Victorian Association of Jewish Ex & Servicemen & Women Australia Incorporated

Founding Member General Sir John Monash GCMG KCB VD

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His name is on the Historic Obelisk in Melbourne General Cemetery, however he was not Jewish. William attested that he was Church of England. He was born in Glenorchy, Tasmania c. 1879. Son of James COHEN & Frances née WHEELER. Frances born 22nd October 1837 Reg 9009 Port Sorrell, Tasmania. William’s parents married 6th May 1856 Reg No 215 Hobart, Tasmania (father as COWAN). No death record for Frances found. Maternal grandmother Ellen ELLIOT baptised 20th October 1816 Catholic Church, Cashel, Tipperary, Ireland. Maternal Great grandmother Ellen KEATING. Siblings: a) Eldest surviving sister: Mrs Margaret Jane Holmes, 96 Brisbane Street, Hobart. Margaret Jane Cohen married Elijah Holmes, Carpenter, 1882 Reg No 382 Hobart, Tasmania. b) Eldest brother: Robert Cohen not heard of for 30 years (James Robert Cohen born 16th April 1857 Hobart & baptised 24th May 1857 Glenorchy, Tasmania. Father James COHEN & mother Frances WHEELER). c) Second eldest living sister: Mrs “Fanny” Myers born 9th March 1862 & baptised 13th April 1862 Hobart, Tasmania as Helen Frances COHEN. FHL Film Number: 992590. Ellen Frances Cohen married Joseph Alexander Lawrence MYERS on 4th October 1886 Reg No 3319 St Peter’s Eastern Hill, Melbourne, Victoria by rites of the Church of England. Her father James COHEN shipwright, mother Frances WHEELER. Residence after marriage: 19 Albert Street, Abbotsford then 57 Lithgow Street, Abbotsford. Helen Frances MYERS was interred at Coburg Pine Ridge Cemetery in Church of England Section, Grave 285 on 7th September 1949 age 85. d) Second brother: John Henry Cohen not heard of for 30 years, moved to Queensland. There is no evidence that William was Jewish and no evidence that his family was Jewish. There was a “New Testament” in his effects. There is no record of him being known in the Victorian & Tasmanian Jewish communities. There was no minyan for him or notices in Jewish publications. Rabbi’s decision: Ruled to not be Jewish. Therefore not to be on the list for future memorials.
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