Indigenous Australian, Ernest Gallaher, 26th Infantry Battalion.
Private Ernest Gallaher was born at Laidley in 1900, he moved with his mother Catherine and stepfather Henry Glover to Cooran prior to the war. He followed his older brother Charles to camp when he enlisted in June 1916 (underaged) where he was assigned to the 4th Reinforcements of the 26th Infantry Battalion.
He arrived in England on board the troopship “Boonah” early 1917, in March he was admitted to hospital with the mumps. Two weeks later he joined his fellow reinforcements at the 7th Infantry Training Battalion, Rolleston.
They embarked for France and joined the 25th Battalion in May 1917. In October the battalion was in Ypres, very near where his older brother was serving. Ernest Gallaher too was wounded in the leg, he was treated in hospital in France, before rejoining his unit.
In September 1918 Private Gallaher was found guilty of offences under military law, and sentenced to serve 1 year and 4 months in a military prison, he was transferred to a facility where he remained until being returned home in July 1919.
Undeterred by his experiences in the First World War, Ernest Gallaher again volunteered his services during the Second World War.
Read more …
- Service record: GALLAHER, Ernest Alexander
- Embarkation roll: 4th Reinf. 26th Infantry Battalion
- Image: NAA Service record
- Image: “Boys of the Cooran“
- 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