Stories and People

John Joseph Bryan

John Joseph Bryan
Written by Cherie Strickland and Lorraine Clarke – Swan Genealogy

John Joseph Bryan was born 24/06/1862 Dinapur India, son of Deborah nee Phillips, of Tasmania and Sergeant Thomas Bryan of the 96th Regiment. John Joseph arrived in the Swan River Colony aboard the Clyde in 1863 with his parents, his father was an Enrolled Pensioner Guard and respected military musician. In 1878 John married Annie Louise Buggins in Fremantle, he was a member of the Fremantle Volunteers Band, Perth Volunteers Band and he took over the role of Band master of the Headquarters Band when his father retired in 1878. A printer by trade, he was apprenticed to Mr Edmund Stirling, and worked at the Inquirer, Daily News, Herald and WA Record, he then went on to start his own well respected printing business.

Bryan was in charge of the band for the West Australian Contingent who attended the opening of Federal Parliament in Melbourne, The Contingent of was made up of 200 hundred men, of which 39 were band members from Perth, Fremantle, Bunbury, Geraldton and Albany. The Contingent left Fremantle for Adelaide on the SS Marloo on the 24/04/1901 and then proceeded by rail to Melbourne.
Bryan, to coin the phrase used in the Sunday Times “dropped dead” on the 10/05/1901. He and his band were 200 metres from the saluting post at the official review of the Opening of Federal Parliament in Melbourne, attended by The Duke of Cornwall and York. Bryan had a heart attack caused from heart disease, his body was embalmed and returned to Perth aboard the SS Pilbara on the 23/05/1901 where he was afforded a Military Funeral on the 2nd June in the Roman Catholic Cemetery Perth, he was aged only 46 years. He left a wife and 4 children.

A well respected man who’s burial in Perth was attended by the Premier, dignitaries and approximately 15000 to 20000 others and yet was not to be found on any published databases nor a headstone memorialising his death.

Brought to you by:

National Trust of Western Australia


Friends of the Battye Library (Inc)

  • East Perth Cemeteries

    Bronte St
    East Perth WA 6004

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