C. T. O’Neill – From The Light Horse to the Big Top

Charles Townsend O’Neill, son of James and Mary Ann (née Affleck) O’Neill, was born in Queanbeyan in 1876. After serving with the NSW police, at the Boer and at Gallipoli, Sergeant C. T. O’Neill became the manager of equestrian and acrobatic shows which toured throughout Australia. Significantly, he was the manager for the astounding Con Colleano at the start of his career, a dazzling career that would lead Colleano to become the greatest tightrope walker in the world and the star attraction for Ringling Bros Circus in the United States.

CT’s life is detailed in The O’Neills of Queanbeyan, from which the following pages have been extracted.

Content Warning –

Indigenous Australians should be aware that this page contains the names and images of deceased people.

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