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A strange case

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Wednesday 11 July 1906, The Sydney Morning Herald

MOLONG, Tuesday.

The young man Harry Connelly, who disappeared mysteriously from Inverell three years ago, and whom all inquiries failed to trace or discover, until by mere accident his whereabouts was discovered a couple of weeks since, arrived home in Molong last week. A letter having been received by Mr Connells, senr., from Stanthorpe, Queensland, stating that there was some chance that a young man known locally as “Terence O’Brien” was identical with his long-lost son, he forthwith went to Stanthorpe, and, making inquiry, was brought into the presence of “O’Brien,” whom he immediately recognised. The son was brought back to Molong, but though a native of the place, he did not recognise it, though he knew several members of his own family. Old residents and former schoolfellows he passed as strangers. He states that whilst at Inverell three years ago ‘ something’ happened-what, he is unable to explain, except that it must have been an attack upon him which rendered him unconscious. He has a dim memory of having one night balanced his accounts, and then going out to get an envelope and taking his money with him. Somewhere outside he was grabbed by a man who dealt him a smashing blow, and that was the last incident of that period of his life that he remembers. It would appear that he was taken to some hospital-where it was, he is unable to recollect. He did not know his own name, and therefore no clue as to his identity could be secured. He was asked his name by the nurse, but could not recollect it; the nurse ran over a lot of names till she came to “O’Brien.” and he claimed that. Next time he was spoken to it was after a period of unconsciousness. He asked, where he was, and the nurse said, “Oh, you’re all right, your name is Terence O’Brien. You are a ship’s cook, you ran away from your home in the old country, you’ve met with a nasty accident, but you’re getting along nicely now.” When last seen in Inverell he was wearing a gold watch and chain, but when taken to the hospital he had nothing but the clothes he wore. His next recollection when released from the hospital was that of tramping through the country in search of work. He got to Sydney, and there worked for a time at a baker. He afterwards went to Queensland, as far as Marlborough and eventually reached Stanthorpe, where he got a job, which he retained until his identity was discovered. One day recently a Mr Tutt, a restaurant-keeper at Inverell, visited Stanthorpe, and in the street saw O’Brien, whom he fancied he recognised. He addressed him as “Harry,” when the other replied, “You’re mistaken, my name’s Terence O’Brien.” Mr Tutt later communicated with Mr Connolly, senr., with the result above stated.

Written by macalba

June 2, 2010 at 8:04 pm

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