Edwin Mayhew Brissenden was born 21 November 1862 in Cooyar, Queensland, Australia to Edwin Torrens Brissenden (c1836-1907) and Agnes Anna Kent (c1836-1911) and died 30 October 1930 Valentia-street, Woolwich, New South Wales, Australia of unspecified causes. He married Amelia Jane Knight Nicol (1863-1927) 18 November 1886 in St. Mark's Church, Fitzroy, Victoria, Australia. He married Ida Jeanette Reynolds-Moreton (1883-1970) 2 June 1928 in St. John's Church, Darlinghurst, New South Wales, Australia.
Dr. E. M. Brissenden, K.C., M.B.E., died at his home in Valentia-street, Woolwich, yesterday, at the age of 67 years. Dr. Brissenden was in his usual health until Thursday night.
Dr. Brissenden, who was bom at Brisbane, received his early education in New Zealand, where one of his teachers was the late Mr. Kent, formerly a partner in the Sydney firm of Cape and Kent, solicitors. From New Zealand he went to Melbourne University, and there graduated Master of Arts and Doctor of Laws. Shortly after his admission as a barrister in Victoria he entered practice in Sydney, and was enrolled by the Full Court on the same day as Mr. Shand, K.C., and Mr. Wilfred Blacket, K.C., were called—August 27, 1887. During his succeeding 43 years' association with the profession in New South Wales Dr. Brissenden appeared in many important cases of widely varying character.
Indeed, the diversified nature of his briefs had a resemblance to the catholicity of his personal interests in life and study. Outside of his profession he has always been attracted by scientific questions. He was the inventor of an improvement of the heliograph, and was for a long time associated with General Rosenthal before the war in signalling of various descriptions. In conjunction with Mr Bartholomew, of Beard Watson Ltd he invented a signalling lamp, and in the early days of wireless telegraphy in Australia he was working on a private wireless plant owned by Mr Bartholomew, at Mosman.
On the outbreak of war Dr Brissenden enlisted as a private in the AIF and sailed with the rank of corporal. Ultimately, after filling different positions, he became claims officer to the 3rd Division, in which capacity he did very valuable work in safeguarding crops in various parts of France, being awarded the French decoration known as the Mérite d'Agricole. Later, for his services with the A.I.F., he was given the Imperial decoration of MBE. In February, 1919 he accepted a District Court Judgship in New South Wales but in Septembei of the same year resigned without having commenced duty. At the close of the war he continued to perform military work and became a lieutenant colonel in the Army Legal Corps, a body established for the purpose of ensuring that officers of the forces were efficient in the knowledge of legal matters relating to military administration.
One of Dr. Brissenden's brothers, Captain Brissenden. is a master in the Adelaide Steamship Company's service, and Dr. Brissenden himself possessed wide experience of the law relating to maritime affairs. In this branch of the law he was considered a specialist.
Though his practice covered all jurisdiction the bulk of it was in common law. On many occasions he held briefs from the State and Commonwealth Governments on questions involving obscure constitutional points. Some years ago he was appointed by the Commonwealth to represent the Crown in an inquiry by the High Court to test the validity of the Commonwealth Navigation Act. He was also appointed by the State Government to support the claims of the I.W.W. prisoners before the commission appointed by the Storey Government. Recently he conducted all the litigation for the Union Steamship Company arising out of the collision between the Tahiti and the Greycliffe. In his later years Dr. Brissenden was offered a Supreme Court Judgeship, but declined on account of his age.
Outdoor exercises always had a fascination for Dr. Brissenden. In his early years he was fond of walking and boating. Later he developed a taste for motoring, and almost up to his death was a keen motor cyllst. In most things he was unconventlonal and daring. He was the recognised wit of the bar, and a man of most brilliant parts.
Dr. Brissenden leaves a widow. There were no children. The funeral will leave his residence at 2 o'clock this afternoon for Rookwood Crematorium, where the last rites will be observed at 3 o'clock.