Obituaries Australia

  • Tip: searches only the name field
  • Tip: use double quotes to search for a phrase
  • Tip: lists of awards, schools, organisations etc

Browse Lists:

Cultural Advice

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people should be aware that this website contains names, images, and voices of deceased persons.

In addition, some articles contain terms or views that were acceptable within mainstream Australian culture in the period in which they were written, but may no longer be considered appropriate.

These articles do not necessarily reflect the views of The Australian National University.

John Keats (1853–1926)

Mr. John Keats, whose death occurred in Glen Innes on New Year's Day, was one of the few who could claim personal acquaintance with the notorious Thunderbolt. As a lad the late Mr. Keats was living with his parents on Ranger's Valley station, and while playing about one day he was accosted by a horseman, who conversed with him in friendly spirit. The horseman was apparently impressed by the young lad, and handed him a 2/ piece. The recipient, in pocketing this coin, observed, "By Jove, it would not do for Thunderbolt to come along now." The donor told the boy not to be afraid of Thunderbolt, adding, "Thunderbolt does not rob little boys." Subsequently it was disclosed that the horseman was none other than Thunderbolt, who was in the district planning a raid on some of the station horses. The late Mr. Keats, who was born at sea on the way from England to Australia, landed in Australia 75 years ago. After a few years in Victoria the Keats family moved to Glen Innes, and Mr. Keats' father found employment on Ranger's Valley station. Subsequently he removed to Walcha, but his son John remained in the district, where he carried out many big fencing and other contracts. He was the first man to erect an "Anchor" fence on Deepwater station—probably the first fence of its kind in New England. His widow, five sons, and one daughter survive. The sons are Messrs. E. (Newcastle), Fred. (Tamworth), Jack and James (Bonalbo), and Herb (Sydney), and the daughter is Mrs. C. Askew, of Bonalbo.

Original publication

Related Entries in NCB Sites

Citation details

'Keats, John (1853–1926)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 15 April 2024.

© Copyright Obituaries Australia, 2010-2024

Life Summary [details]


at sea


1 January, 1926 (aged ~ 73)
Glen Innes, New South Wales, Australia

Cultural Heritage

Includes subject's nationality; their parents' nationality; the countries in which they spent a significant part of their childhood, and their self-identity.