As well as the Aboriginal man standing beside Harry Avery referred to by Andrew Mcintosh in his review of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Volunteers for World War one there are numerous other men whose
identity is still unknown. Some of these can be seen for example on the
Australian War Memorial site and I’ve also noticed a few others on the
Australian Tunnellers of WW1 website site. Early in 2012 a photo appeared for
sale on Ebay showing an unidentified Aboriginal Light Horseman in a group photo of the 5th Reinforcements 3rd Light Horse. This presumably sold and disappeared from the site. The unit and reinforcement detail given could well lead to identification using the WW1 embarkation rolls which are accessible again on the Australian War Memorial site. David Huggonson’s photograph collection Too Dark for the Light Horse also contains some unknowns. While many will remain unknown the existence of clues in the photos themselves and their descriptions could lead to identification of at least some of these men. Since there are so few in comparison with unknown non – Indigenous men compiling a readily accessible register of photos could be a start in the identification process.
Philippa Scarlett 3 January 2013