The Australian Boer War Memorial
Anzac Parade Canberra

Trooper Daniel Frawley

Ancestor Details

Ancestor's Name: Daniel Frawley

Ancestor's date of birth: 15/12/1882

Ancestor's date of death: 30/06/1967

Cause of Death: Bowel Cancer

Service and Life Before the Boer War: On enlistment his occupation was given as a groom and his residence Darlinghurst NSW.

Service Number: 1624

Colony or State of enlistment: NSW, Place of Enlistment: Sydney

Unit: 3rd Australian Commonwealth Horse

Rank attained in Boer War: TPR, Date Effective: 01/04/1902

Highest Rank attained (if served after war): No evidence of post Boer War service.

Murray Page: 179

Contingent: Second Australian Contingent

Ship: Manhattan or Englishman, Date of Sailing: 01/04/1902

Memorial details: Waverley cemetery Sydney

Awards/Decorations/Commendations: Queen's South Africa Medal with Transvaal and South Africa 1902 clasps.

Personal Characteristics: A man of substance. 173 cm tall Dark Brown hair hazel eyes.

Reasons to go and fight: Detail not provided

Details of service in war: Detail not provided

Service and life after the Boer War: He first experienced rugby union during his time in South Africa and was chosen in a Commonwealth Serviceman's team which competed against a representative Australian side.

In 1908 back in Sydney, Frawley turned to the new professional code and in rugby league's early years he was one of the game's most exciting players. In the 1908 NSWRFL season Frawley played in Easts' first match and was later selected to represent City New South Wales against Queensland. He missed his club's appearance in the final at the end of the season as he had been selected to go on the inaugural Kangaroo tour of 1908-09 playing in two Tests and 22 tour matches. He scored 13 tries on the tour.

Frawley spent the Australian summer of 1909-10 playing in the 1909-10 Northern Rugby Football Union season with English club Warrington, after having signed with them during the previous year's Kangaroo Tour. His sign-on fee was 125 pounds and a further 3 pounds, 5 shillings a week during the season. Frawley played in 19 matches for Warrington club scoring 8 tries. After returning to Australia in 1910 Frawley made a guest appearance for the English team in their tour match against Newcastle.

He played in East's first premiership-winning side of NSWRL season 1911. When he toured England a second time, with the 1911-12 Kangaroos a dispute broke out over his playing eligibility due to an outstanding contractual matter from his 1909-10 Northern Rugby Football Union season spell with Warrington. The dispute saw him miss the first part of the tour, but after eventually being granted a clearance Frawley scored 18 tries in the remaining 12 matches.

Frawley also won a second premiership with the Eastern Suburbs club the following year.

Frawley was also a member of the first NSW sides to tour New Zealand in 1912 and 1913.

He took out a third consecutive premiership in NSWRL season 1913. This gave the club permanent ownership of the New South Wales Rugby League's first trophy, the Royal Agricultural Society Shield. Frawley captained the side in his final season 1914, the year the club won its first City Cup. His penultimate Test match against England was the first Test to be played at the Sydney Cricket Ground and his final Test match also in Sydney in 1914 was the famous 'Rorke's Drift Test' in which England, reduced to just 10 men, held out to win the match 14-6 and with it the series. All up he played a total of fifty-nine first grade matches for his club side Eastern Suburbs and in seven Test matches for Australia, making two Kangaroo Tours.

Frawley was said to be quick-witted and extremely competitive in nature. He appears to have been one of the game's earliest sledgers. Former teammate Horrie Miller, many years later, recalled "I remember Dan walking onto the field one day against a champion winger. The first thing he did was to go up to him and say 'I saw your dad this morning. He asked me not to dump you too hard.' then later in the game, having dumped his rival hard, possibly from an offside position, he jawed at him, 'so you're so-and-so, the great international winger. Well, I got you that time. I don't think you're so hot'."

Frawley, who had been an emergency for the rebel series against the New Zealand 'All Golds', was later made a life member of the New South Wales Rugby League for his role in the series that helped to establish rugby league in this country. For many years he worked at the NSW Leagues Club in Sydney as Chief Steward.

In The First Kangaroos, a 1988 British-Australian made for TV sports film, Frawley's role was played by Tony Martin.

In February 2008, Frawley was named in the list of Australia's 100 Greatest Players (1908-2007) which was commissioned by the NRL and ARL to celebrate the code's centenary year in Australia On his death in 1967, the Rugby League News called Frawley 'one of rugby league's most colourful identities' and declared that 'he would have been an immortal in the code's history for any one of a number of just reasons."

Descendant Details

Name of Descendant: Patricia Rose Bombell, Tatton NSW
Relationship to Ancestor: Daughter


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RUSI of NSW Boer War Battlefields