Lance Corporal Paul Denehey

On June 6th 1965 an Australian Soldier was gored by a wild elephant while on patrol along the Sabah Border in Borneo, suffering for days and eventually dying alone in the jungle. His name was Paul Harold Denehey, a descendant of Philip Dennehy and Mary Collins, who had left Millstreet in the 1800’s for Australia shortly after they married, settling in Snug, Tasmania.

After his death, he was buried in Singapore, but now his family are battling to have him repatriated to Australia. Support them and see some of the fruits of their work can be seen on their page to him: Bring Paul Home-as offered in 1975 Buried in Singapore since 1965. Below is the newspaper report from the Melbourne Herald at the time of his death:


37562 Lance-Corporal
Paul Harold DENEHEY (1944-1965)
1 Squadron, Special Air Service Regiment

Paul Denehey joined the Australian Regular Army on 22 February 1962, was allocated to the Royal Australian Corps of Signals, and joined 1 SAS Company, The Royal Australian Regiment on 13 August 1963. During a four-man Operation ‘Claret’ reconnaissance patrol along the Sabah-Kalimantan border during Confrontation, LCPL Denehey was attacked and gored by a rogue elephant on 2 June 1965.

Lance-Corporal Denehey died of wounds in the field between 5 and 7 June, with a date of death finally recorded by Army as 6 June 1965. He was originally buried at Ulu Pandan Military Cemetery in Singapore on 12 June 1965 with full military honours. Images supplied by the family.

In Singapore, by the early 1970s, it was found necessary to close down the Pasir Panjang and Ulu Pandan cemeteries to make way for development. Lance-Corporal Denehey was re-interred in Kranji Military Cemetery in Singapore (plot 11, row C, grave 15), and he remains at rest in Singapore today. [Thanks Digger]


Philip Dennehy and Mary Collins

Philip Dennehy (of Millstreet) and Mary Collins marriage in the Catholic Registrations (Glenflesk) says they were married on June 10th 1836. Bunacummer is mentioned, but it’s desperately hard to read the scan of the register properly. There’s a page on that says that their first child Julia was born at sea on the Bussorah Merchant in 1837. The Bussorah Merchant was a ship that travelled from the UK and Ireland to Australia. Their next child Margaret was born in Tasmania in 1839. But 1837/1839 was before the famine, so it’s likely that they were travelling for opportunity, and just to get a better life. Philip became a barman of a pub in Margate, and they went on to have 12 children: [1]

Julia Denehey 1837–1919
Margret Denehey 1839–1862
John Denehey 1841–1904
Mary Denehey 1843–1859
Catherine Cecily Denehey Miss 1845–1873
Cornelius Denehey 1848–1923
Margaret Denehey Miss 1848–1862
Michael Joseph Denehey 1850–1934
Elizabeth Denehey 1851–1917
Philip Denehey 1855–1933
Eleanor Denehey 1858–1902
Anne Jane Denehey 1861–1899

[Civil Marriage Registration] of Philip Dennehy and Mary Collins
[Church Marriage Registration] – The original register is hard to read, but is at the bottom of this page

[ancestry – Philip Denehey]
[ancestry – Paul Harold Denehey]
[ancestry – James Denehey (Paul’s father)]

The Mercury Tuesday 16th December 1879; p1 DEATH
Denehy:- On December 14 at the Snug, Philip Denehy, in his 73rd year. The funeral will move from his late residence this afternoon at 2 o’clock when friends are respectfully invited to attend. This notice would have been in yesterday’s paper had there been a telegram office in the Snug, or at Margate; the nearest one is 10 miles distant

Headstone for Philip Dennehey [1]




Bussorah Merchant that they travelled on was a merchant ship built at Calcutta in 1818. She made three voyages transporting convicts from England and Ireland to Australia and later carried emigrants and other passengers to Australia. [wiki]


— Another of the Dennehys: Phillip James George Denehey served in the Australian Army in WW1.

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