Posted by: Bruce | February 12, 2017

Street Photography, Sydney 1941 – 1942.

Ed McCann contacted me after seeing my post on Sydney street photography in the 1940’s with photo by photographer G. McGrath. I have two such posts, here and here (desperately seeking Norma), and Ed advised that he too has an image by G. Mc Grath. A couple of messages later and ………

ted-having-joined-the-army-1942_sydney-2. Image by G.McGrath of McCann

I think it fitting to use Eds’ words in describing the photo.

‘I am happy for you to add the photo taken by G. McGrath to your blog. It was taken I believe around the end of 1941 early 1942 in Sydney.

On the left (in overcoat) is Joseph McCann who became Mayor of Bankstown after WWII. He was also a school teacher in the Bankstown/Revesby Area of Sydney. During the war he was in the airforce. He is seen in the photo with his future mother-in-law Mrs Francis in downtown Sydney. On the right in uniform is my father Edward McCann (known as ‘Ned’ by the family and his friends called him ‘Ted’). He was a sawyer at a mill in Botany before joining up.  He met his wife Jean (nee Smith) from Lidcombe, NSW and married in 1944′.

Joseph and Edward were from a family of 10 (8 brothers and sisters). They sailed with their parents (Joseph & Mary McCann nee Traynor) from Ireland (County Kildare_Newbridge/Suncroft Parish) in 1925. On arrival in Australia they settled initially in the Redfern /Newtown area, then Ryde before settling in Georges Hall.

Ed, thanks for reading and contributing with an interesting bit of history.

Words for today:   Family history – a blast from the past.

More to come:    Same blog time, same blog channel


  1. Interesting bit of family history, Bruce, but can’t see the photo (except in my reader).


    • Thanks for reading Mary. I’m sorry you can’t see the photo. I’ve checked from my end and things seem okay. A mystery.


  2. Wow….I’m so amazed by this. I’m Joesph’s granddaughter and haven’t really seen many photos of him. His wife Patricia will be 96 this coming January.


    • Hullo Meagan. Seeing the photo sounds like a good thing then? Now for the tricky stuff; Joseph and Ed (Ned) McCann must be brothers? Joseph must be Ed McCann’s (the one who supplied the photo) uncle? You must be the daughter of one of Ed’s (Ned’s) siblings? Does that make you and Ed (not Ned), second cousins? Am I right or very wrong? Good on Patricia turning 96 in January.Thanks for reading, regards Bruce.


      • Hi Bruce, yes it was wonderful to see this photo, thanks so much. Joe and Ed (Ted as he was known apparently) were brothers, Joe married Patricia and had four children. I’m the daughter of their eldest son, John.


      • So, Meagan, I guess that makes you and Ed McCann (son of Ed/Ned/Ted) second cousins? I wonder if Ed (who contacted me) has seen any of this? Have you ever met him? Sorry for the slow reply, I’ve been short of time lately. Bruce


  3. I am Joseph’s and Patricia’s eldest daughter, Rosemary and that is my beautiful Nanna with Dad and Uncle Ted. Nan, Elly Francis, was Patricia’s mother and the best Nan you could have. She was 4′ 10″ no a little dynamo.


    • Hullo Rosemary, thanks for reading and adding to the story. A 4’10” dynamo? She sounds like an interesting Nanna, you must have been close. Do you know your cousin Ed? (I’ve had to construct a little family tree here just to ask a correct question.) I’m sorry for the slow reply, time has been a little short. Regards, Bruce


  4. Hi,
    I am Greg McCann, Rosemary’s Brother. I only just found this, I can concur with her comments. Our nanna’s first name is Elvie (Elvy?) Francis. As best I can guess, this would have been just before mum and dad (Joseph McCann) married on the 4th September 1943.


  5. Also the McCann’s family firstly settled at Miller’s Point, at Mrs Dobbs Boarding House. They then moved to O’Connor St Broadway which is where Joseph and his brother John attended St Benedict’s Broadway and where John left from to join the Marist Brothers at Mittagong.

    Liked by 1 person

    • A question for you Greg. Do you know Gail McCann (daughter in law of Joseph)? Gail contacted asking for assistance in finding the address of the Boarding House mentioned above. I have tried replying but her email address keeps rejecting my message. I have not been able to find the address but have suggestions which might assist.


  6. For Gail McCann.

    Gail, I’ve tried emailing you but with no success. Keeps being rejected. Thought I’d do this as a last resort.

    Hullo Gail,

    Thanks for checking out the photo (of your family members).

    I like family history as well but it can be time consuming and my skills in this area are limited.

    As for locating the address of Mrs Dobbs Boarding House in Millers Point I can only suggest the following;
    Sydney City Council for any advice they may have in tracking previous owners of property in that area
    The library or libraries in the area for any local history
    The Mitchell Library in Sydney where I’m sure you could be assisted in your search. It may be your best source of info
    Your relatives that have commented on the photo, the last being Greg McCann. I don’t know if you are in contact with any of them but they could have already gone down this trail.
    If you don’t know them, perhaps you could get in touch with them through this blog. I could post your comment on the page under Gregs comment and see what happens. Totally up to you.
    Checking online of course; in a quick search I found a few references to Miller St, Sydney but nothing mentioning the boarding house.
    That’s about it at the moment. I’m sorry for the slow reply, Sometimes, I don’t get time on my blog. Please feel free to reply, either through email or via a comment on the post itself. Another reader may have something to add if they see your comment.

    Regards, Bruce.


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