Category Archives: WW1

AN INDIGENOUS NURSE IN WORLD WAR ONE : MARION LEANE SMITH

During World War One 3141 Canadian nurses served overseas and on the home front. Included in this number was Marion Smith. What distinguishes her from other nurses was her particular Australian connection. Although resident in Canada since childhood she was … Continue reading

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WALTER COLEMAN: AIF MEMBER AND WARMULI CLAN DESCENDANT

One of the Aboriginal children placed in Governor Macquarie’s Native Institution in 1814 was Kitty of the Warmuli or Prospect clan of the Darug. After leaving the Native Institution Kitty married, first Coleby, brother of Maria Lock and then convict … Continue reading

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PETITIONER, SOLDIER, WRITER, POET, NURSE: THE MULTIFACETED INDIGENOUS LEANE FAMILY

Albert Edmund Leane enlisted in the AIF in January 1916 under the name Albert Edward Leane. He gave his age as 18 and became a member of No 4 Tunnelling Company. The Company left Sydney on 22 May but Leane … Continue reading

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ABORIGINAL ENLISTMENT IN THE FIRST AIF: USEFUL WHEN NEEDED

On 7th August 1916 William Garnet South, Chief Protector of Aborigines, South Australia wrote the following letter to the Officer in Charge, Recruiting Centre, Currie Street Adelaide. As legal guardian of all Half Caste Aboriginal children (vide clause 10 of the Aborigines … Continue reading

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HE LOST BOTH LEGS: POSSIBLE ABORIGINAL SOLDIER OF WORLD WAR ONE

Casualties for the AIF were devastating for the mainly young men who left Australia sound in body. A widely reported statement of the number and types of casualties incurred by the AIF during WW1 gives sobering statistics. A.I.F. CASUALTIES., MELBOURNE, … Continue reading

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WILLIAM PUNCH OF GOULBURN: ABORIGINAL ‘MASCOT OF HIS BATTALION’

At 3 pm on 31 August 1917, Private William Joseph Punch, AIF was buried in East Cemetery Boscombe, Bournemouth, in England. He was accorded a full military funeral with the firing party supplied by the New Zealand Engineers, Christchurch. Wreaths … Continue reading

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WILLIAM ‘MICK’ KING AND THE POSITION OF ABORIGINES IN THE AIF

Information requested from volunteers for the AIF did not include details of race although this may be mentioned incidentally in service records. In other instances secondary sources can assist in establishing the fact that an individual is Aboriginal and may … Continue reading

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JEROME LOCKE: ABORIGINAL SERVICE IN THE COLONIAL AND AUSTRALIAN MILITARY FORCES

On 16 September 1900 Mr. Walker, Member of the Legislative Assembly of New South Wales, gave an impassioned speech to a public meeting at Windsor, calling for the establishment of a Windsor volunteer rifle corps. Citing unrest in Europe and … Continue reading

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ABORIGINES, WAR AND ANZAC 1788- 2013

During the course of the First World War Aboriginal soldiers were members of all but two of the 61 infantry battalions of the AIF and of all light horse regiments. They also served in artillery brigades, machine gun companies, pioneer, … Continue reading

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WILLIAM CASTLES: ABORIGINAL DARUG SOLDIER OF WW1

Aboriginal WW1 soldier William Castles came from Rooty Hill in the Parramatta district of New South Wales and was a great great grandson of Yarramundi, chief of the Boorooberongal clan of the Darug. His mother was Ada Locke and his father Thomas … Continue reading

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