Reverend James KellyPrint Page Print this page

Photographs supplied by Russell Byers

A plaque erected by the Singleton parish commemorates Reverend James Kelly who died in 1912. He was drowned in Glennie's creek near Singleton in February 1912. 

The drowning of the Rev. James Kelly in Glennies Creek, on Sunday morning, while on his way out to the settlement of Glennies Creek to celebrate Mass, says the Sydney " Freeman " of Feby 15., is one of the saddest incidents in the history of the diocese of Maitland. One of three brothers, Joseph, John, and James Kelly, consecrated to the service of God in the priesthood, he had already won his way into the hearts of the people. He was born at Newcastle, received his primary education at Hamilton, and studied for the priesthood at Manly. He was ordained in December, 1910, remained for a short time in West Maitland, and was then removed to Taree, where he was stationed until the end of last year, when he was transferred to Singleton.

Very little is known of the fatality itself. He drove out to Glennies Creek on Sunday morning and passed through the railway gates a short distance from the creek crossing at 8.45 a.m. The creek was swollen from the recent rains, and a settler sent a boy to warn the Priest. He was too late. Evidently Father Kelly essayed the ford and was swept down the stream. The people at Glennies Creek waited for their priest until after eleven a.m, and then departed for their homes. Two men fishing in the creek saw the horse between two rocks a lower down the stream found the buggy. The alarm was given, and it soon became known that the young priest was missing. From Singleton and other parts men hurried to search the river but night fell and there was no success.

On Monday morning Messrs. James Wilson and John Bates found the body in shallow water, face downwards, with arms crossed, about one hundred yards down stream from the crossing. The body was conveyed to Singleton. As the deceased priest was an expert swimmer it is supposed that he must have been stunned in some way when the buggy was washed over in the stream. There were two small marks on the forehead and a bruise on the side of the head. A Solemn Office and Requiem Mass for the repose of the soul of the deceased was celebrated in St. Patrick's Church yesterday morning at ten o'clock, at which Monsignor Meagher Presided — May his Soul rest in Peace. 
W.A. Record (Perth, WA),  2 March 1912.


Address:Queen Street, St Patrick`s Church, Singleton, 2330
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -32.559273
Long: 151.178704
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Plaque
Monument Theme:People


Front Inscription

      Of your Charity pray for the 
                Soul Of 
      Died Feb 11th 1912.
This Tablet Has Been Erected By the Catholics Of 
Singleton Parish, As A Token Of Affection And Esteem

Source: MA
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au
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