G4 1 Horace Rundle Phillipps Sullivan

Horace Rundle Phillipps Sullivan was Timothy Sullivan's grandson, and the oldest child of John Sullivan and wife Mary (nee Phillipps). He was born in Sandhurst (Bendigo) in 1874, and became man of the family at about 16 when his father died.

This article could be improved if additional research information becomes available . If you can help please contact us.


Little is known of his Horace's childhood, althogh his adult life suggests he was well educated with a strong Christian upbringing.


















  Photos courtesy Mrs C Griffin

This earlier photo appears to be taken of a teenager or very young man , a much younger Horace than appears in the family photo taken around 1900. The photo of older man on the right was probably taken around 1900, and is similar to that of Horace in the family group photo of around 1900.

Horace Sullivan aged around 19 appears on the members’ roll of the Dunbulbalane Wesleyan Methodist church in 1893.(1). He remained active in the church until the Sullivan community breakup in 1924, with local newspapers showing Horace to be a regular lay preacher in the local Weslyan circuit. One family memory recalls "The people at Dunbulbalane church used to call Uncle Horace the walking encyclopaedia." Another memory "  Horace was a bit of an odd bod."

And another "Uncle Horace brought a new reaper and binder from the Wunghnu Railway station and put it nicely in to a shed on their farm, Gran Sullivan went out at 4 O’clock in the afternoon to see why Horace had not come in to his dinner. She found Horace underneath the binder examining all the bits and pieces. When he started to use it to cut the hay he knew all about it as he had studied it while in the shed."

Little else can be found regarding Horace's early years until his first appearance on the electoral roll in 1903 as a farmer at Dunbulbalane. He remained at Dunbulbalane, listed as a farmer until 1924 when he would have been 50. It’s uncertain whether he lived with his mother, lived alone, or lived with his brother Arthur. The Sands Victorian directories list Horace as being at Invergordon with Arthur Herbert and wife Mary from 1913 through until 1916. So it is likely that he farmed alongside Arthur Herbert

In 1922 Horace is named as an executor of mother Mary Sullivan’s will along with younger sister Lucy May (Watters). His mother’s confidence suggests that any disability from which Horace may have suffered was certainly not intellectual. Physical disability is suggested by his death certificate which lists his suffering from paraplegia for the last 15 years of his life. The likely physical disability is hereditary spastic paraplegia

Having left the farm in 1924 aged 50, he does not appear on an electoral roll again until 1936 when he is living at 272 Glenhuntly Rd, Elsternwick, (close to Elsternwick railway station), at age 63, unemployed. It is fortunate that he had a legacy built up to tide him over the Great Depression and the onset of the ISP. In 1937 an Agnes May Killalea is also recorded living at the same address, and that same year both Horace and Agnes are recorded living at 56 Fitzgibbon St Parkville, a small terrace house.

In 1938 at the age of 64 Horace married Agnes May Killalea at Flemington. Agnes was the widow of Edward Valentine Killalea. Her maiden name was McAlpine and she had married Edward Killalea in 1929. Edward Killalea died in 1934 in Geelong. Agnes May Sullivan then dies in Geelong in 1939, at the age of 49, and is buried in the Geelong Eastern Cemetery.

By 1943 Horace was living alone again, this time at 30 Parring Rd, Canterbury. This appears to be adjacent to or part of a major “retirement village” and in 1949 his address is a mail box, possibly at the same location.

Horace died on 02/05/1953 aged 78 at Cheltenham in the Melbourne Home and Hospital for the Aged (V4224). He had been suffering with paraplegia for about 15 years (ie from the time of his marriage). His youngest brother Edwin had died in the same Home three years earlier in 1950. He chose to be buried with Agnes Mary, his wife of less than two years, at the Geelong Eastern Cemetery.

In his will Horace appointed his cousin Muriel Phillipps as co-executor with the Perpetual Executors and Trustees Association of Australia. The estate was to forgive and discharge all debts owed to himself by Arthur Herbert, Albert Wearne and Muriel Phillips. He required the balance of the estate be divided into 26 equal parts of which he left:

  • Six parts to his sister Clarice Salter
  • Two parts to his brother Arthur Herbert Sullivan
  • One part to his brother Albert Wearne Sullivan
  • One part to his cousin Muriel Phillipps
  • Five parts to his sister in law Ellen Sullivan (Charles Frederic’s widow)
  • Two parts to his niece Winnie Sullivan (Edwin Sullivan’s daughter)
  • Two parts to his nephew Vincent Watters
  • Two parts to Eve Watters (Albert Watters second wife – see below)
  • One part to Lance Watters, a son of Eve Watters
  • One part to his niece, Kathleen Campbell, the step daughter of Eve Watters
  • One part to The Cheltenham Home for the Aged and Infirm
  • One part to The Methodist Home for Children, Cheltenham

Mary Jane Sullivan, Edwin’s widow, is a noticeable omission. The generous legacy to Ellen Sullivan probably reflects her difficult circumstances and the sacrifices she had made in raising two children after his younger brother Charles Frederick’s premature death serving overseas during the War.