This is a photo of Bert Leahy who was born around 1892 and fought in WW1. He was wounded and captured at Bullecourt and held as a POW. He returned to Australia and worked as a labourer and mostly a steeplejack. There are several articles on his work. He was in Census records as living with Eleanor Christina Leahy in Petersham, Sydney but I can't find marriage records or a birth record. It is possible he also used the name Albert Neil according to a newspaper report in 1934. I don't know of any other relatives but would like to contact them as I am directly related . He died in Sydney in 1962.
I have found Trove newspaper announcements of the death and funeral of his wife who was listed as 'Lena Jane Leahy' who died at their home in 72 New Canterbury Rd, Petersham.Perhaps 'Lena' is a nickname for Eleanor? Bert referred to himself as 'Herbert (Bert) Leahy' which is the first reference I have that his name was Herbert , with his preferred name as Bert in all other records including WW1 records and Census. I'm hoping to be able to eventually track down a birth certificate. He has listed his birthday as 26th May 1891 or 1892 but he was raised by another family so perhaps this explains the uncertainty. I've just ordered the death Certificate for his wife "Lena Leahy" (died 1949) to see where & when they were married and if there were any children from this marriage or to a previous marriage . His wife died 6 years before I was born so I don't know any other family names. It was interesting that he always recorded himself as single when receiving a war pension , but his death certificate does also confirm he was a widower.
Have been able to trace records indicating Bert Leahy was born Hugo Ludolff and changed his name to Albert Neil due to the trouble around WW1 with the persecution of German residents in Australia.He enlisted for the AIF (WW1)as Albert Neil (in Melbourne) and was discharged when they discovered his name was Hugo Ludolff (& he had broken from camp). His father , Jean Max Ludolff later married Martha Leahy in 1905 and Bert Leahy (aka Albert Neil ) decided to re-enlist for WW1 as Bert Leahy ( using his stepmothers name) in Adelaide. He fought in WW1 and was a POW. He used the true birth name of Hugo Ludolff when he married Lena Penney in 1934 in Sydney and then reverted back to the name Bert Leahy for the rest of his life. No wonder I had trouble tracing back.. I hope one day I'll meet some of my Ludolff relatives.
Bert Leahy was born as 'Hugo Ludolff' 26th May, 1891. His mother Alice Pearce (nee Sullivan) had been living with Jean Max Ludolff for a number of years while waiting for the laws to change so she could divorce her husband , James Alexander Pearce, on the grounds of desertion. She had married James Pearce in Oaklands, Tasmania in May, 1876 and seems to have given birth to 2 children a boy & a girl ...possibly named Mary Ann Catherine Alice Pearce born 12 Sept, 1878, Hobart, Tasmania. Once the law changed in 1892 she filed for divorce and this was granted 2nd March, 1893. I'm not sure if she legally married Jean Max Ludolff but he did give all her 3 children (including my father Hugo) his surname on their birth certificate. Alice and (Jean) Max Ludolff managed Hotels for a while and boarding houses around the Scarborough/Rockdale area near Botany Bay in Sydney before moving to Melbourne later..
I think the mother of Bert Leahy aka Albert Neil aka Hugo Ludolff , Alice Pearce nee Sullivan, had a child named Alexander Pearce born 23rd January, 1877 at Raty and Christened 21st May, 1877 at Georges Bay, Tasmania. If anyone knows of descendents of James and Alice Pearce or Jean Max Ludolff could they please add photos to this site or any information they feel comfortable sharing. Thanks.
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