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Roche, Thomas Lombard (1869–1942)

by Chris Cunneen

This article was published:

Coombemartin Station (Qld) 'perjurers', 1894 [Roche is second from right, bottom row]

Coombemartin Station (Qld) 'perjurers', 1894 [Roche is second from right, bottom row]

Queensland Police Museum, PM0270

Thomas Lombard Roche (1869-1942) drover, shearer, gaoled unionist

Baptism: 25 November 1869 at Cloyne, Annakissy, County Cork, Ireland, son of Michael Roche, farmer, and Ellen, née Lombard. Marriage: 29 November 1899 in Clermont, Queensland, to Mary Tehan, servant, born in Kilorgan, Kerry. They had four daughters. Death: 1942 at Kogarah, New South Wales. Religion: Catholic. 

  • Arrived in Queensland from Ireland aboard the Chyebassa in 1885 and worked as a drover and shearer.
  • Was present with striking shearers at Robert Christison’s Coombe Martin station near Ilfracombe on 20 July 1894 when a shearer, Charles Ashford was shot. Roche was one of those initially charged with shooting. He was released then rearrested and on 13 September in Rockhampton police court was charged with intimidation.
  • At the Supreme court, Rockhampton in September, Roche was one of those who gave evidence for the defence in the trial of Charles Prior for attempted murder. He supported the accusation that inspector Carr had shot Ashford.
  • Released on intimidation charge on 1 October, he was rearrested at Beaconsfield station on 5 October and charged with committing perjury at the trial of Prior. On 26 November 1894 at the District Court, Rockhampton, judge Granville Miller sentenced him to imprisonment with hard labour for four years.
  • Prison records described him as a shearer, aged 25, born in Ireland, who could read and write. Five feet 11½ inches (181 cm) in height and slight in build, he had dark hair, a dark complexion and brown eyes. He gave his religion as Roman Catholic. He had three warts on the left side of his neck, a scar on his right cheek, a mole in the centre of his back and a mole on his right shoulder. His weight on admission to St Helena island prison on 8 January 1895 was 12 stone 1 lb (77kg).
  • Following petitions for clemency, Roche was released from St Helena prison on 28 May 1897. His weight on discharge was 11 stone 8 lbs (73.5 kg).
  • Was a miner, living at Clermont, in 1899.
  • By 1903 Roche and his wife had moved to Sydney where he worked as a coal lumper.
  • A labourer living at Dawes Point, Sydney, he enlisted in the Australian Imperial Force at Darlinghurst, Sydney, on 29 May 1917 putting his age down more than 5 years. He was discharged from the 7th Light Horse, medically unfit, on 11 June 1917.
  • Roche again enlisted in the AIF at Sydney on 26 June 1918. He embarked for Europe in September 1918, served in various posts in England and returned to Australia aboard the Pakeha on 16 October 1919. He was discharged on 7 February 1920.
  • In later years he was a boot repairer then an old age pensioner.
  • Cause of death: cardiac failure, silicosis and chronic bronchitis.

Additional Resources

Related Entries in NCB Sites

Citation details

Chris Cunneen, 'Roche, Thomas Lombard (1869–1942)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, https://peopleaustralia.anu.edu.au/biography/roche-thomas-lombard-32393/text40155, accessed 10 December 2022.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012

Coombemartin Station (Qld) 'perjurers', 1894 [Roche is second from right, bottom row]

Coombemartin Station (Qld) 'perjurers', 1894 [Roche is second from right, bottom row]

Queensland Police Museum, PM0270