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Thomas Montague (Monty) Byrne (1874–1933)

The death occurred in Goulburn Hospital after a long illness of a black tracker who was employed by the police. Thomas Montague ("Monty") Byrne, aged 59. "Monty" was a full-blooded Queensland aboriginal.

He was brought to this State in unusual circumstances, being placed, at the age of four, in a sugar bag by two brothers, Henry and James Keyes. The brothers were working a claim on the Queensland border, and found the blacks troublesome. They scared them away by the old trick of a lighted candle in a watermelon, with eyes and mouth cut in it, but the blacks departed so hurriedly that they left "Monty" behind them. The brothers took charge of the youngster and brought him to Gunning Flat, near Cowra, where a Mr. O'Leary, a relative of the brothers, took care of him, and had him educated and given religious training. "Monty" was told when he was brought from Queensland to keep his head in the bag when they were travelling on the train.

"Monty" was most popular with all members of the force. He was trustworthy and reliable, and always gave good service.

Original publication

Additional Resources

  • short profile, Dubbo Liberal and Macquarie Advocate (NSW), 9 June 1916, p 6

Citation details

'Byrne, Thomas Montague (Monty) (1874–1933)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 18 April 2024.

© Copyright Obituaries Australia, 2010-2024

Life Summary [details]


Queensland, Australia


August, 1933 (aged ~ 59)
Goulburn, New South Wales, Australia

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