Northern Territory Government

Roll of Honour

YOUNG, Emily Florence

YOUNG, Emily

Emily Young


Emily Florence Tighe was born on 1 August 1900 in Queensland, the only daughter to parents Robert Charles Tighe and Augusta Fredericksen. In 1906 Augusta married again, to William Roberts in Brisbane, where the family made their home and Young grew up. 

Young left home and travelled to the Northern Territory, arriving sometime between 1917 and 1918. Commercial examinations were held at St. Joseph’s Convent School by the National Business College, Sydney, on 21 December 1918 and Young passed her elementary bookkeeping and intermediate shorthand examinations. Young soon made friends in Darwin, often participating as a bridesmaid at weddings.

Young was employed as a telephonist at the Darwin Telephone Exchange from 13 February 1918 until she resigned, after taking recreation leave commencing 17 July 1924, to be married. She married James (Jim) Walter Young, son of government drilling contractor W. J. Young, on 8 September 1924. Jim was a Northern Territory Anzac and on his return from World War I he started a garage and car hire business in Smith Street, opposite the Victoria Hotel.

When they married in Christ Church Cathedral they had over 150 guests and the reception was held at the Soldier’s Memorial Hall. The Hall was decorated by the Returned Soldiers under the supervision of Mr Anthony Xuereb. Miss Foster gave a pianoforte solo and Miss M. Styles and Miss Parer each sang solos, with dancing continuing till midnight.

After their wedding, Jim and Emily Young made their home in Mitchell Street, two blocks from the residence of Mr Kirkland. It was the first war service home in the Northern Territory and was built by Contractor Snell.

Young played tennis in the regular matches and the Annual Tournaments held by the NT Tennis Association; her partners and opponents included her sister-in-law, Miss Nell Young, Mrs Asche (former administrators’ mother) and Mrs Bleeser. Emily also enjoyed playing golf.

Emily and Jim Young participated in the social life offered in Darwin, particularly those events organised by the Returned Soldier’s League, of which Jim was President. 

The Young's never had children of their own; this, as well as her previous experience in operating the telephones at the Exchange, would have prompted Emily to volunteer to stay behind to help overcome staff shortages after the women and children had been evacuated in November 1941.

When the air raid siren sounded, the Post Office staff took shelter in the trenches that had been dug around the complex. Unfortunately a bomb landed on the one sheltering Emily Young, among others, killing them all instantly.

Young was buried in a temporary grave at Kahlin Beach; she was then re-buried at the Berrimah War Cemetery, and her final resting place is the Adelaide War Cemetery.

Young Park, Emily Gardens and Young Crescent in the Darwin suburb of Alawa are all named in her honour.

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