MORE ON WILLIAM STUBBINGS INDIGENOUS BOER WAR VETERAN

Kym Stubbings, William Stubbings’ great grandchild (see post 28 March) has told me of yet another object belonging to William Stubbings.

This is a badge (pictured below) whose central feature is a date. The badge consists of an elongated scroll with the date 1908 in its centre. This is enclosed in a wreath. Kym suggests a hole at the base of the wreath could have been used to attach something – perhaps a ribbon. The badge is 35mm in length  and the wreath measures 15mm in diameter and is 10mm in height.

The origin and meaning of the badge is so far unknown but may have something to do with William Stubbings’ Boer war service. The date and the wreath suggest the badge is commemorative.

WILLIAM STUBBINGS 1908 Badge

More information about this badge would add to knowledge about William Stubbings and possibly his war service.

Philippa Scarlett 15 April 2013

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About Indigenous Histories

Author & Publisher of Australian history, art and culture.
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8 Responses to MORE ON WILLIAM STUBBINGS INDIGENOUS BOER WAR VETERAN

  1. Lindsay Watson says:

    I’m pretty certain that that is a clasp off a 1908 King Edward the Seventh’s Medal, given by London County Council to any child who had a 100% attendance at school. It’s part of an annual series of medals that began with the Queen Victoria Medal in 1887 and ended with the King’s Medal in 1919/20. Each year, a different dated clasp was put on the respective medals. With the accession of George V, a new style of medal and clasp were adopted for the series by then known as the King’s Medal.. I would say it was most probable that the soldier or someone else picked this clasp up in England during WW1 and brought it home, or aquired it from a British immigrant. These medals are quite common, and cheap, and can be readily bought on eBay

    • Thank you! I checked for the King Edward VII medal using the details you provide and the clasp seems identical. This William Stubbings did not serve in WW1 so could not have acquired it in the UK. The three William Stubbings who have WW1 service records are non Indigenous. Other connected family did serve in WW1 and one of them could have been the source of the clasp. Your explanation seems likely. Another possibility is that similar medals with clasp were issued in the states of Australia – specifically NSW the home of Darug William Stubbings. With your information we can now be pretty certain that the clasp was not connected with Stubbings’ Boer war sevice.

      • Lindsay Watson says:

        Thank you for the reply. Glad I could help. Do you know if that William Stubbings is any relation to 414A Pte William Stubbings, 5th Machinegun Company, AIF, from Lacey’s Creek, Qld? I sure hope he’s Indigenous, because I put him in my 2006 Nominal Roll as such. Cheers.,

      • I could find no evidence that William Stubbings 414A is Indigenous and would be interested to know why you included him. I have been researching WW1 Aboriginal service since 1994 and have found that being included on one of the numerous lists which have come into existence over the years does not mean that a man is Aboriginal. Just some examples are men like Percy Freeman, Grassie Reid and Rupert Kerwin – the latter two early misinterpretations of information in Reveille. This was one reason why I compiled the referenced list included in my book Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Volunteers for the AIF: the Indigenous response to World War One.To create this I eliminated any names which exhaustive research could not verify as Indigenous. Of course the list is open ended and since publication of both editions of my book I have found more volunteers, bringing the referenced number excluding double enlistment to over 850.I estimate actual numbers would be in excess of 1000. I was given the Redcliffe ? List which I think evolved into your Kurbingui Star list, some years ago. I mention your list in my book in a rundown of people and institutions involved in research into Aboriginal war service. Your roll is a great tribute to Indigenous war service. Philippa Scarlett

      • Lindsay Watson says:

        My goodness, I’m speaking to Philippa Scarlett. I’m really honoured because I think you did a great thing with your book. I’ve just started my research again after several years layoff and I’m astounded at the progress made after my effort.finished. I knew that’d happen with the digitalising of the WW1 Nominal Roll, but unfortunately I was not in a position to capitalise on it. I know what you mean about incorrect entries,finding a few myself which I deleted. Sadly, my own roll of 2006 has some. I was living in my car at that stage, and had to make trips back home to gather different stuff. I rushed publication and ,I believe I added a few ‘tentatives’ which may not have been eligible for inclusion. Stubbings may have been one, but I noticed whilst checking Garth O’Connell’s website last night he had him listed on his Roll of Honour. . Sadly, I lived in my car for a year, and my ex-wife, a lovely woman saved some of my core stuff, but had to dump most of my research when she shifted homes. Anyway, I’m as I said, restarting my research once again and I look forward to buying a copy of your book to both enjoy reading and to aid that purpose. As I also said, I’m honoured to meet you. Cheers.

      • Thank you for your comments. My list of c900 volunteers with a few exceptions, mainly some WA names, was complete by 2006 and I spent the following years researching to confirm names, often deleting entries – in this way cutting it down to the under 900 represented in my 2011 book. I did not find anything new in your 2006 roll but was impressed by its format and the attention to detail.

        I am adamant that no man should be included on a list unless fully researched. These names are actual people with families and it is important to get it right and not see these men simply as lists of names. Confusing a white soldier with an Aboriginal soldier of the same name or simply guessing on the basis that a name corresponds with that of a known Aboriginal family is just one source of error. I think William Stubbings and Edward Castles are examples of this. There are others. I have researched these but am always willing to be corrected. Misidentification can be upsetting for both families who naturally want correct information made public. The public list of Indigenous WW1 servicemen compiled by the National Archives Bringing Them Home Project, which I last saw in 2004, was the most advanced research of its kind. It more than doubled the number of then known Indigenous servicemen and was also published in the National Indigenous Times. I see your roll draws on the NAA list. The digitisation by NAA of series B2455 First Australian Imperial Force Personnel Dossiers, 1914-1920 has been an invaluable aid to research into WW1 men both Indigenous and non-Indigenous. But as far as the former are concerned in many cases more research is required to clearly establish that a man is of Indigenous heritage. I know that names of more men will come to light but the pace is slowing as time passes despite keen interest. While records and secondary sources are still there to seek out, unfortunately family members who could help get older or are no longer with us.
        Good luck with your research!

      • Lindsay Watson says:

        Thank you for your kind words, Philippa, and your good advice. I was actually thinking about the problems of identification of Aboriginal soldiers and I fear it’s even worse than what you say. For example, I noticed on one webpage Glamor Garr MM was listed. He’s not Inigenous. Rather, he’s a Malay who later married a TSI woman. Similarly, there’s a rather spurious proposition been put forward that the son of the pioneer, Douglas Jardine was also Aboriginal. In fact, his mother Sana Solia was the niece of the (I think) King of Samoa. There was even a letter online that was sent in 1907 to her relatives in (I think) Samoa, in Samoan. It’s funny but the person making that claim has suddenly changed from having paternal links to that fella, to having maternal links to the Arrente. On a different note, there’s one TSI fella that should be listed. He was grabbed by HMAS Parramatta to help guide them up the rivers in New Guinea. The exploits of the ship are listed in the early pages on the Navy edition of ‘The Official History of Australia in the War of 1914 – 1918. There’s also a fascinating story about the soldier known as ”Darkie” Kenyon MM. He looked Aboriginal, his son looked Aboriginal, and his granddaughter too, but according to the son, and birth records I’ve seen, none were. It’s all fascinating. Cheers.

  2. Hi Lindsay
    Michael Bell Indigenous officer at the AWM was trying to contact you a few weeks ago – last I heard he had no luck. His details are
    Michael.Bell@awm.gov.au He’s appreciative of your work.
    I’d like to email you too but I can’t locate your email address. Would it be possible to email me at indigenous.histories@netspeed.com.au ?
    Philippa

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