Saturday, 25 April 2015

V is for Vincent (#AtoZChallenge)

V is for Vincent (#AtoZChallenge)

V is for Vincent, Vincent Joseph (Vince) Connor, my father. Vincent was born on the 18th June 1915 in Newcastle, New South Wales, the sixth child of Arthur Connor & Dorothy Vero. His mother, Dorothy, died in 1923 of breast cancer and exhaustion when he was only eight and his eldest sister Kath, aged fourteen,  took over the responsibility of caring for the family of seven.

Vincent worked as a fitter at the steelworks and joined the Australian Army in 1940. He was drafted into the Service Corps and served in Queensland, Victoria and New Guinea. He met my mother in the Brisbane Botanic Gardens one Sunday in 1946, and they married on the 14th October 1946 at the Holy Trinity Church of England, Fortitude Valley.

Unfortunately, things did not go well for the marriage and Vincent deserted my mother early in February 1947. I did not know my father but have managed to piece together through family history a sketch of his life. He did not marry again and died in November 2001 in Glenroy, Victoria. From  his death certificate, Vincent died of bowel cancer and schizophrenia. Tracing his life it became evident the he had suffered from schizophrenia while in the army and afterwards with quite strange notations in his service record. He was in and out of Royal Park Hospital in Melbourne for a number of years and lived in a nearby hostel where he cooked for the residents and helped with the garden.

I think Vincent lived a solitary life and I wish I had had the opportunity to know him. He did not appear in any public records after his marriage in 1946 and I traced him only when the State Trustees in Victoria put a private tree on Ancestry. So you see, Ancestry can be useful.

Vincent is buried in the Yan Yean Lawn Cemetery, Victoria.
Rest in Peace Dad ...

This post is part of the 2015 Blogging from A to Z Challenge. My theme is Names: First Names from My Family File. Stay tuned for the rest of the alphabet, and if you'd like to check out the other A to Z participants, simply click here


  1. It must have been very hard not ever knowing your father... I was far more fortunate. I can't imagine what it would have been like without my Dad, also Vincent...

    1. Thanks - yes it was difficult. The saddest thing is that in the period 1996-2001 I was travelling to Melbourne for meetings just about monthly so if I had managed to trace him I could have met but the wonderful thing is that I have met cousins from the Connor family.

  2. I can not imagine being your position. It is nice that you are able to trace back and try and get an idea of what his life was like. Genealogy has always interested me and one day (maybe when the kids are grown) I can't wait to check out ancestry too.

  3. What a sad story for you and your father. Glad you've finally found out something about him.

  4. I find it sad you never got to know your dad, but it's good that you have acquired more of an explanation of what played a part in him deserting your mother.
    On the Post A to Z Road Trip from S.E. Texas and Life & Faith in Caneyhead.