25 April, 2020
Unknown soldier named.
JB Effley was the Tablelands first casualty in the Second World Wa
JB Effley was the Tablelands first casualty in the Second World War, but until recently nobody knew who JB Effley was.
That was until local Historic Researcher Elwyn Troughton discovered his true name.
Elwyn has been researching the history of all locals killed in the two World Wars.
The name JB Effley is inscribed on the Mareeba Cenotaph and the name had her stumped for over 8 years.
Then about eight weeks ago all the stars aligned, thanks to the internet.
Elwyn discovered that his name was spelt incorrectly, JB Effley was really JP Feely, who was born in Sydney on June 28 1905.
Elwyn says once she had the correct name all the pieces started to fit.
“Once I had his name correct, I could get his records from the Australian War Memorial and I discovered that he had moved up to and worked as a farmer in Biboohra and on April 2, 1940, he enlisted in Cairns into the AIF”
“I then discovered that Private Joseph Patrick Feely was killed in a London bombing raid on November 10, 1940,
“It was less than a year after the war had been declared and just over 6 months after he enlisted,
“He was in London waiting to be deployed to the European front line”
His death was the first recorded death of a Tablelands soldier during the Second World War.
Elwyn is now on a quest to get his name changed on the Mareeba cenotaph.
“I spoke to Angela Toppin and Mary Graham from the council a few weeks go about getting his name changed but that was during the caretaker period so they couldn’t do anything at the time”
In a statement from Mayor Toppin "We look forward to receiving the research and information from Elwyn and will consider the request in consultation with the RSL Sub-Branch,” said Mayor Toppin.
"We have made changes to the cenotaph based on Elwyn's research in the past.
"Elwyn is so dedicated to preserving wartime history and we acknowledge and appreciate her efforts,” Cr Toppin said.