1917.
  • 1917 : He was wounded in France as Pte 3772, 14th Field Ambulance, AIF on 9-05-1917.
  • 1918 : Pte 3772, John Thomas HENEGHAN, 14th Field Ambulance, AIF was killed in action in Belgium on 22-03-1918.
  • 1919 : Buried 12-4-1919, Dranoutre Military Cemetery, Heuvelland, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium.
  • NOTE: "The Casterton News" of 16th May 1918, reported his death as Captain-Chaplain J. T. Henehan which is not replicated in his AIF file, where he is recorded as Pte 3772, 14th Field Ambulance, AIF.
  • His name is recorded on the...
    # Casterton Town Hall Honour Roll
    # Casterton War Memorial
    # Skipton Avenue of Honour
    # Skipton War Memorial

The following samples of newspaper extracts mention some of the events in his life covering the period from 1911 to 1918 in western Victoria, Australia.

1911 : "The Horsham Times" (Vic.) Friday, 10th March 1911.

WARRACKNABEAL.--It will be learned with regret that the Rev. Father Henehan is at present indisposed. He visited Horsham last week, and while there was attacked with symptoms similar to those of fish poisoning. He rallied somewhat, and returned to Warracknabeal on Saturday night, but subsequently he had another bad attack, and medical assistance had to be obtained. He is now recovering.

1911 : "The Chronicle" (Adelaide, SA) Saturday, 9th December 1911.

The Rev. Father Henehan, of the Roman Catholic Church, Warracknabeal, has been removed to Charlton. He was presented with a travelling rug prior to departure.

1913 : "The Colac Herald" (Vic.) Monday, 31st March 1913.

Wedding. DEVITT-O'DONNELL.--In the Roman Catholic Church, St. Arnaud, on 20th January, Mr. Brian Devitt, third son of the late Mr J. Devitt, of Beech Forest, was married to Miss Elizabeth O'Donnell, youngest daughter of the late Mr. F. O'Donnell of "Clontarf" Gooroc. The Rev. Father Doyle, assisted by the Rev. Father Henehan, performed the ceremony.

1914 : "The Colac Herald" (Vic.) Wednesday, 14th January 1914.

Marriage. FLYNN-SLATER.--On the 7th inst., at St. Mary's Roman Catholic Church, Casterton, by Rev. Father Henehan, James Joseph, the elder son of Mr and Mrs Jos. Flynn, "Glencoe," Beeac, to Alice, the elder daughter of Mrs and the late Joseph Slater, of Henty, Casterton. Present address: "Glencoe," Beeac.

1914 : "The Casterton News" (Vic.) Monday, 2nd February 1914.

Cricket. --- Wednesday Association.--The Wednesday Half Holiday Association cricket will be continued on Wednesday, when the Presbyterians will be at home to the C.Y.M.S. Play is timed to start at 2 o'clock, and players are asked to be punctual. The teams will be selected from the following:--
C.Y.M.S.--P. Scanlan (Capt), D. Donovan, C. Currie, P. Warren, W. Clark, G. O'Meara, G. Smith, Rev. Fr. Henehan, J. Boyd, G. Gill, W. Scanlan, W. Price, C. Brammer, G. Malee.
Presbyterians.--Miller, Dunne, Deravin, Dorward, Murrell, Kell, Watt, Hughes, Ewen, James, Smith, Badams, Livock, Heard.

1914 : "The Casterton News" (Vic.) Monday, 16th March 1914.

St. Patrick's Picnic Race Meeting CASTERTON.
In aid of the Casterton Convent.
TO BE HELD On the Casterton Racecourse.
ON Wednesday, March 18, 1914. (First Race to start at 1 o'clock).
President, Rev. Fr. Lowham. Vice Presidents, Messre K. H. Matheson and J. Glancy. Stewards, Messrs. J. Glancy, J. Little, K. M. Matheson, N. A. Peebles, W. Stock. and P. Q. Pinnell. Hon. Judge. Mr. M. O'Donnell. Hon. Starter, Mr. J. Little. Hon. Handicappers, Messrs J. Glancy and K. M. Matheson. Trotters, Mr R. McInroy. Hon. Clerk of Scales, Mr J. Glancy. Hon. Clerk of Course, Mr A. H. Bilston. Hon. Surgeons, Drs. G. H. Skinner, F. A. Deravin, and W. A. Morton. Hon. Veterinary Surgeon, Mr. Norman MacDonald. Hon. Timekeeper, Mr Jas. Henderson. Scratching Board, Mr W. Scanlon. Saddle Cloth Steward, Mr John Gunther. Bookmakers' Supervisors, Messrs F. W. Abbott and P. Scanlan. Pony Measurer, Mr W. Stock.

--- Programme ---
  1. EDENHOPE MAIDEN HACK RACE. Welter weight for age. Five furlongs. First, Trophy value 2/2 ; second, trophy value 1/1, Entry 2s.
  2. SANDFORD HANDICAP PONY RACE for ponies 14.2 and under. Minimum weight 9st. Five furlongs. First, trophy value 4/4 ; second, trophy value 1/1. Entry 3s.
  3. CASTERTON ST. PATRICK'S DAY CUP. A handicap. Minimum weight 10st. One mile. First, trophy value 8/8 ; second, trophy value 2/2. Entry 7/6.
  4. DISTANCE HANDICAP TROT (in saddle), 1 miles. Horses, 10st 5lb or over ; Ponies, 14 a.u., 9st or over. First, trophy value 4/4s; second, trophy value 1/1s. The best three placed performances to be sent in with entry. All winners or placed horses in any race after handicaps are declared may be re-handicapped. All riders must ride in colors. To be run under the Rules of the V.T.A. All horses competing, also riders and trainers must be registered ; Fees, 5s and 2s 6d respectively. Entry, 4s.
  5. HARROW & BALMORAL BRUSH HURDLE RACE. A handicap. Minimum weight, 10st 7lbs. Two miles. First, trophy value 5/5 ; second, trophy value 2/2. Entry 5s.
  6. MERINO HANDICAP PONY RACE for ponies 13.2 and under. Minimum weight 9st. Four furlongs. First, trophy value 3/3 ; second, trophy value 1/1. Entry 2/6.
  7. STRATHDOWNIE OPEN HACK RACE. A handicap. Minimum weight, 10st 7lb. Five furlongs. First, trophy value 4/4 ; second, trophy value 1/1. Entry 3s.
  8. CHETWYND & NAREEN LADIES' BRACELET. A handicap. Minimum weight, 11st. Six furlongs. Lady nominators. First, trophy value 5/5s ; second, trophy value 2/2. Entry 5s.
  9. CADET RACE (Pedestrian Event for Cadets.) First, trophy value 1/ls ; second, trophy value 10 6d. Entry, ls.
NOMINATIONS for all events close with the Secretaries on TUESDAY, 10th MARCH, 1914. Performances for last two years to be given at time of entry.
All nominations must be accompanied by the necessary fee, without which the nomination will not be valid. Handicaps declared on Thursday, 12th March, or such other date as the Stewards may direct.
The winner of any Handicap after the declaration of weights to carry 7lbs extra, of two or more such races, 10lbs extra.
V.R.C. and V.T.A. Rules.
Riders in Events Nos. 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 7, and 8 must be strictly Amateur.
C. V. HARDY,) Joint
J. HENEHAN, ) Hon. Secs.

1915 : "The St Arnaud Mercury" (Vic.) Saturday, 10th July 1915.

ENLISTMENTS.--Rev. J. Henehan, Roman Catholic Priest at Smythesdale, has enlisted as a private for active service in the war. Father Henehan, who is a keen sportsman and a good shot, was formerly stationed at St. Arnaud for a few months.

1916 : "The Port Fairy Gazette" (Vic.) Thursday, 6th April 1916.

News from Egypt.--Private J. F. Kemp, No 3886, 12th reinforcements, 5th Battalion, Aerodrome Camp, Egypt, writes as follows to his brother, Mr A. M. Kemp, Port Fairy, Victoria :--
"I suppose you are wondering whether I am in the land of the living or not. Well, I am pleased to say that I have not felt better in my life, Reached here about a fortnight ago after a very pleasant, but uneventful voyage on the "Ceramic." We did not put in at any place of call until reaching Port Suez, where we had a spell for a night, and proceeded on our journey next morning. The journey through the canal is a lovely one, and most of the sights I saw will never be forgotten by me. Little did I (as well as many others) think that it would be my good fortune to sail up it. A lot of the troops that are stationed here disembarked at Port Suez and came by train, therefore missing a most lovely time. It just took the full day to reach Port Said. I was told it was a fine place, but we were not allowed to land as there would have been an L of a job rounding us up again. You will see by the heading that we have had another change of quarters. It seems to me that apparently they have nothing else to do with a lot of us, as we are constantly packing up and shipping from one camp to another. We just get nicely settled down in one camp, when suddenly the order comes to pack up, and away we go to some new place. The Aerodrome is only a few miles from the Abbissia camp and both camps are only a little way from Heliopolis which is only a few miles from Cairo, the capital of Egypt. Heliopolis is a very pretty town, and it does not matter at what time you go in, there are thousands of troops to be seen marching about the different streets. There are any amount of other camps about here, and goodness only knows the number of the troops that are stationed in Egypt at the present time. One of the finest hotels here has been converted into a hospital, and there must be some hundreds of sick and wounded in it. There is a most beautiful R.C. church within ten minutes walk from the camp, and every Sunday morning the R.C,'s are marched in. This morning at Mass I met Farn Mardling and Jack Barker (who used to be with Mr. M. Devereux), Farn is stationed here alongside of my company. Barker is at one of the other camps close handy. They both look in splendid health. Farn came over in the same boat as we but I did not meet him since until this morning. Even on board I did not see much of him as where there are close on 3500 troops, it is rather a hard job to pick up one another. I also met on the boat Father Henehan (who used to be stationed at Port), young Duffus, Lawford, and Andy Ednie's son. Became acquainted quite accidentally with young Duffus. It was he who told me that his Reverence was on board. Father Henehan was promoted to the rank of Sergeant on account of us having no R.C. Chaplain on the boat. He looked me up just before reaching Alexandria, and we had a great yarn about old Port. The weather here is simply delightful, lovely spring-like days, but a wee bit chilly at nights, and also when turning out at 5.30 in the mornings. Went into Heliopolis to-day to attend the funeral of a young soldier, but I was too late in getting in, as the remains had been taken to Cairo by train before we reached there, so we knocked about the streets till tea-time. Met Jack Finn who is looking remarkably well. He has grown quite stout on it."

1918 : "The Port Fairy Gazette" (Vic.) Monday, 29th April 1918.

Supreme Sacrifice. PRIVATE (REV) JOHN HENEHAN.
Profound sorrow was expressed throughout the Catholic community yesterday morning, when the intelligence of the death of Rev. Father John Henehan on active service, was confirmed. The name had appeared on a casualty list a few weeks back, but, as nothing authentic was received till Saturday, nothing has been said or established. The deceased came to Port Fairy first temporarily in December, 1907, and was appointed curate to the late Rev. James O'Regan in March, 1908, retaining that position for over two years, and making many friends during his short stay. He had splendid organising ability and was responsible for a good many successful projects in aid of the Church and schools in both of which he showed keen interest, and worked hard for their advancement. With the children and young people, he was a great favorite, entering with much zest into their pastimes and activities, frequently giving the boys of St Patrick's school fooballs, cricket sets and many other sources of amusement (which tend to improve the physical and hygienic conditions of a school) and teaching them how to use them. The occasion of his departure (April 22, 1910), for Warracknabeal was one of mourning. From Waracknabeal he went as curate to Father Goidanich at Charlton, afterwards going to St Arnaud, then Casterton, and thence to Ballarat, from which place he enlisted as a stretcher-bearer in the M.C. His work in the service has often been referred to by those returned from the front, and always in the highest praise. Those knowing the late Private Henehan can well believe that he would put his whole heart and soul into the calling he was following. Rev. Father Henehan was a native of Co. Sligo, Ireland, and was about 24 years of age on his arrival at Port Fairy, being 34 when he died of wounds received somewhere in France. This morning a Requiem Mass was celebrated for his soul at St Patrick's Church, and a large congregation attended the ceremony.

1918 : "The St Arnaud Mercury" (Vic.) Saturday, 4th May 1918.

THE WAR TOLL. --- CHAPLAIN J. T. HENEHAN.--Word has been received that Chaplain J. T. Henehan was killed in France, Friday, 22nd March, during the execution of his duties in connection with the 14th Field Ambulance. He received a gunshot wound into the head. Deceased, who was well-known in this district, was formerly curate to the Rev. G. Doyle at the Roman Catholic Church, St. Arnaud.

1918 : "The Casterton News" (Vic.) Thursday, 16th May 1918.

Captain-Chaplain J. T. Henehan was killed in France on March 22nd last whilst with the troops on service abroad. The deceased Chaplain enlisted at Smythesdale, but prior to going to that district acted as Curate in the Casterton R.C. Parish, under Rev. Father J. P. Lowham.

1918 : "The Ballarat Courier" (Vic.) Saturday, 18th May 1918.

THE ROLL OF HONOR. BALLARAT AND DISTRICT MEN. CHAPLAIN J. T. HENEHAN.--Intimation has been received by Rev. Father J. P. Lowham that Chaplain-Capt. J. T. Henehan was killed in France, on 22nd March. The deceased chaplain enlisted from Smythesdale, and prior to going there acted as curate in the R.C. parish at Casterton.

1918 : "The Port Fairy Gazette" (Vic.) Monday, 27th May 1918.

THE LATE FATHER HENEHAN.--Intimation has just been received by Rev. Father J. P. Lowham, of Ballarat, that Chaplain-Captain J. T. Henehan was killed in France on the 22nd March (the death of whom was reported in an issue a few weeks back). The deceased chaplain enlisted from Smythesdale as a private and went into camp at Broadmeadows, being made a chaplain when he was over in France. As he had three brothers in the firing line, the late Father Henehan was not satisfied until he enlisted and went over to them. Deceased was well-liked and highly respected by all classes in the Smythesdale parish. When he enlisted he was curate in charge of the Cressy church ; and he was also a curate in Port Fairy during the years 1908-10.

1918 : "The Port Fairy Gazette" (Vic.) Monday, 25th November 1918.

PERSONAL.--In order to perpetuate the memory of the late Rev. Fathers O'Regan and Henehan, the Catholics of the Yambuk district are arranging to purchase a set of Stations of the Cross to be erected in the Yambuk Church. Suggestions are thrown out that the work of erecting a new church should be undertaken.

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