I appreciate the reply - not what I was hoping for. I thought I had read that through the ORM.xml file it was possible to base a one to many on a foreign key.
The problem with the XmlTransient is that this uses proprietary, custom serialization routines. Not the out of the box java serialization.
I can avoid serializing the back ref back to the parent but when the object comes back into the java realm from the network and it attempts to deserialize it doesn't go out and get the back ref object and load it. The reason it needs contain just a foreign key is that this object will be automatically persisted via Coherence.