Indigenous Australian, Private Robert ANDERSON, Depot Battalion.
Robert ANDERSON was born in Rockhampton in 1892 and had been working as a Blacksmith and Horse breaker when he volunteered to serve in the first AIF in February 1918; at the time he was residing with his wife May Ellen (nee Baul) and daughter Marjory Agnes at Cooroy, Qld.
Robert Anderson naturally requested he be attached to the Light Horse Regiment when he enlisted, he also attested that
‘his father was a white man and his mother an Aboriginal, having lived all this life with white people.’
Such a statement was not unusual for Aboriginal volunteers, at the time there was a discriminatory stipulation of entry that volunteers had to be of ‘substantial European origin’.
Unfortunately Robert Anderson was discharged medically unfit, when he was found to have a ‘systolic’ heart murmur, probably the effect of his previous strenuous employment.
Read more …
- Service record: ANDERSON, Robert
- Philippa Scarlett, ‘Aboriginal service in the First World War … ‘ Aboriginal History, b.39, 2015.
- One of the soldiers featured in SLQ’s HistoryPin Collection
- View the whole Collection: Indigenous enlistment
- Queensland’s Indigenous Servicemen Digital Story and Oral History
Marg Powell & Des Crump | QANZAC100, State Library of Queensland