Australian Indigenous Response to World War One

The mystery continues – do you know who the two standing soldiers are in this WW1 portrait?

Read the original article below for more information and discussion.

museumandhistory.com

Book Review: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Volunteers for the AIF: The Indigenous Response to World War One (Second Edition 2012)
Author: Philippa Scarlett


Private Harry Avery with an unidentified Aboriginal soldier (previously thought to be Douglas Grant) and an unknown British soldier, c 1918, courtesy of Rebecca Lamb.

I first came across Philippa Scarlett’s name as part of my research into World War One Australian Aboriginal soldier Douglas Grant. Philippa was a guest on an ABC Radio program with two other researchers, Garth O’Connell and David Huggonson. Garth and David had led the way some years earlier by documenting the neglected area of Australia’s Indigenous war service record.

The radio program had the well known portrait of a WWI Aboriginal soldier, standing next to Private Harry Avery and an unknown British soldier, as a prominent image on it’s website for the interview. This photo, said to be of Aboriginal…

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Family recovers medals of Australian Aboriginal soldier

More and more of the Aboriginal WWI story comes out – nearly 1000 Indigenous Australians served in WWI and here is just one story about some returned medals – but it much deeper than that. It is about being laid to rest in the Country of your ancestors; it’s about family. The passing of the name ANZAC shows how deep the loss has been for just one family.

I am glad the medals are back home.

First World War Centenary, 1914-1918

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The family of an Australian Aboriginal soldier who was killed during the First World War have been reunited with his war medals.

Private Arthur Walker’s great-grandson, John Lochowiak, was given the medals by a relative after she saw him at the unveiling of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander War Memorial.

Mr Lochowiak said: ‘Being killed overseas is a big deal for anyone, but in Aboriginal tradition where you are born is where you return when you die, so Arthur was separated from his country.

‘It’s overwhelming to think his mother received these medals after he was killed and now they are back in the right place.’

Gallipoli veteran

Private Walker enlisted in 1914 aged 32. He landed at Gallipoli on 25 April, 1915, with the 10th Battalion Australian Infantry. He survived the campaign was killed on the Western Front in 1916 serving with the 50th Battalion. He is…

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All Quiet on the Western Front

I too have been reading All Quiet on the Western Front after only glancing through it in the 1980’s school book assignment. Thirty years later, I’m ready to really read it and contemplate what all soldiers and animals (mainly horses) when through 100 years ago. #ANZAC

What Crosses My Mind

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I’ve been reading the book All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque and it’s one of those books that when you look at the cover you’re like “ehh looks slow” but once you start reading it, it really grabs you and you want to keep reading. It’s about a soldier and his fellow soldiers on the battle field of World War 1 and how things were from their point of view. I had always heard of WW1 and WW2 and I always had an idea that is was a struggle for soldiers who fought, but my idea of their struggles was just death and starvation. Little did I know that they had lice, trench foot, and barely showered. It’s much worse than I thought it to be. Books like these sort of “humble” you in a way. For a while you put your life into perspective and…

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