The story of Eccleston Du Faur, president of the Art Gallery trustees
The ‘Crumner relics’ were donated to the Art Gallery of New South Wales in 1907. They included various mementos of the battle of Waterloo and, most interestingly, a Victoria Cross. This had been awarded to Private Timothy O’Hea in 1866 for single-handedly putting out a fire on a train loaded with gunpowder that was travelling between Quebec and Montreal.
O'Hea moved to Sydney in June 1874, just three years after the Gallery was founded. Here he became involved in an expedition to find the alleged survivor from Ludwig Leichhardt's fatal expedition across the Simpson Desert. Major Crumner, father-in-law of Eccleston Du Faur, the Gallery’s longest serving president of the trustees, financed the expedition. The expedition was as ill-fated as Leichhardt’s original one and O’Hea perished on it. Was he murdered, as some thought? Was Timothy O’Hea even the person he said he was? Come and hear the fascinating tale of the ‘Gallery’s VC’.
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