Andrew Theodore CALLAGHAN MSM

CALLAGHAN, Andrew Theodore

Service Number: 14259
Enlisted: 28 March 1916, Sydney, New South Wales
Last Rank: Sergeant
Last Unit: 1st Australian Wireless Squadron
Born: Ballina, New South Wales, Australia, 26 March 1896
Home Town: Ballina, Ballina, New South Wales
Schooling: Alstonville Public School, Alstonville, New South Wales, Australia
Occupation: Telegraphist
Died: Natural causes, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, 2 June 1962, aged 66 years
Cemetery: Macquarie Park Cemetery & Crematorium
Buried in the Vaughan Catholic Lawn, Row 14, Grave 0038, with his wife Gladys.
Memorials: Alstonville Public School Great War Roll of Honor, Ballina Municipal Honour Roll
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World War 1 Service

28 Mar 1916: Enlisted AIF WW1, Private, SN 14259, Sydney, New South Wales
30 May 1916: Involvement Sapper, SN 14259, 1st Australian Wireless Squadron
30 May 1916: Embarked Sapper, SN 14259, 1st Australian Wireless Squadron, RMS Morea, Melbourne
8 Oct 1916: Promoted AIF WW1, Corporal, 1st Australian Wireless Squadron, Promoted from Sapper to Corporal while serving with the army as a telegraph operator in Basrah, Mesopotamia.
14 Nov 1916: Promoted AIF WW1, Sergeant, 1st Australian Wireless Squadron, Promoted from Corporal to Sergeant while serving with the army as a telegraph operator in Basrah, Mesopotamia.
3 Jun 1919: Discharged AIF WW1, Sergeant, SN 14259, 1st Australian Wireless Squadron

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Biography contributed by John Edwards

Awarded the Meritorious Service Medal ( in 1917

Married Gladys Norah Bourke (b.23 Dec 1898, Perth W.A.) in North Sydney, NSW on 12 Oct 1926, and she died in NSW in 1978

They had a daughter, Shirley Margaret Callaghan on 18 Apr 1938 

Andrew died in Sydney, NSW on 02 Jun 1962

Biography contributed by Catherine Flitcroft

Written and submitted by Catherine Flitcroft - (granddaughter of Andrew Callaghan!)

Andrew and his wife Gladys had three daughters:

1. Pamela Patricia Callaghan, born about 1927, died at 15 in Canberra on 23 September, 1942

2. Maureen Anne Callaghan, 2 April 1931 - 15 August, 1987

3. Shirley Margaret Callaghan, 18 April 1935 - 10 February, 2015

Before and after his WW1 service, he was employed by the Postmaster General's Dept (PMG), beginning in 1910 as a "Telegraph Messenger" in his hometown of Ballina, promoted through various positions until Postmaster.  His last Postmaster appointment was at Beecroft in Sydney.  Introduced by a mutual friend, Federal Member of Parliament/Minister Jack Beasley Andrew asked that Andrew be transferred from the PMG to the Prime Minister's Department to take up the role of his Private Secretary, which he began on 20 May 1940.  Beasley was Minister for the critical wartime portfolios of Supply and Development/Shipping, and Defence.  Andrew was his trusted right-hand man during the war years and afterwards in London and elsewhere when Beasley was eventually appointed Resident Minister in London, then Australian High Commissioner to the UK.  Andrew and his family transferred to London with Beasley, where the new role of Assistant Secretary at Australia House was created for him. He was in this role nominally from December 1945, taking up the role after arrival in London in January 1946.  He attended the Paris Peace Talks, but health issues related to his WW1 service  caused his return to Australia in January 1947.  He took leave to recover and eventually retired from the Prime Minister's Department on 11 August 1948.  After his public service career, he became the representative and agent for heavy equipment and tractor manufacturers John Deere and Caterpillar in Australia.  He was a keen lawn bowler and a regular at Vaucluse Bowling Club, the Sydney suburb in which he and his wife lived for the last decade or so of his life.

Some details above are sourced from Andrew's military service file and his public service staff file, both held at the National Archive of Australia in Canberra and available online in digital form.