It's a long way and many years from Goulburn in 1893 to present-day Wales, but Rebecca Bloomfield is trying to reach across time and space to find out more about her great-great-grandfather.
Lieutenant Michael Joseph O'Brien was born in 1893 in the Goulburn area. By 1920 he had disappeared, last seen somewhere in the UK, having fathered a son, Gordon O'Brien, Rebecca's great-grandfather.
Rebecca contacted the Goulburn Post from her home in Wales, explaining that she and her grandmother are hoping to flesh out their past by learning more about him.
"My great-great-grandfather, Lieutenant Michael Joseph O'Brien, was born in 1893 in the Goulburn area," writes Rebecca.
"We are hoping that perhaps you could help by sharing his story in your newspaper.
"As Michael had listed he was from the Goulburn area on his enlistment papers, we think that he has connections to Goulburn. We are trying to find his family in Australia."
Lieutenant Michael Joseph O'Brien was said to be born in April, 1893, near Goulburn, NSW, Australia.
"We have never been able to find a definitive birth certificate, and don't know the names of his parents," continues Rebecca.
"In January of 1915, he enlisted in the Australian military from Castlemaine, Victoria.
"Initially, he wrote down an uncle (as next of kin), John Breen, but scribbled him out as he didn't know his address.
"Therefore, he named his next of kin as a friend - Elsie Henry of Wagga Wagga."
By the summer of 1915, an Angus Byron Craft of Wagga Wagga sent letters to the Australian Military, asking for the whereabouts of both a Michael John Breen, parents Mary Agnes Breen and John Michael Breen. He also asked for a Michael Joseph O'Brien (indicating separate people).
Michael O'Brien fought at Gallipoli and on the Western front, winning the Military Cross and surviving World War 1. He was also awarded the Serbian Gold Star.
"He ended up in the UK, causing a family scandal by running off with my married great-great-grandmother - Mary (May) Wellman - and getting her pregnant," said Rebecca.
"Their son, Gordon O'Brien, is my great-grandfather.
"Michael pleaded compassionate reasons to stay in the UK (rather than return to Australia) to support his new family. He was demobilised in December of 1919."
Rebecca explained that the army then started to receive letters from concerned relatives in Australia.
In February of 1920, a Dennis Breen of Fairlight, Junee Junction, wrote that he had not heard from Michael since August 1919.
In November of 1920, a Mrs N Breen of St Paul Street, Randwick, wrote expressing worry that Michael had not yet returned.
In May of 1921, a Myrtle M O'Brien of Evans St, Brunswick, Melbourne, wrote to the army, saying "it is a very long time since his people have received any word from him, we are very anxious".
In the UK, Michael seems to have disappeared from the family (Gordon and Mary) by February of 1920. His whereabouts since then is unknown.
"My Grandma has never found a definitive death certificate for him," finished Rebecca.
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