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Thomas George Fegent (1878-1921)

Citation

“Thomas George Fegent (1878-1921),” Wyndham History, accessed October 27, 2020, http://www.wyndhamhistory.net.au/items/show/2054.
View Record Detail
Title

Thomas George Fegent (1878-1921)

Subject

Fegent, Thomas George

Publisher

Wyndham City Libraries

Date

1916

Contributor

Bill Strong

Format

text

Language

eng

Type

Text

Biographical Text

No. 7193  Private Thomas George Fegent Jnr
Thomas George Fegent (Jnr) was born in 1878 to Thomas George Fegent (Snr) and Margaret Good Grey at Ballarat, Victoria.

His siblings were:

  • John Thomas Grey Fegent - born 1879 at Katamatite, died 1879
  • Maria Thompson Fegent - born1882 at Dookie
  • William Gray Fegent - born 1884 at Dimboola
  • Margaret Hannah Fegent - born 1885 at Dunbulbalane
  • Emma Jessie Fegent - born 1887 at Yarrawonga
  • Charles James Fegent - born 1881 at Yarrawonga

Their father, Thomas George Fegent (Snr) was a farmer living at Benalla, when he married Margaret Good Grey at Ballarat on 19 March 1877.
Ballarat Courier, 29 March 1877, p.2.  

They farmed in the Ballarat area and then moved around Victoria, before settling at Youanmite,south of Yarrawonga.  He was still living there when he died in 1893.  
The Argus,18 October 1893, p.7.

His mother, Margaret G. Fegent lived at 27 Arnold Street, St Kilda, until her death in 1927.
The Argus, 30 August 1927, p.1.

Pre War
Thomas Fegent's pre-war military experience comprised of was 2 years in the Militia, with the "1898 Volunteers".  This was possibly the Victorian Scottish Regiment, who were formed in 1898 at Albert Park. Their parade ground was in the Victoria Barracks, Melbourne. 

In 1903, Thomas George Fegent, Jnr. aged 25, married Annie Maria Cooke at Ballarat in Victoria.  They had three children:

  • Emma Jessie (Jessie) Fegent - born 1887 at Youa, Victoria
  • Thomas George Fegent - born 1904 at Rushworth
  • Herbert Lindsay Grant Fegent - born 1906 at Prahran

By 1907, Thomas Fegent and his family were living in Melbourne, and he had begun an association with insurance agents, Mitchell and Taylor.
Prahran Telegraph, 2 July 1910, p.5.

In 1908, Thomas and Annie Fegent were living at 6 Perth Street, Prahran, and he was working in the area as an agent. They had moved to 90 Charles Street in Prahran by 1910, when Thomas George Fegent was mentioned in the Police Gazette. In the same year, Fegent and Pinney advertised their real estate agency at 403 Chapel Street Melbourne.
The Age, 11 August 1910, p.5.

Thomas advertised his services as a Estate and Insurance Agent in 1910.  He was an agent for Fegent & Finney of South Yarra, and cited that he had previously worked for Mitchell & Taylor.
Prahran Telegraph, 16 July 1910, p.3.

An article in the Prahran Telegraph, 2 July 1910, p.5., reported that Messrs Fegent & Finney had opened for business in the new buildings at the corner of Chapel and Barry Streets, South Yarra. They were house, land, estate, financial, business and insurance agents, as well as furniture warehousemen. 

In 1911, he was the South Yarra agent for The Guardian Assurance Company of Melbourne.

By 1912, Thomas and Annie appear to be living apart.  According to the Electoral Rolls, between the years 1912 and 1919, Annie Maria Fegent lived on her own at Bulban in Werribee, and her occupation was home duties.

Thomas however, remained living at 403 Chapel Street Prahran.  He remained there between the years 1912 and 1916, when he enlisted in the A.I.F.

War Service
Thomas George Fegent Jnr was 38 years of age when he enlisted in the A.I.F. at Melbourne on 4 October 1916, and he was immediately sent to Seymour for training.  He completed basic training and a Signal School course on 2 February 1917 and was appointed as a Private to the 14th Infantry Battalion's 24th Reinforcements.  On his enlistment and embarkation papers he gave his occupation as an Estate Agent, and his wife’s address as Mrs Annie Fegent at Little River.

He embarked from Melbourne on 19 February 1917 per H.M.A.T. Ballarat A70 with the 14th Infantry Battalion, 24th and 25th Reinforcements.  He was then 38 years old. With him in the 24th Reinforcements was No 7201, Private William Beamish, also from Little River.

Prior to their ship departing, "67 Geelong Boys" sent greetings Home, via a letter published in the Geelong Advertiser, 10 March 1917, p.7. It said that they were on their way to the Front, and passed greetings to their friends in Australia.  All were well and looking forward to reaching their destination.  "T.G. Fegent" was one of the diggers names that was included.

As their ship, the H.M.A.T. Ballarat was approaching The Lizard (off southern England) on 25 April 1917, it was torpedoed by a German submarine.  The ship sank on the following day, and no lives were lost.

A later article in the Geelong Advertiser 30 April 1917, p.3 advised that the ship carrying all of the 67 Geelong Boys, had been torpedoed, and that all on board were saved.

After a voyage of two months, the reinforcements finally disembarked at Devonport in England, and marched in to the 4th Training Battalion at Codford on 26 April 1917.

One month later, on 14 May 1917, Private Fegent was admitted to the 3rd London General Hospital at Wandsworth, as "sick".  On 21 June 1917, he was transferred to the 1st Australian Auxiliary Hospital at Harefield.  After one week of treatment, he was discharged to the A.I.F.  No.2 Command Depot Weymouth.  They held men who were not expected to be fit for six months.

Private Fegent was repatriated home to Australia per H.S. Demosthenes (A64) on 27 July 1917.  His diagnosis was General Debility Albuminuria, and he was classified as suitable for Home Service only.

He was discharged from the 3rd Military District in Melbourne on 29 October 1917.

Post War
Private Fegent was nominated to receive a Gold Medal from the residents of Little River at a ceremony in June 1918.  He was then appointed to a team that were to canvas the district for donations. Werribee Shire Banner, 13 June 1918, p.2.

His wife Annie Fegent remained at Little River until 1919. At a ceremony held in July 1919, "Mrs T Fegent" was presented with a gift in appreciation of her previous four years' service, as secretary of the Little River Branch of the Red Cross Society.
Geelong Advertiser, 31 July 1919, p.4.  

She then moved to the St Kilda area. A letter sent to her Little River address from the Army in 1924 was returned as not known at that address.

Between 1915 and 1919, the Electoral Rolls record a Thomas George Fegent as living at a separate address in Little River, and his occupation was a painter. Private T.G. Fegent, Jnr was in England, so this must have been his son Thomas George Fegent (3rd). (His birth had been registered in 1904, so he must have been born ten years earlier, possibly in 1894?].

"Thos Geo Fegent" (3rd?) was still living at Little River in 1921 according to the Sands Directory of that year.

"Thos Geo Fegent" Jnr died at Dunolly in Victoria on 14 April 1921, aged 43 years.  His Father was recorded as "Thos Geo Fegent", Snr, and his mother was "Marg Good Gray".  No inquest was held.

A newspaper report of his death said that he was the "Husband of Annie Fegent. 29 Milton St, St Kilda.  Eldest son of the late Thomas George and Margaret Good Fegent. Aged 43 years. Late AIF".
The Australasian, 23 April 1921, p.53.
The Argus, 16 April 1921, p.11.

According to the Electoral Rolls, Mrs Annie Maria Fegent then remained in the Balaclava and Armadale area until her death in 1937.  Her son, Thomas George Fegent (3rd) lived with her from 1927 until 1935, when he married Elsy Isabel Fitzgerald.  Thomas and Elsy subsequentially divorced in 1940.

Medals & Entitlements:

  • British War Medal

Notes
* The name "Fegent, T.G., Little River" first appeared in the Werribee Shire Banner’s Roll of Honor, 13 February 1919, p.3.


* His name appears on the Oak Honour board as"Fegent T.C"

* The roll of the Victorian Volunteer Force is contained in 22 bound volumes. This Force was disbanded in 1884, and was replaced by the Victorian Militia. They were paid, part-time volunteers. [Source: National Archives of Australia.]

* The Victorian Scottish Regiment (VSR) was an infantry regiment of the Australian Army. Formed in 1898 as a volunteer unit of the colonial Victorian Military Forces, the unit went through a number of changes in name over the course of its 62 year history.

Bibliography

Service History
http://recordsearch.naa.gov.au/

Embarkation List https://www.awm.gov.au/people/rolls/R1977160/

Family 
CD Pioneer Index Victoria 1836 – 1888
CD Edwardian Index Victoria 1902-1913

Death 
Inquest Index Victoria, 1840 - 1985

Family
Ancestry.com

HMAT Ballarat
http://www.flotilla-australia.com/hmat3.htm
https://www.flickr.com/photos/41311545@N05/3918689105

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