Skip to content

Keane, Harkness and Freeman


Of Keane we know practically nothing, just a Brisbane address and a connection to the Eureka Youth League – a socialist organisation. No friends, no family, no background. A heavily restricted NAA file.


Of Harkness we know practically nothing until after her meeting with Alfred Boxall. She said she trained as a nurse at the RNS hospital but no record has confirmed this.

None of her friends, colleagues or family, excepting daughter Kate and Alfred Boxall, have made themselves available for an interview, despite the many opportunities available over the past 70 years.


Of John Freeman, chemist and owner of the car into which the Rubaiyat was deposited and later found, we knew nothing of him until last year, when Gerry Feltus finally established his identity. Then there are Freeman’s three passengers; we still don’t know anything about them, or their friends and families.

9 Comments Post a comment
  1. Further curious coincidences?
    Keane, Harkness, Thomson, Scot/Irish surnames.
    Greatest % of surname Harkness occurs in Norfolk Island, Keane in Pitcairn Island. Many of the Bounty mutineers who remained on Tahiti Islands were captured and interned in the convict jail on Norfolk Island.
    Due to inbreeding, recessive gene deformities can occur in Pitcairn Island descendants of the mutineers of HMS Bounty.

    September 14, 2019
  2. Byron Deveson #

    some of the Pitcairners were relocated to North East Tasmania.

    September 14, 2019
  3. Clive #

    Could it be that ‘Jessie Harkness’ was a ballet dancer herself? Possibly Russian/Polish background? Birth year of 1921 probably correct, but not born in Marrackville?

    September 16, 2019
    • She would have been 19 when Ballet Russes was touring Australia ..

      September 16, 2019
  4. Clive #

    Apparently, a few of the ballet dancers were classed as ‘stateless’ when visiting Australia, and if ‘JH’ was training and saw a better future in Australia, she quietly slipped away?

    September 16, 2019
  5. Clive #

    See “The Daily Telegraph” 6 Jan 1940 Page 5 & same paper on 25 Jan 1940 Page 16-Seems Russian names,in dancing, were more than useful. See: www. second > br_list Ballet-Russes-List of Dancers-Second Breath.

    September 17, 2019
    • Alberto Alonso
      Irina Baronova
      Boris Belsky (Bobbie Bell)
      Anton Dolin
      Helen Kirsova
      Tatiana Leskova
      Serge Lifar
      Ludmila Lvova (Betty Low)
      Vera Nelidova (Betty Tweddle)
      Sono Osato
      Paul Petrov
      Tatiana Riabouchinska
      Milos Ristic
      Tamara Tchinarova
      Tamara Toumanova
      Anna Volkova
      Leon Woizikovsky

      Thanks, Clive


      September 17, 2019
  6. Would some form of Irish dancing result in the same sort of calf muscle development seen upon the Body found at Somerton Beach in 1948?

    September 22, 2019
    • Not 1948 … but Irish Step Dancers nevertheless.

      September 22, 2019

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s