Alicia Dunne

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Alicia Dunne was born in 1832 at Mountrath, Ireland. (Mountrath is very close to Raheen, the birth town of Peter Lalor. She was the daughter of Mary and Michael Dunne, and the niece of Fr Patrick Dunne. Alicia Dunne and Peter Lalor are thought to have both travelled on the Scindian, but Alicia is not listed on the passenger list. [1]

She married Peter Lalor on 10 July 1855 at St Mary's Catholic Church, Geelong.[2] Alicia Lalor died at her Richmond home on 17 May 1887, aged 55.[3]

Goldfields Involvement, 1854

In 1854 Alicia was teaching at a Catholic school in Geelong. He uncle, Fr Patric Dunne, was posted to Pentridge Mission and arranged for Alicia to become an assistant in a Melbourne Catholic school. By 1853she had moved to Geelong where Fr Dunne had been posted.[4]

On 30 November 1854 Peter Lalor sent the following letter to his future bride, Alicia Dunne:

My Dear Alicia,
Since my last a most unfortunate state of things has arisen here. I mentioned that great excitement prevailed here, owing to the attempt of the magistrates to screen the murderer of a digger. That excitement has been still further increased by the wicked licence-hunting. The authorities have gone so far as to have diggers fired upon this morning, who, in self-defence, have taken up arms and are resolved to use them.
You must not be unhappy on this account. I would be unworthy of being called a man, I would be unworthy of myself, and above all I wold be unworthy of you and your love, were I base enough to desert my companions in danger. Should I fall, i beseech you by your love for me that love which has increased in proportion to my misfortunes, to shed a single tear on the grave of one who has died in the cause of honour and liberty, and then forget me until we meet in heaven.
Farewell, and believe me my dear,
Yours until death,
Peter Lalor.[5]

When Patick Carroll smuggled Peter Lalor to Geelong Alicia Dunne and Father Dunne later mpved him to the Young Queen Hotel, where the remaining bullet was removed. Alicia them nursed him back to health. [6]

Post 1854 Experiences


Captain Joseph Peter Lalor was a son of Mrs. Lalor, of "Vaucluse," Richmond, and of the late Dr. J. Lalor. His grandfather, the late Mr. Peter Lalor. M.L.A., was the leader of the miners at the Eureka Stockade insurrection at Ballarat in the early fifties. He was afterward, Speaker of the Victorian Legislative Assembly. Captain Lalor was educated at Xavier College, Kew, where he was a student from 1892 till 1881). He was an accomplished linguist, and had travelled extensively. He had seen considerable active service abroad, chiefly in Northern Africa, when he was a member of the celebrated French Foreign Legion. On his return to Australia he secured an appointment on the administrative and instructional staff of the Commonwealth military force.
He was stationed in Western Australia from 1910 to 1903, when he was transferred to Queensland as an area officer and brigade-major of the 2nd Infantry Brigade. He was one of the first permanent officers accepted for active service. His wish was to serve among his friends in Western Australia, and he se-cured the command of G Company, 12th Infantry Battalion. He was married to a niece of Dr. Loughrey, of Hawthorn. His widow and one son, aged two, are at present in England. He followed the battalion to Egypt, and left for Europe when, the troops were ordered to the Dardanelles. Captain Lalor was 30 years of age. A younger brother, Captain Peter Lalor, is surgeon at Duntroon Military College.[7]

See also

Peter Lalor

Further Reading

Corfield, J.,Wickham, D., & Gervasoni, C. The Eureka Encyclopaedia, Ballarat Heritage Services, 2004.

Dorothy Wickham, Women in 'Ballarat' 1851-1871: A Case Study in Agency, PhD. School of Behavioural and Social Sciences and Humanities, University of Ballarat, March 2008.

Dorothy Wickham, Blood, Sweat and Tears: Women of Eureka in Journal of Australian Colonial History, 10, No, 1, 2008, pp. 99-115.

Dorothy Wickham, Women of the Diggings: Ballarat 1854, BHSPublishing, 2009.,_Sweat_and_Tears:_Women_at_Eureka

Clare Wright, The Forgotten Rebels of Eureka, Text Publishing, 2013.

Dorothy Wickham, Not just a Pretty Face: Women on the Goldfields, in Pay Dirt: Ballarat & Other Gold Towns, BHSPublishing, 2019, pp. 25-36.


  1. Gervasoni, Clare and Ford, Tina, Eureka Stockade centre Hall of Debate Kit, 1998.
  2. Gervasoni, Clare and Ford, Tina, Eureka Stockade centre Hall of Debate Kit, 1998.
  3. Gervasoni, Clare and Ford, Tina, Eureka Stockade centre Hall of Debate Kit, 1998.
  4. Gervasoni, Clare and Ford, Tina, Eureka Stockade centre Hall of Debate Kit, 1998.
  5. Supplement to the Ballarat Courier, 27 March 1998, p.5.
  6. Gervasoni, Clare and Ford, Tina, Eureka Stockade centre Hall of Debate Kit, 1998.
  7. Adelaide Advertiser

External links

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